Cyber security in the workplace depends heavily on all employees.
How many times have you watched a co-worker fall victim to clickbait, fake emails, bad website links? How many times have you or a co-worker said: “I’m not running these Windows updates”? How many times have you used the same password?
If you said anything other than “never” to any of these questions, your bad practices are risking a catastrophic network breach that could drain you and your company dry. Before it’s too late and you have to make another call to your IT guy, let’s go over a few things to help boost your company’s cyber security.
P.S. – Our links are safe to click on 😉
Cyber Security in the Workplace: Avoid These 5 Failures
1. Unsecured Connections
Not having a secure connection could result in data theft or security vulnerability. As we grow in the era of technology, we are becoming more efficient. I don’t know about you, but what’s more efficient than working from home? (Submit answers to firstname.lastname@example.org). If you’re going to work from home, you need to be safe.
But how do you protect yourself in a dangerous digital realm infested with sophisticated cybercriminals? By setting up a VPN. A VPN connection gives you a secure tunnel from your home network to your work network.
(Disclaimer: You need to be safe no matter where you access the internet.)
2. ‘I Saw Nothing’
We live in a time where not getting involved seems easier than speaking out against something that isn’t right. When it comes to your cyber security, asking questions and telling someone you don’t think what their doing is safe could have huge benefits. If you or a co-worker fall victim to a bad link or email and end up on the infected site, don’t just exit out and think you’ll be okay. Having early knowledge of an incident can save you and your co-workers a deal of stress later on.
3. Update and Restart … Nah
There are two kinds of people, those who keep up-to-date and those who don’t update at all. I know we are busy people and don’t have time to sit and wait for updates. However, the downtime from an update could be far less than the downtime from a slow, infected, outdated machine. So next time you get that “annoying pop-up” in the bottom right of your screen asking you to update, please don’t ignore it. Besides, Microsoft will push out the update sooner or later anyway, so why not do it when you’re ready?
4. Phishing Attacks 🎣
If you aren’t sure what phishing means, then I just have to introduce you to a rich Nigerian prince with frozen assets. He needs your help, apparently, and is willing to pay you $15 million US.
I’m kidding! Don’t ever fall for that! Needless to say, if you think you are the recipient of an infected email, contact your IT department and they can handle it from there.
Creating a password is supposed to be difficult. That’s the point. Have you ever tried to create a password and it got denied because it was either not long or strong enough, or because it was one of your previous 10 passwords? You’re not alone, but you need to take your passwords seriously. Sharing a password via email is never a good idea. If you need to share a password with someone, have a person-to-person meeting or even a phone call.
Be Diligent with Cyber Security in the Workplace – Your Data is in Danger
When it comes to cyber security in the workplace, there’s strength in numbers. Technology is growing and attackers are getting better and better. The war on cyber security is one we will never win, nor will it ever end. As long as the internet exists and continues to grow, so will the attacks. Although they will never stop, you can do your part in ensuring their life is more stressful than yours.
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(Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2018 and was recently updated.)