The Internet is not secure.
The number 1 reason most computers in Self Storage sites get hacked is through little or poor Internet security. If you have a computer connected to the internet (we will assume you are connected to the Internet as you are reading this article) on your computer is vulnerable unless you have the latest in antivirus and malware software. If you are still running Windows XP, your computer may be vulnerable as there are exploits on the Internet designed to attack window XP machines that even the best software cannot protect.
Is your ADSL modem router secure? Do you have the firewall turned on? Do you even know what a firewall is? A firewall in your modem router can help you stay protected in the event of a malicious attack. There are hundreds of known attacks and viruses on the Internet and if your router is not secure, your computers are not either.
Your Physical Computer Environment.
How many Self Storage sites have had a computer stolen? Plenty. It’s very easy to leave a notebook or a tablet by mistake somewhere, they are easily stolen. Is your data secure on your notebook? Most likely not. We all get annoyed by login passwords, but they are very valuable if someone picks up your laptop or notebook and tries to use it. If you did not password protect it, you’re very vulnerable. It’s easy for you to leave your desk and a customer could easily see data on your screen. If you leave the room, blackout your screen and make sure that your screen is password protected.
Consider your computer environment and say to yourself “if I lost my computer in the next five minutes would my data be safe?” Do this test and you will make some changes. One of the best changes that you can make is to ensure that sensitive data is backed up on a daily basis to a cloud-based secure service, DropBox is as good as any and it’s free. If you lose your computer, your house burns down, business is broken into, or a twist of fate blows up your computer, your key data is stored elsewhere. Don’t thank me now, wait till you have a disaster! Self Storage sites on busy roads can easily be targeted by smash and grab merchants demanding you hand over the computer.
We have heard of stories of business computers being stolen in 10 seconds. A site in Sydney a few years back was ram raided and they took the computers in less than 20 seconds. Keep doors locked during the day from add many areas and make sure that computer equipment is in a secure place of an evening and weekends. Most thieves know that the real bounty is stored on your computer so it’s important for to protect it and you have responsibility of customers to do so.
Do you use basic passwords like 1234, password, or your dog’s name, all of these passwords the basic hacker can find easily? Even complex passwords can be targeted by hackers. Use complex passwords and change them regularly and this will help prevent your passwords being stolen. Many people write down their passwords into a file on the computer, some even put it on the desktop so that it’s easy to find. You muzzle leave the keys to your car on the bonnet as well! It’s just not secure. Management software like SiteLink Web edition have four levels of security for login purposes to protect your data.
Credit Card Compliance.
If you’re a Self Storage business that takes credit cards for payment then there are certain security requirements that you must enforce to protect customers data. If you wish to be PCI – DSS certified and most businesses should strive to be so then there are procedures that you must follow in the recording of credit cards. There is a requirement by most credit card companies for you to be PCI DSS certified at store level If you use software to process credit cards, it should be PCI – DSS certified. Without the certification you run the risk of a third party getting access to credit cards and we all know what that means. SiteLink Web Edition is PCI – DSS certified
Self Storage businesses can be affected by disasters like flooding, storm damage, electrical damage and much more. Often these incidents can occur with no warning. Being disaster ready will help you secure your data which again is your responsibility. Making sure that core documentation this stored on your computer is backed up is the cornerstone of protecting your business in the event of an immediate natural disaster. It’s hard enough to recover your business, without knowing who your customers are how much they owe you an even who they are. Be ready.
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Many organisations offer web-based or cloud-based solutions to not only store data but to conclude transactions. Is the location of these places where the data is stored secure? Do not be afraid to check where the data is stored and ask for any security information you can to make sure that you are confident that your data is being stored in a safest place as practicable.
Some Self Storage software vendor’s businesses offer terminal based access to their software and this may very well not be hosted in a data centre. This should ring alarm bells for any user as the data could be compromised by security issues. Ask your vendor where your data is stored and if the answer is not a secure data centre, then security can be compromised.
Adopting our six-point plan will help you make sure that your data is safe. It is your responsibility to make it safe and with a few steps that is easily done. There are plenty of stories on the Internet where businesses were irreparably damaged because owners did not consider that backing up data and making sure that core documentation was not stored off-site. Business continuation can easily be damaged by losing data at the very time when you need it.
Computers can be replaced, data cannot. Remember, Not all data In Self Storage Is Secure.