Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Is It Safe?

March 30, 2016

That’s a question you should be asking yourself numerous times every day.

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As sales professionals, we have a lot of sensitive data on our computers and mobile devices that needs to remain private, like:

  • Customer credit card numbers,
  • Personal information about clients,
  • Special product pricing,
  • Passwords, and,
  • In-depth lead details.

That last one may surprise you. We usually think about taking security measures to protect ourselves against external intruders. While it’s unlikely that other members of your sales team would try to sniff out secrets in your digital files, it happens.

What are you doing to ensure that you are the only one who can get at all of the data on all of your computing devices?
Sometimes, it’s what you’re not doing. The easiest way to avoid being hacked is to refuse to click on links or attachments in emails. Even if the email comes from a well-known friend, you need to verify that he or she sent it in case that individual was infected and is unknowingly passing the virus or malware on.
If you knew that the file or link was coming, that’s one thing, but any email that shows up out of the blue that just doesn’t sound right should be verified.
Be especially security-conscious with your mobile devices. We tend to take serious precautions with our desktop computers, the ones that never go anywhere, and are less careful with our smartphones and tablets and laptops. Really, it’s more important to protect your mobile devices against hackers, since this equipment can be easily stolen. So:

  • Password-protect your mobile devices (or supply a numeric passcode).
  • Use antivirus and malware apps on every internet-enabled piece of equipment.
  • Back up your smartphones and laptops frequently.

Where you use your mobile devices matters, too. So don’t use public Wi-Fi networks. Period. They have all kinds of potential security problems, and a smart hacker can grab your passwords and other sensitive data. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your trusted doctor’s office or a busy coffee shop. Use your cellular connection.
You may have heard all of this before, but are you practicing safe computing? We’ve been told so many times to create strong passwords and change them frequently that the directive has almost become meaningless. But it’s your first line of defense, and it should be taken very seriously. Find a safe place to store your passwords (and not an app that resides on the same device).
One of the latest hacks that’s getting a lot of press these days is “ransomware,” which is just what it sounds like. An intruder locks down your computer so you’re unable to use it unless you pay money to get your access back. Don’t think that you’re too small to be targeted: Even one-person shops have been hit.
In reality, I think we all know what we can do to keep our digital data safe. We hear that little voice telling us to actually read privacy policies. Run scans using malware and antivirus apps if they don’t run automatically. Watch what we post on social media. Close browser windows after we use financial sites. That kind of thing. The trick is to stay vigilant. If you don’t, you surely will if you’re ever hit.

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