As we enter the new year, it is a good time to reflect on areas where we can make improvements. When it comes to cybersecurity, there is always room for improvement, regardless of our level of experience – whether you are just starting out or have already mastered all the basic tips of cyber hygiene.
Our workplace is an integral part of our daily lives, and with the integration of technology, there are numerous potential pitfalls in terms of cybersecurity to consider. Have you ever come across tips on how to stay safe at work? It is not just being aware of phishing, there are other practices you can adopt:
1. Backup your files
Experiencing the loss of work files can be a truly nightmarish scenario, as it renders you unable to perform your job effectively. Backing up your data is crucial for safeguarding against unexpected emergencies, like damage to your device.
There are multiple ways to backup files, such as using a hard drive or the cloud. Ensuring the security of your data is one of the core foundations of cybersecurity. By keeping extra copies of your work files, you can seamlessly carry on with your tasks without any disruptions.
2. Encrypt your files
Keeping your work data secure is of utmost importance, ensuring that only authorized entities have access to your office’s information. Encrypting your data is crucial for achieving this scenario.
Encryption requires the input of a password in order to access the data. It is important to note that encryption alone is not sufficient to ensure security. A robust and strong password is also necessary to effectively protect your data. By incorporating a blend of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, we can effectively enhance the security of the password, making it significantly more challenging for hackers to guess.
3. Practice extra caution when using your personal devices for work
While having one device for both work and personal use is convenient, it raises cybersecurity concerns because hackers can now potentially have more sources of information should they ever gain access to your device.
To prevent this, if an employer gives you a device for work, use it just for that purpose. This lowers your exposure to the digital space, thus minimizing the possibility that an unknown entity might access your work data.
However, owning two devices might be cost-prohibitive for some people. If this is the case for you, keep in mind common cybersecurity tips such as using a VPN, avoiding public WiFi hotspots, and updating software.
4. Use secure messaging apps
Work data should only be shared with trusted colleagues. Any leak of information to unauthorized entities carries a variety of risks – including financial, reputational, or job security threats.
To further protect that data, use only trusted messaging apps that encrypt conversations. This is because the developers of these apps have built-in encrypting tools to ensure your and your colleagues’ privacy.
Making these apps a core part of your daily office life helps you feel more secure about your internet privacy.
5. Conduct regular cybersecurity training sessions
If you are a team leader in your office, cybersecurity is one area your team should be familiar with on a regular basis. An office that is safe in the online world is only possible if its employees understand basic cybersecurity measures.
At its core, training sessions should ensure that employees are aware of the best practices for implementing cybersecurity in the workplace. Employees should also be completely informed of cybersecurity software programs available to them and how to use them to their greatest potential.
6. Have a cybersecurity manual at hand
To complement regular training sessions, giving employees a cybersecurity manual can reinforce the skills learned during training. The manual should be readily available to everyone, and include all core lessons of cybersecurity — such as how to prevent becoming a victim of the various forms of cybercrime that exist around us.
7. Only share data with trusted colleagues
Ensuring the safety of your work data entails not just about preventing unauthorized access, but also sharing it only with people you trust. Any leak of work data presents not only cybersecurity threats, but also reputational and financial risks (e.g. allowing market competitors to take advantage of the leaked information).
Work data is only visible to your colleagues, therefore, ensure that you do not unintentionally email files to people outside of your work network. Secure messaging apps will also help you reach this goal because they include built-in privacy protections.
8. Regularly check and update the status of software platforms
Well-built software platforms are designed to ensure their customers’ data are safe in their hands. As such, it is important to check the status of these platforms being used in your office.
Over time, the quality of these platforms may deteriorate. For example, older software platforms may contain security gaps that allow cybercriminals to get access to your system. This is why it is important to download the latest version of software platforms, such as anti-virus programs, because developers primarily develop them to fix these vulnerabilities.