LET'S TALK ABOUT...

Keeping your business safe online with Bree Kotomah

‘Let’s Talk About’ is our series of videos offering practical digital skills advice to help make your life easier.


In this episode, Bree Kotomah, entrepreneur and founder of her own fashion label, Boresa Kotomah, shares a few tips for keeping your business safe online.

Set up 2 step authentication

Use different passwords

Lock your phone

Back up your data

Use multiple platforms

Find a healthy balance

Conclusion

Bree Kotomah:

Hi, I'm Bree. I'm the founder of Boresa Kotomah, and this is a very serious chat about online safety. My dad had just traveled back from Ghana, he came with some fabrics and he said to me, "Well, you like fashion so here you go, make something." I make this dress and, if I do say so myself, it's amazing. From there, my friends convinced me to post it onto social media and some way, somehow it just went viral. I was acquiring a lot of followers, a lot of attention. I was being approached by celebrities, I was creating for these celebrities, and one day, I woke up and my account was hacked and deleted.

Bree Kotomah:

First of all, it was an instant rush of panic. This must be a mistake. I was in denial for maybe about a month trying to get that account back. I was very embarrassed, until I got to the point where I was like, "Okay, do you know what Bree? You have to do it, like you have to pick yourself back up. This isn't the end." And finally, I was able to talk myself into starting again. I've become this crazy person who tells anyone and everyone how to protect themselves from being hacked, basically. Like, you need to have two-step authentication on. If I was you and you don't want to get hacked like me, I would do it.

Bree Kotomah:

Don't use the same password on multiple accounts, make sure you have a variation. Make sure that it's got, you know, some characters in it. Not just words, but numbers, exclamation marks, commas, whatever you want to add into there, just to make sure that someone can't guess it really. What's a bad password? Well, my name's Bree, so a bad password is ‘Bree.’

Bree Kotomah:

Another tip that I'd give is for you to make sure that your phone is always locked when you're not using it, of course. If you put your phone down, make sure that it's locked. For me, it's done by habit because I had five siblings, your phone had to be locked if you didn't want to catch some banter, you know? When you have an online business and you obviously rely on images to sell your product, it's very important that you back up those images. There's a lot of different resources out there that allow you to store and save your pictures, if and when something happens, potentially. So when I finally built up the motivation to start again, I wasn't just using one platform, I was using multiple platforms. So if something was to happen again, then I could, you know, keep my followers informed and it wouldn't be me having to start from scratch again, as I had to.

Bree Kotomah:

With my original account, I started to become very addicted. Refreshing the page, refreshing the page continuously. So I had to make the conscious effort and the conscious decision to basically take care of myself when it comes to social media. I delete the social media apps at night, so in the morning it's not the first thing I'm doing. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break and, you know, just getting your head straight. Otherwise, you just… you look at your screen time and you've got like eleven hours of social media and it's a disaster, honestly, it's not good for you.

Bree Kotomah:

Online safety is one of those things you never really think about, until it's too late. Learning about it is definitely the best thing you can do.

‘Let’s Talk About’ is our series of videos offering practical digital skills advice to help make your life easier.


In this episode, Bree Kotomah, entrepreneur and founder of her own fashion label, Boresa Kotomah, shares a few tips for keeping your business safe online.

Set up 2 step authentication

Use different passwords

Lock your phone

Back up your data

Use multiple platforms

Find a healthy balance

Conclusion

Bree Kotomah:

Hi, I'm Bree. I'm the founder of Boresa Kotomah, and this is a very serious chat about online safety. My dad had just traveled back from Ghana, he came with some fabrics and he said to me, "Well, you like fashion so here you go, make something." I make this dress and, if I do say so myself, it's amazing. From there, my friends convinced me to post it onto social media and some way, somehow it just went viral. I was acquiring a lot of followers, a lot of attention. I was being approached by celebrities, I was creating for these celebrities, and one day, I woke up and my account was hacked and deleted.

Bree Kotomah:

First of all, it was an instant rush of panic. This must be a mistake. I was in denial for maybe about a month trying to get that account back. I was very embarrassed, until I got to the point where I was like, "Okay, do you know what Bree? You have to do it, like you have to pick yourself back up. This isn't the end." And finally, I was able to talk myself into starting again. I've become this crazy person who tells anyone and everyone how to protect themselves from being hacked, basically. Like, you need to have two-step authentication on. If I was you and you don't want to get hacked like me, I would do it.

Bree Kotomah:

Don't use the same password on multiple accounts, make sure you have a variation. Make sure that it's got, you know, some characters in it. Not just words, but numbers, exclamation marks, commas, whatever you want to add into there, just to make sure that someone can't guess it really. What's a bad password? Well, my name's Bree, so a bad password is ‘Bree.’

Bree Kotomah:

Another tip that I'd give is for you to make sure that your phone is always locked when you're not using it, of course. If you put your phone down, make sure that it's locked. For me, it's done by habit because I had five siblings, your phone had to be locked if you didn't want to catch some banter, you know? When you have an online business and you obviously rely on images to sell your product, it's very important that you back up those images. There's a lot of different resources out there that allow you to store and save your pictures, if and when something happens, potentially. So when I finally built up the motivation to start again, I wasn't just using one platform, I was using multiple platforms. So if something was to happen again, then I could, you know, keep my followers informed and it wouldn't be me having to start from scratch again, as I had to.

Bree Kotomah:

With my original account, I started to become very addicted. Refreshing the page, refreshing the page continuously. So I had to make the conscious effort and the conscious decision to basically take care of myself when it comes to social media. I delete the social media apps at night, so in the morning it's not the first thing I'm doing. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break and, you know, just getting your head straight. Otherwise, you just… you look at your screen time and you've got like eleven hours of social media and it's a disaster, honestly, it's not good for you.

Bree Kotomah:

Online safety is one of those things you never really think about, until it's too late. Learning about it is definitely the best thing you can do.