Keep business and customer information safe
It’s no secret that cyberattacks are on the rise. As a business owner, you need to be vigilant in protecting your business and your payment data from fraud and unauthorized access. To help minimize risk, incorporate the following tips into your daily routine and, where applicable, share them with your customers.
Use mobile devices wisely.
Smart devices are convenient, but they also process high volumes of sensitive data. Criminals will do all they can to access that data. It is important that you take steps to keep your payment data secure.
Be careful using unsecured "public" wireless networks.
- When you take your business on the go, or have an informal meeting at your local coffee shop, oftentimes complimentary Wi-Fi access is available. Although a nice service, unsecured networks may allow hackers to distribute malicious code to your devices used to take payments or even intercept your personal details.
- Don't turn your Wi-Fi on if you don’t actually need to use it. Even if you’re not actively using the Internet (i.e., logging on to websites, accepting payment, etc.), your information can still be compromised while connected to public networks.
- Turn off "Auto-connect" in your settings so that your Wi-Fi does not automatically search for an open network to connect to.
- For an added layer of protection, enable the "Always use HTTPS" option often available on websites that require logging in.
Be aware of risks associated with jailbroken devices.
You may have heard that "jailbreaking" your device—that is, removing restrictions off your device to install unauthorized software or to customize its features—is a good idea because it allows you to use the device beyond the manufacturer’s limitations. However, jailbreaking comes with risks.
- By jailbreaking your device, you remove the manufacturer security restrictions that help to keep your payment data safe.
- Downloading apps from outside your device's application store makes you vulnerable to also downloading a malicious app that has not been screened for malware.
If your smart device is lost or stolen:
- First, follow the recommended steps of your mobile service provider to report a lost or stolen phone.
- If you’re using our Converge Mobile payment app, there’s no need to contact us or change your Personal ID or Password. When you get your new phone, download the app and sign in as you normally would to continue taking mobile payments.
Protect Your Operating Systems
Install a firewall and keep it turned on.
Firewalls help protect your computer against criminals who want to crash your computer or delete or steal confidential information. Always enable and keep the firewall on.
- Firewalls come prepackaged on some operating systems or can be purchased for individual computers.
- For more information about what you can do to protect your network, check out the National Security Agency's best practices for keeping your network secure: https://www.dni.gov/files/NCSC/documents/campaign/NSA-guide-Keeping-Home-Network-Secure.pdf
Install anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spam software.
Computer viruses can install malicious software ("malware") programs on your computer without you knowing it. Anti-virus and anti-malware software helps detect and remove viruses and other types of malware from your computer. Anti-spam software helps prevent spam and junk email from entering your inbox. Tips include:
- Use reputable software.
- Don’t install software offered through pop-up windows warning that your computer is infected. These may actually install malware!
- To securely close a pop-up window, do not click the "X" in the upper-right corner of the window. Instead, right-click on the task bar button (at the bottom of your computer screen), and click Close, or use the Task Manager. If you cannot close the window using these methods, exit and restart your Internet browser.
Keep your system current.
- Keep your computer operating system, Internet browser, and other software up-to-date for additional protection against fraud and theft.
- Most current operating systems have the ability to automatically update critical system files. Take advantage of this to better protect your computer.
- Regularly update Adobe Flash and Acrobat Reader for Windows or Macintosh.
Change default passwords and network names.
- When you buy a wireless router or cable modem, it comes with a default password set up by the manufacturer. Be sure to change the default password to your own unique password.
- Routers also come from the manufacturer with a default name (or “SSID”). This is the name that shows up when you search for a wireless network to get on the Internet. Don’t keep the default SSID. Instead, rename the network. (Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions)
- Following the manufacturer’s instructions, make sure the encryption (for example, WPA2 or WEP) on your wireless router is turned on.
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