It’s an understatement to say that there have been many organisational adjustments happening over the last years since the start of the pandemic. There have been adaptations such as setting up working spaces at home and adjusting online processes. Digitisation has taken place at a breakneck pace. Precisely because of this sudden acceleration, you might not have had time to look at where you are digitally vulnerable. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at cybercrime and privacy. And above all, we will give you some tips to help you evolve in a more secure digital environment.
Cybercrime advances in different forms
Cybercrime is not a phenomenon specifically related to pandemic times, it appeared at the same time as the Internet. In the past, you could be the victim of scams over the phone targeting your identity, credit cards and so on. Whenever there are technical developments to make our life more enjoyable, criminals step into the breach and find the loophole along with a new source of “business”. Make no mistake, today they are extremely well-organized teams.
Let’s take a look at the most common forms of cybercrime today:
You have certainly experienced it before – a so-called email from your bank asking you to update your data. Or a WhatsApp message from a well-known company to confirm your phone number. These are just two examples of how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information by masquerading as an institution you trust.
Cybercriminals take your computer and systems hostage through a virus. The only way to get the use of your systems back is to pay them a ransom. Of course, payment does not guarantee that you will have access to your documents again. How does this happen? Often because you click on a link, download an attachment, or give cybercriminals access through an unsecured wifi network. It doesn’t matter whether you are working on a private or business computer, this form of cybercrime does not distinguish it. And if it happens on a corporate computer, that single click can impact your entire IT infrastructure.
3. Identity theft
Identity theft is another huge one. Recently, in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus, new security measures are appearing. Take the example of registering your contact details when you go to a restaurant. Some restaurants do it online through an external partner, others do it on paper. In either case, you don’t know where your personal data will end up. As a business owner, you have to keep these things in mind. As good as these intentions are, they leave space for personal data to be left unattended and therefore at the mercy of everyone. Overall a good example of how companies and organisations must pay more attention to this.
Cybercrime and impact on privacy
Cybercrime, like any other form of crime, has an impact on your privacy, your sense of security. If a burglary occurs in your home, that is also an invasion of your privacy. The same is true if this intrusion takes place on your computer and your photos are looked at or, in the worst case, your personal data is misused.
Nothing is worse than when someone steals and misuses your personal data. The chance may be small, but it exists and you won’t be the first. The impact on your private and professional life should not be underestimated.
We have already said above that anti-coronavirus measures have put privacy under pressure. The StopCovid application in France and how it has been received by the public is a good example. The absence of such an application in Belgium is another illustration.
How do you secure your environment?
Fortunately, you can protect yourself against many dangers with a few simple things you can do on your own – because yes, your digital security is largely in your hands. The first step is to think logically and critically. That being said, we would like to give you some more concrete tips that can be used both privately and professionally.
Raise awareness to your employees
One of the fundamental aspects is communication. Your employees must be aware of the dangers. One way to make this communication more clear is to give examples of concrete high-risk situations: the processing of personal data, the storage of connection codes, PIN codes, the management of suspicious e-mails, online payment or still backup operations.
Set high requirements for your suppliers (of software in particular)
Investigate your suppliers! In the private sphere, you must be critical of who you are purchasing a service from. Do the same for your business. A proper investigation of a software vendor is of vital importance. It is important to know what measures are taken in terms of cybersecurity, data protection, where the hosting is located, and what their background is.
Limit the use of free services in the Cloud
Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive… to name a few. Many services available in cloud mode are offered free of charge. Free up to a certain volume to push the user to quickly use other services that will be paid. Your data is then on the servers of American technology giants for the most part. Keep in mind that these providers operate in territories where privacy and cybersecurity regulations are very different from those in Europe.
Choose a reliable “all-in-one” solution like a CRM to store data
All of the tips mentioned above can be converted into a single solution. A CRM system protects the personal data that you process and store. An extended CRM also has a document management system that allows you to make sure that your employees do not upload the documents to their computer or an external cloud service.
And if you choose a reliable European CRM provider, you can also rest assured that it is GDPR compliant. Indeed, its servers are located on European territory, which means that they comply with strict European regulations in the field of cybersecurity and privacy. The only thing you need to do for a secure digital environment is to choose the right CRM provider.