No one wants their accounts to get hacked…especially the accounts associated with a business.

Unfortunately, hacking attacks are on the rise, and they’re beginning to target small, everyday businesses like consignment stores.

Think of it this way: if your consignment store’s business account was hacked tomorrow, what would happen? Would you be able to recover from having your bank information stolen, or your social media accounts compromised? If the answer to that question is “No,” now is the time to take smart steps to protect yourself.

Today, there are more than 4,000 cyber attacks daily. That’s about 170 attacks an hour, or about three each minute. How’s that for startling?

In 2013 alone, 43% of U.S. companies had a data breach involving hackers. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your accounts, discourage hackers from taking advantage of your materials, and keep your business safe and secure.

Here’s what you need to know:

7 Steps to Prevent Hackers From Compromising Your Accounts

Hackers can create a real mess for your business. Keep them from messing with your company with these seven fast tips:

1. Avoid Using Personal Information As Passwords

Using your address, names of your children, or birth date makes it easy for hackers to compromise your information and your accounts. Avoid using this information to keep yourself safe. If you need help creating a better password, use a password manager to develop (and store) randomized, ultra-secure passwords.

2. Create Unique Passwords For Each Site

Today, more than 80% of consumers use the same passwords for most of their accounts. While this might be convenient, it means that any hacker who figured out one of your passwords would immediately have access to all of your accounts.

Instead, use unique passwords for each site. Again, a password manager can be helpful in this process.

3. Change Your Passwords Routinely

Changing your passwords frequently is another great way to ensure online safety. Don’t worry, though – this doesn’t mean you have create a brand new password every two months. Instead, add a number to the beginning or end of your password and increase its value with every update.

4. Use Numbers Instead of Letters

Creating nonsense passwords can be difficult to remember, and securing your social media pages is only worthwhile if you can access them yourself. With this in mind, keep your passwords secure (and still memorable) by replacing a letter with a number.

5. Test Your Current Password’s Strength

Not sure how secure that tried-and-true password really is? Use a service like the Kaspersky password checker to evaluate it. Not as strong as you thought? Beef it up with a randomized string of numbers.

6. Enable Two-Step Verification on Your Email

If your email server provides it, enable two-step verification for your email. When you do this, it makes it much harder for hackers to access your account.

While phishing can reveal your password, the second step of the verification process (which typically involves a random set of characters sent to your personal device) makes it virtually impossible for anyone that is not you to access your accounts.

While some people view two-step verification as a pain, it’s important to remember that it only adds a few seconds to your log-in time, and can prevent disastrous data loss, fraudulent access, and financial issues down the road.

7. Lock Your Phones

If you run a business, you must install a pass code on your phone. Here’s why: anyone who picked up your phone or device in a coffee shop could have access to your bank accounts, social media profiles, and everything else in just a few minutes, unless you have a strong passcode.

With this in mind, use a secure code to keep your phone safe. A string of randomized numbers (rather than your birthday or the last four digits of your phone number) is ideal. Be sure to use a code on every phone that’s associated with your business.

A More Secure Digital Presence Starts Here

If you’re looking for ways to make your consignment store’s digital presence hacker-proof, these seven tips are a great place to start. Ideal for reducing your digital risk and securing your online information, these tips can help you stay safe online, despite today’s changing digital environment.

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