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Keeping your customers information safe

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So you have just opened your business and your first week in business is going great until you learn that you were hacked. Now all of your customers data is out there for criminals to have fun with. Sound familiar? If this can happen to big "BOX" stores then this can happen to others. There are some precautions that you need to watch for and to do.

1. Network Security: This is one of the biggest areas for you to hit and hit hard. There are all kinds of firewalls for you to purchase but make sure that they are rated for business use and not home use. There are extra features on the business models then the home models. The other piece to network security is configuring the router that you just purchased. Make sure to change all passwords that are on the router and lock it down. There is no reason to leave open holes in your new router. If this sounds over whelming then hire an IT pro that you can trust.

2. Passwords: No please don't use "password" or "123456". Using passwords like this just makes it that much easier for the criminals to get in. Use passwords that have features that include: upper and lower case letters, numbers, and at least one special like !@#$%^&*, something like this.

3. Usernames and passwords for computers: No one likes having to sign on to a computer but all it takes is a terminal left alone and a thief can get in. Make sure employees are "Locking" their terminals when they walk away.

4. Destroy data: This is one of the last topics here that I am going to mention today. Ensure that your paper copies of receipts, and other data is shredded. You can either do this yourself if you only have 100 or less sheets everyday, or if you have so much paper to shred then contract with an outside company. Most of the time if there is enough paper to shred then they will leave a locked paper bin for you. As far as your digital data, when you upgrade a hard drive make sure that the old drive is taken care of right. Either by cleaning the drive (formatting) or by destroying the drive. This last way is my favorite. I like to use drills and hammers. Some may say that it is over kill but I can say no one will be able to get the data off of the drive when I am done.

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