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Eliminate Your Largest Security Threat By Training Your Employees

December 28, 2020

Eliminate Your Largest Security Threat By Training Your Employees

When it comes to cybersecurity, employee training is a step that many employers neglect or undervalue. Too many companies think that installing a suite of antivirus and anti-malware software is enough to protect them from malicious attackers, but in the world of phishing scams and social engineering attacks that just isn’t enough. Uneducated and untrained employees can be the largest security loophole in your business. 

Layer Your Security Strategies 

When it comes to cybersecurity, employee training is a step that many employers neglect or undervalue. Too many companies think that installing a suite of antivirus and anti-malware software is enough to protect them from malicious attackers, but in the world of phishing scams and social engineering attacks that just isn’t enough. Uneducated and untrained employees can be the largest security loophole in your business. 

Cybersecurity tips to share with your employees:  

1. Be careful where you click. 

Fake or malicious websites and apps (or legitimate ones that have been hacked by criminals) can jeopardize your device and its data. These sites can install malicious software onto your device if you visit them or perhaps click on the sites’ links. Malicious apps can also steal your information. They often look legitimate, offer something too good to be true, or contain some “forbidden” content such as sexually explicit material, gambling, or free movies or music. Rogue apps can look like and have similar names as legitimate ones they imitate. Then there’s “clickjacking” – bogus links on social media pages that have been hacked. They appear to link to something tantalizing but instead redirect you to a site that contains spam advertising, plants malware on your device, or posts terrible links on your profile. 

2. Don't get caught by phishers.

Phishing is when you get an email or a social media message that looks like it’s coming from a legitimate place such as a bank or a social networking site. If you click on a link in the message, you’re taken to a website that looks legitimate but could be run by criminals trying to trick you into signing in with your username and password so they can capture that information. Your best bet is not to click on the link but instead type the Web address (such as mybank.com) into your browser window and go the site that way. 

3. Be smart about passwords. 

Having strong passwords and changing them periodically is fundamental to your and everybody’s security. Don’t use the same password on all sites. If you need help remembering lots of passwords changed often, you can use password management software to remember and enter your passwords for you.  

4. Keep software & apps up to date. 

Regardless of whether you’re using a computer or a mobile device, it’s essential to keep your mobile and PC operating systems and your apps and software current. It’s not uncommon for companies to discover security flaws and vulnerabilities that they fix with updates. This is especially important for operating systems and web browsers that can be more vulnerable to attack if not up to date (check to see if they update automatically). And if you update an app or program, recheck the privacy settings to ensure they haven’t gone back to the default settings. 

5. Watch out for scams. 

Big news stories about famous people or natural disasters and other significant events raise curiosity and web traffic, which brings out scam artists. When disasters happen, good-hearted people young and old can be vulnerable to fake appeals for aid. If you get a charity appeal, type the cause or organization into a search box, and you’ll often find an official site along with numerous others that seem to be related. The official sites usually turn up at the top of search results. They’re fine, as are sites from legitimate news organizations covering the event, but approach other websites with caution, and do a little Web research about disaster relief and other charities. 

6. Be careful before downloading. 

Be very careful when installing apps and if you’re asked to download a plug-in, document, or application, such as to watch a video. Sometimes these downloads contain malicious code. Most videos don’t require software that’s not already on your device. If you think you need a plug-in or an app, do a little research to make sure it’s legitimate. 

7. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. 

Be wary of attractive offers such as the chance to watch or download a movie for free, free music from untrusted sources, or free “keys” to unlock codes for software that usually isn’t free. While some artists do offer free tracks on their official sites and movie company’s’ free trailers, be suspicious of free offers, especially if they’re not on the official website of the content owner. There is a lot of free shareware or open-source software but download it from a known reputable site such as Download.com or SoundForge.com that scans for malicious programs. 

8. Use secure Wi-Fi. 

Be sure that your home network uses encryption and a password to prevent others from accessing it and be careful when using Wi-Fi at coffee shops, airports, and other public places. Only sign into known networks (like those operated by the establishment) and, because public networks are often less secure than private ones, avoid banking or shopping or doing anything highly confidential when using public Wi-Fi. 

We hope these tips help educate and safeguard your employees, but it is only the first of many steps towards a more complete approach to cybersecurity. The most efficient way for a business to implement a robust and reliable cybersecurity initiative is to talk with an IT professional. Our job is to help you analyze your risks, identify what information might be targeted, and educate your team on safety. We can help you find the best solutions to secure your information.

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