Given the ongoing storm of hacks into computer networks, what more can your team do to reduce the risk of a virus or hack? Even with a robust firewall and other safeguards, you need to avoid these pitfalls.
Using public Wi-Fi networks. Crowded places like airports raise the odds that your employees’ laptop, tablet or phone could be hijacked. Well-known brands, like AT&T or Starbucks, are easily spoofed to capture logins. Even legitimate public networks are easier to hack than private ones.
Consider adding a virtual private network (VPN), which encrypts data and creates your own wireless network over a public connection. VPN services typically require a monthly charge. Options include GoTrusted ($5.99 per month) and HotSpot Shield ($29.95 annually). HotSpot Shield offers a free version.
Filling out online forms. Don’t provide information until learning how it will be used. The same goes for logging onto third-party sites through social media. Find out what you’re agreeing to first.
Using the same password. Your organization and employees need unique passwords for every account, especially banking and email. You want ones that would be hard even for an algorithm to figure out. Having strong passwords ensures that even if someone accesses one of your accounts, they won’t get into all of them.
Enable two-step authentication on any service that supports it. With two-step or two-factor authentication, when you log in, you’ll get a text with a unique code to access your account. Even a hacker with your password won’t get in without that code. If your organization hosts private customer data, consider adding two-step authentication for access to their accounts.