Cybersecurity is crucial for co-ops to safeguard their sensitive data and maintain trust with stakeholders. Here are 12 essential tips for electronic safety, including choosing a Canadian-based cloud storage service:

  1. Strong Passwords:
    • Use complex passwords with a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters.
    • Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or common words.
  2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):
    • Enable MFA wherever possible to add an extra layer of security.
    • MFA requires a second form of authentication (e.g., a text message or app notification) in addition to your password.
  3. Regular Software Updates:
    • Keep your operating systems, applications, and antivirus software up to date.
    • Updates often include security patches that protect against known vulnerabilities.
  4. Data Encryption:
    • Encrypt sensitive data both in transit (when it’s being transmitted) and at rest (when it’s stored).
    • Use encryption protocols like HTTPS and SSL/TLS.
  5. Backup Your Data:
    • Regularly back up critical data to secure locations.
    • Cloud-based backups are convenient and reliable.
  6. Employee Training and Awareness:
    • Educate staff about cybersecurity best practices.
    • Train them to recognize phishing emails and suspicious links.
  7. Secure Cloud Storage:
    • When choosing a cloud storage service, opt for one located on Canadian territory.
    • This ensures compliance with Canadian privacy laws and reduces the risk of data exposure.
  8. Limit Access Privileges:
    • Grant access only to authorized personnel.
    • Regularly review and revoke access for former employees or contractors.
  9. Firewall Protection:
    • Install and configure firewalls to filter incoming and outgoing network traffic.
    • Firewalls act as a barrier against unauthorized access.
  10. Incident Response Plan:
    • Develop a plan to handle security incidents.
    • Define roles, responsibilities, and steps to take in case of a breach.
  11. Do not open suspicious emails:
    • If you do not recognize the sender of an email, or there are grammar or spelling errors in what seems to be a legitimate email, do not open it! Online fraudsters are deceiving. Err on the side of caution and trust your instinct!
  12. Do not click on any links unless you are sure that an email or website is legitimate:
    • Some links are fraudulent and can infect or hijack your files. Or worse, take you to a fake site where personal information can be gathered or breached.

Remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing effort. Regularly assess your organization’s security tools and quickly adapt to emerging threats. Stay informed and prioritize protecting your valuable data!

Information provided courtesy of DDL.