your employees regarding the Internet and online security? Do your employees understand the potential risks of using USB devices in the workplace? Are all of your machines completely wiped of their data before disposal?
After assessing your company's risk, you can move on to making its data (and the data of your customers and employees) more secure. StaySafeOnline offers plenty of advice on that, but one great way to do this is with employee training. Such training should at least include the following five simple tips.
First, make sure your employees know what they are and are not allowed to install and keep on their work machines. Put rules in place – and enforce them. “Unknown outside programs can open security vulnerabilities in your network,” StaySafeOnline notes. As a side note, they can also make computers function less efficiently, which leads to calls to the IT department (and costs valuable time). In a previous job, when I shared an office with an elderly co-worker who didn't understand why she couldn't have whatever she wanted on her computer, I saw this happen more than once.
Second, teach your employees how to follow good password practices. Passwords should be long and contain a mix of upper case and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Users should change their passwords regularly and keep them private. Until someone comes up with something better, they're still the best way an individual can keep data secure.
Third, make sure your employees know not to open suspicious links in email, posts, tweets, online ads, messages, or attachments. Make sure they also understand that a link isn't necessarily safe just because they know the source; a friend's email account could have been hacked, for instance. Spend some time explaining your company's spam filters and how to use them to your employees, as well.
Fourth, data security covers more than just protecting sensitive information from hackers. It also means preventing the loss of data. Teach your employees to back up their work, and tell them how often they need to do so – or if you do automatic backup at your office, make sure your employees know what they need to do to make sure their important data is saved.
Finally, a computer behaving “strangely” can be a hint that it has been compromised – so “Your employees should be encouraged to keep an eye out and say something if they notice strange happenings on their computer,” according to StaySafeOnline.
And remember, no one is totally immune. Back in August, Matt Honan
got spectacularly hacked and lost a lot of personal data...and he's a tech blogger, so you know he was doing what he could to secure himself. It could have been much worse, but he noticed his computer behaving oddly, and was able to work with Amazon and Apple to save at least some of his data.