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4 things to teach your employees about data security

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in Office Technology,Web Tools

Today, businesses rely almost entirely on data storage and exchange to conduct their operations. While the use of this technology has allowed for increased efficiency and profit, the risks associated with potential data disasters are enough to end a company’s operations entirely.

How can your business guard against data threats best? Despite the doom and gloom clouding the topic, data security is manageable even internally. Informing your staff of safety measures and protocol is imperative to your network security. While software and monitoring can protect your business from external threats, all it takes is one wrong click on a virus-infected email and one employee can endanger your entire business infrastructure. Education regarding safe internet navigation, effective passwords and secure handling of mobile devices can prevent an accidental compromise due to carelessness or uninformed employees.

Here are four things to teach your employees today about data security:

“You shall not pass!” How to create and manage secure passwords.
  • Create password-structured guidelines. By combining lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and symbols, passwords become more complex and secure.
  • Make passwords something no one else can guess, yet specific to you and easy for you to remember.
  • Never store your passwords where they’re easily located, such as on your computer’s desktop or on a piece of paper on your desk or monitor.
  • Never use the same passwords across the board. If someone were to get one password, they’d have access to everything.
  • Change your password often, but not often enough that you will not remember. Every six months is the recommended timeline for changing your passwords.
  • Don’t share your passwords over email or other online platforms; only share over the phone or in person.
Don’t get caught: How to avoid phishing scams.
  • Educate your employees on the different kinds of phishing scams and how to identify them.
  • Provide guidelines on how to recognize a suspicious email, even from those that look like they’re coming from the company.
Patch the holes: Continuously apply updates and patches.
  • Update anti-malware programs.
  • Update Web browsers.
  • Complete malware scans on a weekly basis.
  • Scan all portable media for malware or viruses.
Prepare for lockdown: Lock all devices.
  • Instruct employees to lock all devices when they leave their desks.
  • All employees should have a lock/password code on all of their mobile devices and should report immediately if devices are lost or stolen.

Bryan Gregory is Senior Vice President and General Manager at Aldridge, a technology management, consulting and outsourcing company.  

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