Sometimes the Cloud can seem like a scary place. Luckily, protecting your data is of the utmost importance to us, and we take pride in designing and implementing security mechanisms around Tallie. We use best-in-class firewalls, secure public servers, and private servers that operate within a Virtual Private Cloud. In short: your expense reports and personal information are safe with us.
However, we recognize that the internet plays an enormous role in the average person’s everyday life. And with the prevalence of social media, Cloud storage, and online banking, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself wherever you go. But don’t despair! Below you’ll find three simple, but effective, ways to keep your data safer online.
1. Use smarter passwords.
In order to prevent users from creating passwords that are easily compromised, Tallie’s most recent release includes a password strength meter. But when it comes to choosing a password, know that the strongest options contain multiple words or fragments of words. While including numbers and special characters certainly can’t hurt, the longer your password, the better. Avoid using guessable words or phrases that contain your personal information. For example, a password like “FidoSanFrancisco” won’t protect you for long after posting snapshots of your pup on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Be sure to never use the same password for multiple accounts. It may make things easier to remember, but once a single account is cracked, it leaves the others defenseless. And don’t forget to change your passwords often—at least once every 1-6 months.
2. Encrypt your most important files.
If you need to store or share data that you’d rather keep confidential, you always have the option of encrypting it first. This essentially renders your file unreadable by everyone without the corresponding passkey. To do this, we recommend using an encrypted file-sharing service like SmartVault. SmartVault allows you to store, encrypt, backup, and share your business’ confidential documents with ease. They also provide seamless integration with other business and financial applications, such as QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, and, of course, Tallie.
If you ever find yourself uploading or transferring sensitive information elsewhere (say, through a browser,) be sure to look for the small lock icon in the address bar. If you don’t see the lock, or the protocol “https,” then it’s not secure! We know that expense reports contain confidential information vital to your business. That’s why Tallie uses secure SSL connections to encrypt your data while it’s in transit, as well as for absolutely all of our web services.
3. Answer your security questions with lies.
In theory, security questions are a great idea. Sometimes we forget our passwords, and need a simple, painless way to reset or recover them. But if the only thing standing between a hacker and your Cloud account is knowing your mother’s maiden name, then you might be in trouble. Maiden names, birthplaces, and favorite pets are all easily found via Google or social media. So what can you do?
Well, when it comes time to pick your security questions, don’t be afraid to tell a few lies.
It may sound strange, but it’s one of the best ways to protect your password against social engineering. There’s no reason you can’t make it something easy to remember: perhaps your mother’s name is Skywalker, and you have fond memories of playing with some pet droids at your birthplace of Tattooine. The key is to choose something you can remember (or safely record,) but that can’t be searched out by prying strangers. Of course, if you’re on record as a die-hard Star Wars fan, you may want to invent something else! You can also protect your security answers even further by breaking up the words with numbers or special characters. Every extra measure taken makes it that much more difficult for a hacker to access your information.
Remember that you can always trust that your expense reports will be safe with Tallie. And armed with the above advice, you can much better keep the rest of your accounts safe and secure. If you have any questions about these or any other internet safety tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
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