Online security for accountants and bookkeepers
Online security find out all you need to know:
As we move away from the offline world (the usage of hard copy invoices) and moving towards the online world (the usage of email, cloud accounting, online storage and so on), we should take into account the dangers that are very common in the day to day life of the online world, this article:Online security accountants bookkeepers will try to tackle all you need to know to move to a secure place rather than an unsafe location with regards to the web.
Every year Australians are victims of online scams that are constructed to reap them of their hard earned dollars, don’t let that happen to you! be online smart, and avoid scam if they reach your doorstep.
A few small steps and some basic precautions will make sure that your online experience will be a good one, rather than a very painful one.
Here I will share with you all I learned in the past 20 years of doing business online and conducting yourself online, as the level of threat get higher and higher more discipline is needed to overcome those threats.
Step by step approach
Step #No 1 – install a good anti-virus software on your computer.
Needless to say, this is the most basic step and everyone should do it as the first line of defence against online threats. it’s so basic that Microsoft is giving you a free option if you buy the OS from them, even they feel that everyone should have a basic protection (another reason is an infected PC will spread viruses to clean PC without even knowing it).
step #No 2 – make sure you have a firewall install and running at all times.
Again Microsoft OS is coming with a built in option, but all commercial anti-virus programs will give you this option as part of the product that they are selling.
And if you want the best option to go here: Windows Deal Giveaway – and from time to time you will get the 6-9 month of the paid antivirus for free, and that is always a bonus.
Step #No 3 – PC Audit:
With windows 10 you can rest assured that all the updates are install correctly and automatically and the right level of Online security is met, but just to make sure you can use a small application that tests your overall level of security: Belarc Advisor – it will audit your PC and tell you what is the vulnerability of your system.
Step #No 4 – internet browsing:
Today the internet is not that safe as you might think, there are million of pages that you don’t know the origin of their source and as such you can’t trust them that much. I will cover here Google Chrome, but you can use any other option. (I use chrome as it’s the fastest browser around, and the most secure.
After downloading chrome, the first step is to use some very important extension with it that will help you fight viruses:
- Adblock plus chrome – this will prevent annoying popups from messing your life on the net.
- WOT: Web of Trust – unfortunately this is now: “Web Of Trust’ Browser Extension Cannot Be Trusted”
- use the gone incognito option to delete all browsing history when you exit the web.
Step #No 5 – downloading files from the web.
There is one very basic law about downloading files from the web and that is: you must always check them for viruses. luckily enough you have your anti-virus software, but that’s not good at some cases, for that you have VirusTotal – analyzes suspicious files and URLs – this website (now owned by google) will help you unleash 50-57 anti-virus programs simultaneity (as long as your file is no bigger than 128MB) and after getting the Online security ok level from this site you are safe to use the file (Kaspersky did a survey and found that about 75% of people browsing the net don’t recognize malicious files and have no idea how to recognize a fake bank page from the original: Kaspersky 2015 Consumer Security Risks Survey.
Step #No 6 – Email communication:
The best option in term of security is to use Gmail or Hotmail accounts, as they use the best spam and malware filters known to the tech world. that is only the preliminary step, here are basic rules:
- Don’t ever open an exe file that you got in the mail (most antivirus will delete those emails) but just in case;
- Don’t ever click a link you got in the email, even from a trusted source – best practice – go to google and type in the search engine the keyword yourself – as it is extremely hard to get to number one on google fake pages will not be shown there so you will know that you entered the right site; (this is very common with Paypal and banks – these guys don’t need your password);
- Don’t ever believe fairy tails stories from an unknown source! this type of email are called phishing – they try to fish your personal details and bank account details to steal your identity (Identity thetas is considered one of the hardest crimes over the net and the number one cause of them is us, helping a hacker steal our details).
- make sure that if you spot a spam mail you go tp setting and send the entire domain to blacklists so your email account will block it the second time automatically.
Step #No 7 – Anti-spyware software:
a good rule of thumb is always download software from the official website, as there are website that will help you find a lot of software, but will include in the file downloaded all sort of other things that you don’t want or need, usually this are promotions to other software that make your PC cluttered and much slower!
Step #No 8 – mobile security:
As today mobile is the name of the game, a good security app is a must. you will see out there many options, but the best one used by millions is CM Security Antivirus AppLock and for I-Phones use: Best Phone Security Pro (this is one option).
I must stress that a good mobile security will enable you to track your phone (if stolen), to block it, and to protect you overall just like a PC security.
When moving to the online world Online security is the name of the game, because you may communicate with people all over the world, but the downturn of that is remote PC can communicate with your PC without you even knowing about it and steal your personal files, your password and so on, so you must be alert all the time, the same way you are alert before crossing the street, would you cross the street on a red light? with heavy traffic? use those steps and you get too much safer zones on the internet, it won’t give you 100% protection, but it will make malware and viruses harder to find you and that’s the point of security better percentage of safety. Online security for accountants and bookkeepers is the basic steps must be taken so you will have a better online experience.