Cybersecurity may seem like a world dedicated to IT professionals, but achieving effective cybersecurity in the workplace requires the help of everyone. This includes you, the employee. An IT team and its antivirus software can’t do it all, and they need your help. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. With some simple training and awareness of cybersecurity safeguards in and out of the office, you can protect valuable data and prevent opening new doors to cyberattacks for the company and for yourself.
There is no understating the importance of cybersecurity strategies in today’s business world or your role in it. With this in mind, here are some easy tips to you can follow.
Awareness of Cybersecurity in the Workplace
The primary importance for employees and owners in today’s business world is growth, but key to any company’s value is its ability to protect data. When data is lost, it jeopardizes the hard work put into job goals while hampering business performance and causing undue financial strain for repairs. It also leads to the loss of valuable clients if their data is compromised.
Emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity with employees should be part of any onboarding process and company culture. Teaching employees about cybersecurity should include training on cybersecurity and annual refreshers so employees maintain awareness of new procedures and clearly understand the importance of cybersecurity to their success.
A logical and straightforward password may be easy to remember, but it can also be easy for hackers to guess. If a password is used for multiple accounts inside and outside the workplace, things can get ugly. Today’s hacking world involves bots that collect and track passwords and immediately test them on other sites you and other employees use.
Your password should be chosen with cybersecurity on your mind. Place importance on using unique passwords for every login and institute password changes every three months to make them harder to track. A good tip is to use a minimum of 12 characters consisting of numbers, symbols, and a blend of capital and lowercase letters.
All this may leave you wondering how in the world you will keep track all your passwords. Here’s how you do it.
Tricks for Password Storage for Added Cybersecurity in the Workplace
Here are two tips for storing passwords:
- Keep them in written form and stored in a secret file at your workplace. It should be hard to recognize and labeled with cybersecurity on your mind. (Don’t label the file “Passwords.”)
- Store them on a password site/app that adopts advanced cybersecurity measures, such as Be sure to check with your IT representative for any suggested companies, permissions, and additional tips.
In the internet world, the increased importance of cybersecurity has led to two-factor authorization. This is done by clicking images of street lights or stop signs to verify your identity, or answering security questions or using one-time passcodes sent to you via text. These measures are excellent for preventing fraud.
In some cases, you may need to institute two-factor authorization. To find out if a specific site offers it, click here (https://twofactorauth.org/) to input the name of the business.
Unique Answers to Security Questions
Cybersecurity can also be fun. You can add unique answers to security questions, even ridiculous ones a hacker would never guess. Was your favorite pet growing up your sister? Then put it in. But remember always to keep each answer unique for each account.
Keep Passwords Private for Added Cybersecurity in the Workplace
If you relay passwords to staff or coworkers at your workplace, it can create a world of trouble. Keep in mind not every employee has the same awareness or drive toward cybersecurity procedures as you, which leaves them susceptible to the hacking world. Place importance in sharing passwords to only people you trust, and institute new passwords every three months so you always know who has access.
Avoid Unfamiliar Emails or Message
Hackers often create emails that appear as legitimate businesses. If you click on a prompt button on an email, even an “unsubscribe” link, you can give them access to your computer. The same happens with pop-up messages and text messages.
When unfamiliar emails pop up, the importance of cybersecurity isn’t always top of mind. But as a general guide, don’t open emails from people or companies you don’t know. Keep cybersecurity on your mind at all times.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an effective way to maintain cybersecurity in the workplace as well as outside the office. It helps hide your IP address to keep online activity virtually untraceable. Businesses often adopt VPNs for personal servers, but employees will need to keep them safe and secure because they can be easily lost.
Many workplace cybersecurity measures are done on the cloud or a Local Area Network (LAN), but not all. If you work outside of the office, you may need to do them yourself. This may seem annoying at the time, but the importance of cybersecurity should be a priority.
The Importance of Cybersecurity with External Drives and Memory Sticks
If you or your business places importance on other cybersecurity measures to protect data such as external drives or memory sticks, there is a risk of misplacing data. If possible, store them in a locked safe and don’t leave them accessible in locations outside the office or your home.
Keep Devices Secure Physically
Today’s world of portable devices makes completing work tasks easier than ever, but this highlights the importance of cybersecurity on all your devices. You should maintain passcodes on all your devices and keep them within reach, even at work. Thieves often infiltrate offices and steel handheld devices.
It doesn’t stop at Online Threats
If you are an employee who is prone to having a dirty workspace, you are most likely leaving important information lying around. Data theft at work is real, so it’s best to maintain a clean workspace with cybersecurity on your mind.
If You are Hacked: Tips on Cybersecurity in the Workplace
If you are hacked, the first step is to let your IT department know. Many times, your IT representative will know the hack and how to protect you and other employees. If needed, you can also report the hack to the police at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx. Doing this helps them stay up on the latest hacks and their strategies.