A significant number of employers make the mistake of thinking that only the IT department personnel or security officers are in charge of information security. Any one person from any one department can open the door of opportunity for hackers to gain control of sensitive data or personal information. This is why it is essential that every employee is aware of the company security and policies in place and uses them to there fullest
When in any workplace, IT Security is paramount to everyday life, in and out the office. Hackers are always on the alert to sneak into a machine/s and find out information about you, your company, your personal life, your bank details, anything that will help them, we are all targets. You must be alert and prevent the bad guys from hacking into your machine.
Here are a few basic tips everyone should follow on a daily basis:
- Only open emails if you know who they are from, same goes for attachments. If you are unsure, verify the user by calling them and asking. If you are still uncertain, contact your IT department, does the email look legit? Stop, think, take action if you need to.
- When you go away from your PC at home or work, lock it and then move away from the PC
- Do not leave your laptop overnight in your car.
- Do not give your passwords out to anyone, even IT.
- Make sure your computer is up to date with the latest updates and anti-virus is current, too.
- Have a strong password and change it regularly, have symbols and numbers in your password, for example – Orange786%$
- If you use a lot of systems, do not use the same password for all of them.
The above are just basic tips everyone should follow in the workplace on a daily basis. If you are unsure about anything, you should contact your IT department immediately and prevent another hack happening to you and your company’s assets.
Share company files only with authorized personnel, if someone outside your company asks for them and you are uncertain, follow it up with your manager, if he/she is not getting back to you, contact the IT department.
If you have any notes on your desk that could be sensitive or have confidential information on them, lock them in your drawer.
Do not install unauthorized software on your machine, if you need something installing for the nature of your job, contact your IT department and they will assist.
With a robust security program in place, your company can protect its most sensitive data by ensuring cyber criminals cannot break through the company’s firewall.
Ransomware is also very difficult to protect against. It relies on the user opening an infected link or document to begin its attack. There are, however, ways to reduce the chances of an attack starting. Education is the first line of defense recommended. Do you recognize the email, does it match the senders usual writing style, is the topic of conversation the kind you would normally have with this person and does the link look legitimate? Email is the common distribution method used by criminals!
Every company should provide security awareness training, those are compulsory and very informational. Companies should also test users by sending bogus emails and checking if users actually open them or to see what action they take.
Trust NO one on the Internet, any one person can send you a phishing links and that is all it takes.
Control your social media, you are in charge of it, do not publish company or personal information that can get into the wrong hands and everyone can see. Social media platforms are becoming a massive target for cyber criminals.
If you are on the phone and you are discussing company sensitive data to your manager for example, do it in a private room, do not talk about it in front of the whole office, walk to a meeting room and have the conversation in there.
If you lose your company mobile or laptop or if these get stolen, inform your local IT department immediately, do not wait till the weekend is over, call them even if it happens at the weekend.
Hackers are everywhere, looking to pounce, stay alert, be aware, watch out, don’t let them get into your space and take over!