The Consciously Secure Entrepreneur
I know…I get it! Security can be overwhelming, scary, and unpredictable. It can be risky just living in the world and navigating the minefield of checking emails without clicking on a bad link, let alone trying to a figure out all the things we need to do to protect ourselves.
Well, can the same be said about money. It’s there for us to hold, utilize, empower ourselves, and support our basic needs of shelter and food. When not given enough attention, some scary things can happen like missed payments, debt, or lack of savings. Thinking about how we protect our money, as well as our data and systems, is something we all must learn how to do in the digital age we inhabit.
Yes, money and security are, or can be, physical assets in our lives, but it’s also energy. Being informed and operating from a place to confidence can be the gamechanger in living the life you want, being consciously secure, and living a life of freedom.
As an entrepreneur, personal security and business security can run together. The Consciously Secure Entrepreneur is one who lives consistent, secure habits daily that are needed to run a secure business and be safe on journey of life.
Managing your own small business? Here are 5 ways to upgrade your security and privacy today to be on the road to becoming a Consciously Secure Entrepreneur:
- Update your privacy settings in Chrome: This is not too complicated, but do set aside at least 10 minutes as you review these settings:
- Pull up the Chrome browser.
- Click the three dots (vertical row) to the right of your Google personal image at the top of the page (far right of the URL).
- Scroll down to settings.
- On the far right of the screen click on Privacy and Security. Here there are multiple things you can do:
- Confirm your password manager is active.
- Check if payment methods are saved. I would confirm its not saved in the browser but in the password manager.
- Can check your location settings, clear browsing data, and check your security settings (select the safest option for secure browsing).
- Stop playing the “waiting game” on privacy. Privacy and cybersecurity regulations are increasing annually. As a Consciously Secure Entrepreneur, are you reviewing the type of data you collect, what you do with it, and how you protect it? The Global Data Protection Regulation, GDPR (privacy regulation in Europe), and the California Consumer Privacy Act, CCPA (effective January 1, 2020), indicate maintaining reasonable data security is no longer enough. If operating in regulated areas, you must determine how to align your business goals with privacy rights of individuals around the world. Adherence to GDPR (which applies to all businesses, large and small, that collect data on European residents), CCPA or PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Documents Act in Canada) is a must as well as understanding how it impacts the roles and responsibilities you have as a business owner. The European Data Protection Board’s recap of GDPR activities between May 2018 and May 2019 states 144,376 complaints or queries were lodged with EU data protection authorities during that year (The Legal Intelligence).
- Do not use public WiFi networks: If you do, use a VPN (virtual private network). Try CyberGhost, Express VPN, McAfee, IPVanish VPN. When working remotely, at home or on a personal device, use VPN software to access business email. Avoid accessing business email from public WiFi connections.
- Utilize password managers:Change passwords often. I recommend every 120 days – 180 days if utilizing tools such as 1 Password, KeePass, and LastPass to either store your passsswords, maintain longer passwords that you won’t need to remember directly, and to create passwords for you.
- Understand the importance of a Business Continuity Plan: As an entrepreneur, do you think you think you need a Business Continuity Plan. A Consciously Secure Entrepreneur would say yes! What if there was a cybersecurity incident, a major health issue, a natural disaster, or even a pandemic (oh no!)! Do you have an employee, or consultants, who work with a company critical system, or data, that may need a back up plan for access if there was a concern? If that occurred who is their back up and how will your company continue to operate? Thinking though all of this is critical for Consciously Secure Entrepreneurs.
You don’t have to be a security professional to protect your information, but you do have to be consistent. Taking steps now to document what challenges are occurring is a way to prevent these same challenges in the future. The good news is you can start today.
Jessica Robinson, CEO of PurePoint International, and works as a Virtual/Outsourced CISO to middle market business in financial services and insurance. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.