Why Small Businesses Are Targets for Hackers (and How to Protect Yourself)

This article explains why hackers target small businesses like yours, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Why Hackers Target Everyone

You might think hackers only go after big companies like banks and governments. But that’s not true! Hackers target small businesses for many reasons, including:

  • Server resources: Hackers can use your computer or website’s power for their own purposes, like launching attacks on other sites.
  • Data gathering: Information you store on your website or computer can be valuable to hackers. They can use it for phishing scams or identity theft.
  • Ransomware: Hackers can lock you out of your data and demand money to get it back.
  • Disruption: Hackers might take down your website or online services to cause trouble.

How Hackers Gain Access

There are many ways hackers can break into your systems, here are some of the most common:

  • Weak passwords: If you reuse passwords on multiple sites, hackers can easily guess them.
  • Phishing emails: Hackers send emails that trick you into clicking malicious links or attachments.
  • Outdated software: Outdated software has security holes that hackers can exploit.
  • Uncontrolled access: If everyone in your company has access to all your data, it’s easier for hackers to steal it if they get in.

How to Protect Your Small Business

Here are some steps you can take to improve your cybersecurity:

  • Strong, unique passwords: Use a password manager to create strong, unique passwords for every website you use.
  • Two-factor authentication: Enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. This makes it much harder for hackers to log in, even if they steal your password.
  • Software updates: Always install software updates as soon as they become available. These updates often include security patches.
  • Limit access: Only give employees access to the data they need to do their jobs.
  • Centralized access: If possible, use a central system like Google Workspace to manage user accounts. This makes it easier to control access and revoke it when employees leave.
  • Website security: Choose a reputable website hosting provider that offers security features.
  • Regular backups: Regularly back up your data so you can restore it in case of a cyberattack.
  • Be cautious: Don’t click on suspicious links or attachments in emails, and be careful about what information you share online.

Cybersecurity is an ongoing battle, but by following these tips, you can make it much harder for hackers to target your small business.

Additional Resources:

  • Consider a password manager like Bitwarden or Dashlane.

Duncan Isaksen-Loxton

Educated as a web developer, with over 20 years of internet based work and experience, Duncan is a Google Workspace Certified Collaboration Engineer and a WordPress expert.
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