Five Tips to Give Employees to Prevent Cybercrime at Work

Setting up anti-virus programs at your business isn’t enough to prevent malware infestations or hacking attacks, if human error is a factor. Educate your employees on preventative usage of business equipment and the business network, and you decrease the chances of human error leading to an IT headache. Increase your business’ likelihood of preventing cybercrime with these five tips.

1. Separate Business Use from Personal Use

If your employees work on devices and computers provided by the business, this simple edict will help decrease the risk of malware and hacking: Don’t visit websites or check email for personal use while at work. If employees stick to working on the network and trusted business-approved sites, they’re less likely to pick up spyware or viruses. IT can check website history if necessary to prevent this.

However, if your business implements a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, this can get trickier, since you’re allowing employees to work on their own personal devices, which they can and do use to visit websites of their choice when not working.

2. Be Smart with BYOD

If you do allow employees to access the work server with their own devices, provide these tips to decrease the risk of security breach:

  • Do not download freeware programs or applications, unless you trust the source.
  • Do not download any illegal programs, applications or videos. Not only could these come with malware, but they could potentially implicate the company.
  • Do not open email attachments unless you trust the source, and be careful when you trust the source; there is always the chance that their account has been hacked.
  • Always log off of business servers immediately after you are finished working and before you move on to personal device use.
  • Do not download confidential business data to a personal device unless absolutely necessary, opting to work on it within the cloud whenever possible. If necessary, delete it immediately after use; don’t let it sit on your device.
  • Do not share your device with others. This includes family members, as they may not be familiar with policies to prevent cyber-attacks.

3. Protect Your Company Passwords and Devices

Your employees need passwords to access company servers and projects, and they might even need their mobile device to be authorized by IT, so it seems unlikely a stranger will be able to access the company data. However, this is not always the case. These tips can help prevent data loss as a result of lost passwords or devices:

  • Don’t write your password down anywhere if possible. If you must to remember it, keep it locked in a drawer at the office. Don’t leave it lying around in public. Remember, even another employee could still your password and log on as you, trying to make you culpable for what they do.
  • Always log off the company server whenever you get up, even if just for a moment.
  • Password-lock your devices and computer, for an additional layer of security. Log off whenever you leave your computer or device unattended.
  • Report a stolen or lost device to the company immediately. IT may be able to remotely destroy sensitive data, and it will need to lock out the previously authorized device.

4. Don’t Fall for Phishing

Most computer users know by now not to open email attachments, if they don’t trust the source. A problem may occur when users think they do trust the source and the source is asking them to visit a website and provide sensitive information. For example, an email masquerading as the business’ cloud network service may ask you to click on a link and provide your ID and password. Reputable businesses never ask users to provide passwords via email. Tell employees that if they suspect an email to report it to IT immediately without clicking on the link.

5. Change Passwords

Keep hackers on their toes. Employees should change the passwords they use to access their devices, computers and business network accounts on a regular basis, at least once a month. The more random the string of letters and numbers, the stronger the password will be. Using passwords, such as the names of children or the dates of birthdays, might prove too easy for a hacker to guess.

Author Bio: Jake Kral is a contributing blogger, IT specialist and all-around tech geek. He has seen the many devastating effects of cybercrime in the work place and believes prevention is the best way to combat this potential nightmare.  He always uses Trend Micro for his security needs.

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