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Celebrate Safe Internet Day with Secure Tips and Apps

Nine tips to help you and your startup stay on top of cybersecurity.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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As entrepreneurs and business leaders strive for digital excellence, staying ahead of cyber threats and safeguarding sensitive information is essential. On this Safe Internet Day, let's delve into the latest tips and application recommendations that can fortify the digital defenses of startups.

In digital security, there is not one plan that fits all. It is not software or hardware that you install and you are on top of things. No, it is an ever-evolving process that starts and ends with you. Trying to secure everything everywhere is not practical, exhausting, and it is a waste of time and money. 

You need to come up with a plan that is unique to your startup and your needs and to do that you need to assess your needs and come up with a digital security plan that is unique to you and your team. 

1. Use a Multi-factor  authenticator app

This adds an extra layer of security and is easy to use. Several apps enable this multi-layered protection like Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Duo Security, and Authy. We encourage you and your team to download any of these apps and use them but if you find it too complicated or irrelevant to your needs, then at least enable the two-factor authentication (2FA). This is simpler and it just means that you and your team add one extra layer of security to your accounts so you get a text message or an email if someone tries to access your accounts. 

2. Secure Communication Channels

Communication is what drives startups and it is essential in any business ecosystem.  Make sure that your team utilizes secure messaging platforms with end-to-end encryption. You can build your home-based channel app if you have the technical resources and budget but if you don't, you can still communicate securely on apps like Signal, Telegram, or Wickr, these provide secure communications and are free of charge.

3. Keep Software Updated

We can't stress this enough, update your software regularly, as soon as the message pops up, update, don't wait till the next morning, or at night because you may forget. Outdated software is a vulnerable entry point for cyber threats. Regularly update operating systems, applications, and security software to patch vulnerabilities and shield against potential breaches.

4. Conduct Regular Cybersecurity Training

This is a bit costly and many business owners may feel reluctant to spend the extra money. Investing in your team's cybersecurity awareness is a proactive measure. Think about the money you will lose if your company's security is breached, your website is hacked or your client's information is leaked, training costs will look minimal in comparison.  Conduct regular training sessions to educate employees about the latest phishing techniques, social engineering tactics, and best practices for maintaining a secure digital environment.

5. Password Management Solutions

Encourage using password management tools like LastPass, Dashlane, or 1Password. These applications not only generate and store complex passwords but also help in managing access across various platforms securely. You don't have to memorize all your passwords but you do have to at least make one solid password that is not 123, nor your pet's name, but a complicated password with a mix of characters and numbers lower and uppercases, and special characters, and then that password can generate automatic passwords for other applications. 

6. Endpoint Protection

If you have a hybrid or remote work environment, securing endpoints is important. Utilize robust endpoint protection solutions that safeguard individual devices against malware and other cyber threats. Sophos, CrowdStrike, Bitdefender, SentinelOne, and Hiemdal are notable options.

7. Cloud Security Solutions

If you can invest in building your cloud, that is the best and most secure solution, if you can't then the second best thing is exploring and using tools like Cloudflare, Zscaler, and McAfee. Choosing your own unique cloud to protect yourself against breach threats. 

8. Regular Data Backups

You can't lose data, so whichever plan you choose, has to be updated regularly. Consider cloud-based backup solutions such as Backblaze, CrashPlan, or AWS Backup to safeguard against potential data disasters. Even better, invest in setting up your independent backup plan, this might cost you a bit but it provides you with maximum security and its cost is nothing compared to the losses if you have a data breach or loss of any data. 

9. Collaborative Platforms with Built-in Security

If you don't want to invest in setting up your platform, choose platforms with built-in security features. Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Google Workspace are user-friendly and offer secure communication and data encryption.

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