In my last blog, “Beware the human threat vector in cybersecurity,” we took a look at how the human element remains one of the biggest threats to organizations staying cyber secure, as employees are constantly inundated with low-tech attacks like phishing. So what can we, as employees, do to fight back? Below are some valuable tips to ensure you don’t fall victim to common attacks, both at the office and at home:
- Be Wary of Suspicious Emails: If you suspect an email looks ‘phishy,’ forward it to your IT department and let them decide. When in doubt, don’t click the link, open any attachments or forward any company confidential information!
- Update your Software: There’s a reason companies patch their software – it’s for better user experience and better security. So stop ignoring those pesky reminders and update your software! This holds true for your smartphone or tablet too, especially if it’s a work-issued device.
- Avoid Unsecure Wi-Fi: As much as you might be tempted to do so, try to avoid connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks when using a work or personal device. If you’re unsure, talk with your IT department about ways to stay secure if you need to connect while on-the-go.
- Keep Your Clouds Separate: Don’t transfer work files to or from a personal cloud-based sharing tool like Google Drive, Box or Dropbox.
- Improve your Passwords: Change your password often and make sure it’s strong. SplashData’s most recent survey found that ‘123456’ and ‘password’ remained the top two most common passwords. Don’t be part of this statistic! If you need to, use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to manage your passwords for you.
- Keep track of your Devices: Employees today have multiple devices that all contain valuable personal or company information including your laptop, smartphone/tablet, USB drives and other hardware. All it takes is one company laptop left in a cab or an Uber to wreak havoc on your business.
- Avoid Unknown Devices: Don’t connect unknown devices to your computer, like external hard drives or USB flash drives, unless they come from a trusted source.
Practicing good cybersecurity hygiene might seem like a daunting task, but if you follow these tips, you’ll set yourself up for success against potential threats.
RH Strategic is the PR firm for a hyper-connected world, delivering integrated traditional, digital & social media strategies for technology, healthcare, and public sector markets.