Keeping Secure With 10to8 Appointment Scheduling Software
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Unfortunately for blog writers, cyber security is both lethally important and stupefyingly boring at the same time.
The terms can be confusing and the advice often contradictory. Things are constantly evolving and not everyone can be a cyber security expert. However, here are some tips that we follow at 10to8 to keep you and your data secure.
How to have a good password?
We all know that longer passwords with lots of characters are stronger. However, some strict password policies can actually weaken cyber security by making it difficult to remember your password and encouraging poor security hygiene, such as…
- Keeping your password on a post-it note next to the screen
- Using an easy-to-guess password
- Using the same password across multiple systems
If you find yourself doing these things, there is an alternative!
Simply select four or more words that (maybe) form a sentence. For example, you could use a line of Shakespeare or a quote from your favorite Westlife song. Either way, this will be much easier for you to remember, and much harder for a computer to crack. Remember, passwords can contain spaces and punctuation, so unleash your inner poet.
How to waste a good password?
Not only is it a bad idea to reuse a password across multiple accounts, but it is a bad idea to share passwords with others. Just like sharing a toothbrush, you do not know how they will use it, or where it will end up.
With 10to8, you can invite your colleagues into your account without sharing your password with them. Once you have invited them, they can log in using their own email and password. If they are careless with their passwords in future, you can revoke their access.
Making your website Secure
As the internet has matured, more sites are making use of Encryption Certificates (also referred to as TLS, SSL or HTTPS). This is that thing that puts a little padlock next to the address bar in your browser and makes sites look more trustworthy.
That little padlock does two things. Firstly, it encrypts the communication channel between your clients (whether they are on mobile, desktop or laptop) and your website hosting provider. If you take card details from your website, this will be a requirement from your bank. But even if you do not, it protects your clients from snooping by nefarious individuals.
Secondly, the little padlock guarantees to your clients that your website is legitimate. Without it, it is technically possible for hackers to trick your clients’ browsers into visiting a fake version of your site, known as a man-in-the-middle attack. Only a few days ago, an apparently accidental network configuration change caused traffic to Google in the USA to be routed via China. An encryption certificate allows your client’s web-browser to detect these sorts of events and alerts the user.
If you are not convinced by the security argument, you should know that sites using HTTPS receive an SEO boost from Google. By getting that little padlock, you will receive more website visitors and business.
How 10to8 appointment scheduling software can keep you secure
As well as following all the advice above, we go a bit further. After all, thousands of businesses are trusting us with some of their most valuable data. For example, we use:
- Multi-tiered firewalls, with multiple layers of protection throughout our network. Much like compartments on a ship, it means that even if the hull is breached, the system can stay afloat without losing valuable data.
- Penetration testing. This involves some friendly hackers who we pay to try and break into our system. But don’t worry, they’re on our side! They report back any issues they find so we can tighten our security, and so far they have never managed to get in.
- Vulnerability scanning. These are automatic probes which identify security problems by trying to break into our network. They are not as creative in their tactics as the penetration testers, but they run tests weekly and identify issues quickly.
This is of course just the start. Being cyber secure is a moving target, and we can never say never. But there are industry best practices that we at 10to8 follow, and there are simple tips that can significantly reduce the risk.
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Richard is the MD and a director of 10to8, responsible for day to day running of the company. He has been with 10to8 for 4 years, joining after completing a PhD at Oxford. Richard previously worked in the City, and at several technology companies and startups.
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