Safe Internet Habits and Tips

The threat landscape for any company on the internet, big or small, has increased at a phenomenal rate over the last few years. Employees are at the heart of the day-to-day operations of a business, and they are most often the target for attackers trying to gain access to company systems and data. With this in mind, here are the top safe internet habits and security tips employees can use to help keep your organization safe.

1. Be Knowledgeable about Your Role in Cybersecurity

While your IT department will do everything they can to protect your systems, you must follow all proper processes and procedures to ensure you are practicing the safe use of devices when at work. It is up to you to make sure you are:

  • Informed on the most recent cybersecurity measures in effect at your company
  • How to protect against system breaches and data theft
  • How to advocate for cyber safety in the workplace
  • Inform IT and/or management when there is a cybersecurity concern

2. Do Your Part to Keep Your Devices Up to Date

Your IT department is constantly pushing out system and software updates that will help protect your devices, the data they contain, and the systems they are connected to. It is critical that you apply any updates or patches for antivirus, antispyware, and antispam software they provide as quickly as possible and ensure your firewall is always activated.

3. Avoid Using Software or Systems that Aren’t Approved by IT

Known as shadow IT, software and systems (such as applications and Software-as-a-Service) not approved by your IT department can pose a significant threat to your company. Using shadow IT to perform your job can leave your organization vulnerable because they have not been given the proper security.

4. Verify Email Senders Before Clicking Links or Providing Sensitive Information

When you receive an email that contains a link, it is vital that you verify the identity of the sender before clicking on that link. Phishing emails can appear to have come from a trusted source, fooling you into believing you can trust the links in the email. A quick phone call or text message to the sender can confirm whether or not it came from them.

It is also important to watch for social engineering emails, where an attacker poses as a trusted source, such as a contractor, to get you to provide sensitive information and access credentials. Again, verify the sender before providing the information requested and watch out for anything that looks suspicious in an email, such as spelling mistakes.

5. Use Strong Passwords

Follow the password protocols set up by your IT department and know how to create a strong password. It should be at least eight characters long and include lower-case and upper-case letters, numbers, and special characters.

6. Always Use Secure Wi-Fi

If you are working outside your workplace, it is critical that you only use secured internet. Public Wi-Fi will leave you vulnerable to attack. If you must use public Wi-Fi, use the safest option available, even if you must pay for it. This might be a personal hotspot or data encryption and password protection.

7. Protect Your Devices

Make sure the data on your device or workstation is encrypted and never leave it unattended unless it is locked. This applies whether you are at your workplace or working at another location. Only your unique, ideally multifactor authentication will allow access to your device, keeping it safe from unauthorized users.

8. Avoid Unsafe Websites

Anytime you need to visit a website, make sure it’s secure. The web address should begin with https (not http) and should have a symbol of a closed padlock next to it. Never provide sensitive information on a website that does not appear secure. In addition, never share sensitive information on social media.

Following these tips will help you do your part in protecting your company from the threat that attackers pose. Contact Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can help ensure your organization is secure.

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