Imagine a lifeguard at the beach sitting on his perch. His job is to patrol and monitor for signs of trouble. He sees a surfer being attacked by a shark. Wow, a lot of good it does that he’s in a completely helpless position; by the time he scrambles off his perch and runs towards the water, the victim has bled out. Ouch.

2DThis is the same concept behind cyber crime. By the time a business or everyday Internet user realizes they’ve been hacked…major damage has been done. We can’t just be reactive. We have to be preventive.

The damage can destroy a business, not to mention take down the everyday persons website who did not have their prized and sensitive data, blogs, or photos backed up.

Forbes points out that over 60 percent of small businesses, after a serious data breach, go belly-up within a year, cyber crime is a major threat to medium-size businesses as well.

Companies worry a lot about their product and service, but are slowly coming around to the idea that a potent draw to potential customers and clients is the advertising of powerful IT security to fight off data breaches.

Customers and clients (and potential) want to know what a company is doing for prevention, not just what it’ll do after the attack.

What if you can’t afford a top-flight IT team? There are still things you can do for your business’s safety as well as for your home computer’s safety.

  • First off, back up all of your data.
  • Use antivirus software and make sure it’s always updated.
  • Use antispyware, antiphishing and a firewall and make sure that’s always updated as well.
  • If you have a website, scan that with your antivirus/malware or have your host provider do it. A website and web applications can be attacked by hackers.
  • Update to the latest version of the sites primary software and plugins.
  • An unexplained spike in traffic to or from your network is a red flag.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to discussing identity theft prevention.

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