5 Cybersecurity Tips Every Employee Needs to Know

Employees and end users are the greatest threats to cybersecurity. Here's how you can lower your risk.


As sophisticated as cybersecurity software is, small business owners will always be one click away from triggering disruptions like viruses or ransomware. The risk will never disappear completely as long as people are using computers. People aren’t perfect and everyone makes mistakes. With these tips, your employees will help mitigate cyber threats to your company.

1. Use Pass Phrases Instead of Passwords

To create strong passwords you can remember, think of four-word pass phrases. The classic example is “correct battery staple horse”. A password like “correctbatterystaplehorse” is harder for a computer to hack that a shorter single-word password with complex numbers, symbols, and caps.

HOWEVER, the most secure passwords are ones that no one else has used. When data breaches leak password information, common ones like “p@ssword123” are tagged to use for statistical attacks. Hackers try frequently used passwords first to attempt a breach. Find out if the passwords you use have been confirmed in a leak.


2. 2-factor Authentication

If a service has ever required you to submit a verification code from a text message, you’ve used 2-factor authentication. 2-factor authentication is a method of confirming your identity by submitting a temporary code usually sent to your smartphone.

We recommend that you enable 2-factor authentication in every service you’re able to. It may seem like an inconvenience, but it is much less of a hassle than being hacked. Sometimes you’re able to add your device to a trusted list so a verification code isn’t required for each sign in. Here is a tutorial on how to enable 2-step Verification on Google or Gmail.


3. Password Protect Devices

If any device is lost, stolen, or even left unattended, a hacker can access information stored on it to disrupt your operations or steal proprietary information to sell online.

Prevent this from happening by enabling PIN sign-in options on your laptop, tablet, and mobile device. 

Find the PIN options in your device’s settings under “sign in options” or “passcode”. When setting your PIN, use at least 8 non-repeating numbers, and don’t use publicly available information like your birthday or wedding anniversary.


4. Spotting Phishing And Social Engineering Attempts

.Phishing and social engineering are methods of tricking workers into revealing login information. It can be through emails or phone calls. Train your employees to be skeptical about every request for usernames, verification codes, passwords, and account numbers. Develop verification procedures to ensure you’re not giving information to a hacker.

To see how phishing emails are designed to circumvent spam filters and trick recipients, watch this video breakdown.


5. Antivirus Scanning

Antivirus software can stop an attack before it causes a major infection. To make sure you have antivirus running on your PC, search Windows Security in the Start menu. Click “Virus & threat protection” to verify you have antivirus software running. From there, you can run a scan to see if any harmful files are stored on your computer.

If you need assistance with IT training in cybersecurity, productivity software, or general computer use, contact us to schedule a consultation.



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