Did your business recently encounter a cyber-attack?
Cybercriminals can strike businesses in many ways. They can steal your data by sending malicious emails. They can also target your business website.
Incidentally, over 150,000 small-business websites in the United States are at risk.
Unfortunately, companies that fail to address cyber-attacks lose significant amounts of money. Some of these businesses even fold once the dust settles.
As a business owner, you may be wondering what are the effects of computer hacking on your business.
Why is hacking bad? What are the possible consequences of computer hacking? Continue reading below and take a closer look at computer hacking.
What are the Effects of Computer Hacking?
What are the effects of computer hacking? As we mentioned earlier, hacking can leave companies bleeding for money.
But there are other negative effects computer hacking can bring to any business. Let’s take a look at some of the most serious ones below:
Losing money is one of the biggest effects of computer hacking. A recent study revealed that companies lose an average of $200,000 on cyber-attacks. Moreover, 43% of these cyber-attacks target small businesses.
Sadly, only 14% of these businesses have enough protection to fend-off these attacks.
When severe hacking occurs, a business may become non-operational. The impact may drag on for weeks or even months. When this happens, the company will incur massive financial losses.
If you are running an online business and hackers hijack your website, you will likely lose customers. The hacking may even affect the accounts of your customers. In turn, they will leave and transfer to your competitors.
Furthermore, you will also have to spend on the initial damage costs. You will also need to shell out for the lawsuits and other legal fees.
Computer hacking also compromises the privacy of your company. Hackers will attempt to steal the passwords and usernames in your system.
When this happens, hackers will find a way to access the personal information of your clients.
Once they get your clients’ private information, they can target them one-by-one. They can use the birthdays, addresses, and other personal information of your clients to steal their money.
When hackers get into your system, they can change your data, steal it, or destroy it altogether.
If you are in the financial business, hackers can destroy your accounting files. In turn, you may lose track of the clients’ money.
If your business is working with the government, hackers can steal sensitive data. They can use the data to hack into government servers.
Keep in mind that government entities like the FBI, NASA, and Pentagon already had their share of hackings and cyber-attacks.
If hackers can penetrate their systems, the more you need to secure your computers.
Beyond financial and data losses, your company will also suffer a damaged reputation. When your business becomes a frequent target, you will have to cease operations often. As a result, your customers will think that you don’t invest enough in securing your website.
In turn, it affects the credibility of your business.
Hacking will give your clients the impression that your business cannot provide ample customer protection. This is crucial especially if you belong to the financial sector. People will see that you cannot defend your company from cyber-attacks.
As a result, they will no longer trust you with their money.
Some Safety Tips Against Computer Hackings
Thankfully, you don’t have to fall prey to these hackers. There are several ways to protect your website and other digital assets from cybercriminals. Here are some safety tips to consider:
Regular Software Updates
Be sure to update your OS and other software regularly. If you can, program the updates automatically so you don’t miss anything.
One of the first things hackers look into is the weak points in your computers. Often, these vulnerabilities arise when you are using outdated programs. These programs become easy targets for malware attacks.
Thus, you need to enable all your Microsoft product updates. If you are still running old software like Flash or Java, consider retiring them.
These programs are prone to hacking.
Install the Latest Security Programs
Apart from updating your software, you need to invest in the latest security programs. Install the latest anti-malware software in the market. Generally, they also come with additional features like protection against ransomware, spyware, and exploits.
Also, check your OS if it comes with built-in antivirus and firewall.
You may also want to consider encrypting your Windows or macOS drive. Go for reliable encryption products like FileVault or BitLocker. Additionally, encrypt your USB flash drive especially the ones that contain sensitive information.
Make sure to buy these security programs from reputable companies specializing in business cyber security.
Strengthen Your Passwords
This tip is one of the simplest but it nevertheless goes a long way. Use complex passwords to make it hard for hackers to bypass. Use a combination of letters and numbers.
Mix uppercase and lowercase letters and use at least one special character or computer symbol. Go for a longer password. The rule of thumb is to use a minimum of eight characters.
Avoid using birthdays or any other dates or information that hackers may connect to your person.
Practice Smart Emailing
Do you receive emails from dubious parties? Ignore these spam emails, as hackers use them for phishing. Phishing emails aim to steal your passwords, credit card details, and other personal information.
Carefully examine the details of the email. Look at the sentence construction and see if the formatting and construction are dubious. Also, hover over the links to see the URLs of the emails.
Continue Growing Your Business
Answering the question of “what are the effects of computer hacking?” will give you a better appreciation for computer security. It will keep your valuable data safe, which is crucial for your business’ growth.
And when it comes to growing your business, there are other bases to cover. We invite you to check our various blog posts. We discuss different strategies that can help grow your business faster.