As you prepare to ring out 2013, make sure your festivities don’t expose your business or your clients to unnecessary risk. Think you’re safe during the holidays? Think again. In fact, experts have found that cyber attacks peak during the holiday season because of the surge in online shopping.
But even New Year’s Eve, when the heaviest online shopping is finished, poses some of its own risks to data security. Make sure your data and devices are secure by avoiding these, the top six data breach risks that threaten on New Year’s Eve…
6. Looking up the lyrics to Auld Land Syne on an unsecured network.
How does it go again? You only have to know the words once a year, so you may be a little fuzzy on this holiday classic. And even if it tapping in to an unsecured network to prove your buddy wrong might seem like a good idea, remember that operating devices (including iPhones) on an unsecured network can lead to a data breach.
5. Theft at the holiday party.
Device theft is one of the leading causes of data breaches. One study estimates that the average cost of a lost laptop is almost $50,000 because of data privacy costs and related expenses. Keep your mobile devices on your person and avoid any overindulgences that might make you (ahem) forget where you last set a device down.
4. Leaving the office early and forgetting to log out.
Password protection is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to protect data. Before you leave the office for the break, make sure everything is secure, even if you’re in a rush to join holiday revelers.
3. Losing your phone after slipping and falling in the winter wonderland.
An icy walkway causes you to fall and lose your phone somewhere in a snow bank. Smartphones can contain all sorts of private data or passwords that could allow criminals to access private data.
2. Forgetting to renew annual premiums.
Be careful not to miss a payment on annual premiums for small business insurance. Sometimes, small-business owners forget their credit card information changed during the course of the year and their automatic payment fails to go through come January 1. But it's important to have continuous Errors and Omissions Insurance if you want to have coverage when the time comes to make a claim.
Anytime you have a lapse in your policy, you can actually lose coverage for any old contracts and clients, so be sure any annual insurance payments don’t get lost in the holiday shuffle.
1. Working too hard.
Sadly, you might be spending the holiday catching up on work. Many independent IT contractors don't have the luxury of vacations. They have to work when they have a contract. If you're busting your tail during the holidays, remember to relax! According to a recent Guardian article, most cyber attacks are caused by "simple failures" that can be prevented by companies doing the simple things right. Overwork can lead to sloppy work. Have some fun this holiday season!
To learn more about the cost of upgrading your General Liability Insurance or bolstering your E & O Insurance policy to protect you from third-party data breaches, visit our sample insurance quotes page.