No matter how many times you tell your employees or users on a computer network to be careful, problems happen. Your computer network could have the most elaborate and expensive security tools in place, but if someone is careless or isn’t paying attention, a hacker can enter your system and steal all types of sensitive data. This could end up being dangerous, and costly, to you.
Each and every time someone uses the Internet, your system is vulnerable. It could be malware, botnets, ransomware or other types of advanced threats that can breach even the most well-protected system. The key is to continuously educate your users – about what can and can’t be done when they’re working on one of your computers. Cybersecurity is paramount to protecting your company or organization, and while that should include advanced tools and software, education is still an integral part of your protection.
Tips for Users
- It can happen to you, despite what you might think. Everyone is vulnerable – no matter how big or small your organization or company is. If you think “it can’t happen to me,” think again!
- Passwords are a prime entry point for hackers, so they need to be protected. Don’t have more than one person use a specific password and try to change them on a frequent basis. Experts think a good password has 10 or more characters and numbers, but that can be difficult to create and remember. To help, there are a variety of password software management programs available, including 1Password. Bitwarden and Dashlane.
- Before anyone answers an unsolicited email or phone request to communicate, have them check to see who is really contacting them using Nuwber, an online tool that will reveal the true identity of a person by entering their name, phone number, email address or other information. If they’re not who they claim to be, delete the email and ignore the phone request!
- Never open an attachment from a source you don’t know. Double-check who is sending the attachment by checking the URL of the sender. The moment that attachment is opened, the malware or ransomware can be released, and your entire network will be infected.
- Never let anyone do sensitive browsing online on a device that doesn’t belong to the user. That includes banking, shopping and other transactions that involve personal or financial information like credit card numbers and passwords! Many computers and tablets have the software installed to capture keystrokes, which means that someone can easily steal a password or credit card PIN number.
- Don’t use social media or check on texts on a company or organizational computer network. This is how hackers and cybercriminals get sensitive information about the user, and it should be done only on their personal device away from work.
- Always have antivirus software installed on the computers, and be sure it’s up-to-date. Top names include McAfee AntiVirus Plus, Norton AntiVirus Plus and Kaspersky Anti-Virus software.
- Never leave a computer or other device unattended. The moment you do, someone who has been watching you will nab the computer or device and breach your network. If you’re using a portable device on an unsecured network, always use a VPN (a virtual private network) to connect securely! Some top VPN software includes ExpressVPN, Surfshark and IPVanish, among others.
- Always keep your system software updated. The updates usually have security updates and fixes that have been discovered since the system was first launched.
- Use two-factor authentication for all online activity. This will help to eliminate breaches if a password is hacked or stolen.
The more proactive you are educating your users, the safer your network will be!