🔐 How To Protect Your Business

3 tips for entrepreneurs to protect and manage their data

Onward Everyday

Good morning.

Before you click out of this email, I encourage you to give it a read.

Could this week’s issue potentially bore you to sleep? Yes.

Could it also save your business from a gruesome death? Yes.

While I’d much rather write something more exciting for you, being hacked and ransomed, sued by clients, or losing critical data isn’t my idea of excitement either. 🙃


Let’s make this quick, shall we? 🤝

Issues related to weak passwords and lack of data backups could destroy a business, and far too often, businesses fail to take the steps necessary to protect their data.

Unfortunately, as a business consultant, I’ve seen too many instances of critical data loss due to poor practices by business owners.

An Entrepreneur's client data and operating assets should be protected at all costs.

This can feel really overwhelming. The good news is that the solutions can be simple and easy to execute.


  1. Generate Strong Passwords 💪

  2. Implement Redundant Backups 💾 💿 ☁️

  3. Organize Files Consistently 🗂️

Step 1: Generate Strong Passwords 💪

Jurassic Park Hacker GIF


In April 2023, Home Security Heroes shared a report that analyzed 15,600,000 common passwords, discovering that by using AI, hackers could crack most people’s passwords in less than 5 minutes, if not instantly. 😅

Here’s the good news. Creating unique, secure passwords is a lot easier than it used to be. In fact, we’re beginning to move away from having to use them altogether.

Time It Takes A Hacker To Brute Force Your Password In 2023 With AI

Hive Systems

To protect your data, start by enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on all of your online accounts. While this isn’t foolproof, it’s a great first step.

Next, leverage a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to generate unique, secure passwords that would take AI billions of years to crack.

By secure, I mean your passwords should all be unique and look like this:


While you could create a passphrase to remember your strong password, you shouldn’t use the same password on multiple accounts, so having a password manager makes life easier.

Plus, with browser extensions and mobile apps, you rarely have to even type your username and password anymore.

The key here, no pun intended, is to make sure your master password for your manager is long and complex. After all, there’s no point in having a manager to generate and store secure passwords if the master password is weak.

Thankfully, the world is beginning to move away from passwords altogether with passwordless technology that removes the need for a password altogether and simply authenticates with an advanced verification method like biometrics (i.e. Face ID, Touch ID via fingerprints).

Step 2: Implement Redundant Backups 💾 💿 ☁️

GIF By Star Wars

@starwars via GIPHY

As a business owner, it’s common to store sensitive client data (a big reason for those secure passwords and 2FA), project files, and all of your operating documents like checklists, spreadsheets, and marketing assets.

So, what happens if your computer hard drive fails, or your laptop is stolen, or the building it was in burns down?

You’re screwed.

The best way to protect against data loss is to have multiple (redundant) backups of your files.

What a pain in the buns, though, right?

Leverage tools like iCloud, Dropbox, or Backblaze for redundant data backup.

I use Dropbox to mirror (sync) the files on my computer, ensuring that all of my files that are on my computer are also stored securely on a remote server (the cloud) and are saved as I make changes in real-time.

Mac users could use iCloud instead, but for me, Dropbox is easier for file sharing with my video production clients. Perhaps one could use iCloud to sync and store files and use WeTransfer (for free) for file-sharing.

If you really want to get nuts (like me), have an external hard drive to backup your computer monthly as well. Create a calendar reminder to ensure you back up consistently. Even better, buy an external drive that has multiple drives and RAID configuration so if one drive fails, there is still a copy on the other drive. 🤓

The more copies of your data are securely stored, the less likely you’ll experience critical data loss.

It’s one of those things you don’t want to learn the hard way.

Pro Tip: Just as important as secure passwords and redundant backups, entrepreneurs who decide to build a team should have a plan in place to retain access to their data when employees transition out of their business to ensure business continuity. I’ve seen this happen more than once, and it’s brutal for the business owner.

Step 3: Organize Files Consistently 🗂️

File Cabinet Drawer Opening


Sometimes data loss isn’t what we think it is.

Sometimes, it’s there, we just can’t find it. 🫠

Using best practices for organizing your folders and files helps you find and store files quickly, saving you valuable time in your daily workflow.

A few best practices for naming files include:

  • Begin each file name with the international standard date notation of YYYY-MM-DD or YYYYMMDD (I prefer the latter)

  • Using no more than 25-35 characters, without spaces, nor special characters other than underscores or dashes

  • Use Title Case file names with multiple words

  • When numbering files, use leading zeros for clarity, such as 001, 002…100, 101, etc.

I also prefer to use ALL CAPS for folder names and try to avoid going more than 3 subfolders deep unless necessary.

Including a readme text file in the folder with the naming scheme can be helpful, too.

Adopting these practices can feel impossible when you have 25,000 files. Don’t worry about going back and changing every file. Begin using these practices going forward and update older files as you use them. Alternatively, you could set a small goal to update some folders and files each day and make it a goal for the year.

Boring? Yes.

Helpful? Also, yes.

Choose what works best for you and stay consistent.

Using a consistent file structure is a small thing that can become a massive time-saver each day.

Stay safe, my friends.


In The Weeds 🌾

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