Data Security Tips

Data Security Tips 

In many states, almost all of the information used to bill a customer is considered confidential and is subject to state wide policies.  With the addition of online bill payment, credit card payments, and ACH payments, information is collected that could lead to identity theft or financial loss.  Therefore, steps should be implemented to ensure that your customers’ data is protected.  As experts, we have compiled a list of recommendations for data security procedures/policies for our customers to refer to.  These data security tips include settings for network configurations, firewalls, passwords, and encryption. Please remember these settings are general recommendations and may vary slightly between users.

Firewalls 

Make sure that an ICSA certified firewall is installed between your computer or internal network and the internet.   ICSA (International Computer Security Association) is an independent organization which tests the security of various products.  Products which meet their criteria are certified.   These products tend to be more expensive than the common firewalls used for home use, but they provide better security.  One recommendation which should be followed is to make sure that the default user name and password is changed. 

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Wireless Networks

If you are considering installing wireless communication inside your office, be very careful.  Many of the wireless protocols in use are no secure and stand a good chance of being compromised.  If you need wireless capabilities, you may wish to contact an Information Technology company that is familiar with securing a wireless network.  If you are setting up a public access network, make sure that it is separated from your internal network.

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Virus Protection

Many breaches of data occur by the computer being infected with a virus or other form of malware.  It is essential in today's world to have a good AntiVirus software installed on each machine.  This software should be updated regularly and checked to make sure that it is functioning properly.  Even with an AntiVirus solution installed, it is recommended that the machine is scanned periodically with another product to detect any malware that may have gotten past the installed package.

User Verification

The majority of data breaches occur due to user error.  These errors include opening malicious emails and downloading malicious software online.  Avoid these errors by verifying emails are from a legitimate sender before opening or downloading attachments, and verifying that programs/software are legitimate before downloading and installing.