Small businesses stay safe online - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Small businesses stay safe online

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From major retailers like Target and Nieman Marcus, opportunity for criminals to hack into computer systems seems endless. That's why technology and cyber security experts are raising awareness to keep our information safe.

One event held in Sioux Falls, Thursday, called UpTime University brought together small business owners to do just that: learn how not to fall victim to online hackers.

The White House says nearly 85% of all cyber threats target small businesses which may not be too alarming but for small businesses in Sioux Falls, like 'The Local Best', that cyber security threat is real, and it's growing. 

"With security, I take it seriously I want to make sure there's no way possible to get into secure data," IT Manager Chris Thames said.

Thames says his office doesn't have many computers but each of the company's sales reps has their own iPad and iPhone so they can manage their own accounts on-the-go.

"It doesn't provide the anti virus but it helps us manage our mobile devices and sell policies so we can secure them," Thames said. "We do have certain ways to mitigate certain exploit against stealing of our devices."

When it comes to keeping the company safe, internally, he's all over it.

"In terms of security with wireless, it's there it's open it's all around us. You don't see what's going on but it's there. All the information is being transmitted can be used to decipher what your wireless encryption password is so you have to take that security into consideration. Just because you're using a password and have wi-fi access, it can be hacked and broken into over a period of time just by listening to what's going around," Thames said. 

Experts say there is no way to completely eliminate the risk but there are ways to protect yourself at home or at work.

- Don't trust every incoming e-mail. Make sure you verify if something doesn't look right. 
- Get rid of any outdated software
- Invest in good firewall protection
- Limit any administrative permission
- Build strong, lengthy passwords for each account you might have
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