It is important for all businesses that use a computer to be mindful and monitor the security of their network. This may seem complicated, especially if there is no dedicated IT department at your company. The great thing is that these tips will keep your network relatively safe from security breaches.
1. When you are logging on using a wireless connection, make sure that you are using your own network. In some cases, you are automatically logged on using a free connection, but you do not want to take advantage of this, especially if you are using a business computer. This means that someone may have the ability to access your system and gain access to unauthorized information.
2. Consider adding two-factor authentication to your network system. This is a process that requires an extra step when logging in instead of only asking for the password. For instance, you may be asked to enter a code that is sent to your mobile device. This means that it will take longer to log in, but at least you will know that your system is secure. This is certainly a trade-off that is worth the extra effort.
3. Change your passwords quarterly. There is something very wrong with using the same passwords for an extended period, especially if there has been a chance that the information could have been compromised at some point. You should change them to something that is rather complicated and place them in a safe place. It is likely you will need to write them down since overly complicated passwords are the most secure.
If you are unsure of how to create a good password, try using an online generator. This will help you come up with one that is a mixture of lowercase, uppercase, numbers and symbols. It is not likely anyone will be able to guess something like this and access your system.
4. Update your antivirus software regularly. You would be surprised at the number of people who believe that this is a process that should be done once and forgotten. There are countless numbers of viruses created every day and it is crucial that you are safe from all of them. Updating the software will help you stay secure from all of the latest threats. If possible, you should go into the settings and check the option that will update it automatically. This will ensure there aren’t any periods where you are not totally safe.
5. Check the header on emails to make sure that they are from a trusted source before you click any links or download any attachments. It is common for hackers to pretend to be others in order to trick you into allowing them access to your system. For instance, you may get an email that appears to be from PayPal and you are asked to choose a new password due to some kind of breach. If you look at the sender field and it is from anywhere but Paypal.com there is definitely an issue and you should delete the email right away.
6. Make all employees sign a written policy that informs them of what needs to be done in order to keep the network safe. If you notice that someone is typically doing everything that is against said policy, that should be a cause for concern. You cannot get upset with employees for placing the network in a vulnerable position if you have never been clear to them about what is expected. A written contract will make it clear what is expected of everyone, so there should not be any confusion.
7. Update all software that is no longer supported by the manufacturer. There are some programs that become so old that a decision has been made to no longer offer updates or any type of support. This means that anyone who continues to use it will have to handle everything on their own. A very popular example of this would be people who are still using systems that have Windows 7. It would be best for you to upgrade to Windows 10 since extended support will end in 2020. Also, having 24/7 security monitoring is a good idea.
8. Lock your computer every time you get up to do something, even if it is just for a moment. There are many people who work in offices where they feel reasonably safe and they leave things open while roaming the office floor. This is a mistake since it can allow someone else to gain access to your computer and wreak havoc on your system. Even if only a handful of other people work in your office, you should lock your screen whenever you have to get up.
9. When someone is terminated, make sure that their network ID is terminated as soon as possible. In fact, you should do this as soon as you realize they will no longer be working there. Unfortunately, some people seek to get revenge on former employers when they are terminated. You can eliminate the chances of this happening by cutting off their access. This should also include any cards they use to access the building since there is a chance they may gain access to the building and use another computer without authorization.
10. Do not install any programs on the system that have not been approved. There are some employees who have downloaded messenger programs, games and all kinds of things without asking and it ended up causing problems. Avoid this fate by only using programs that are authorized. If there is any doubt about whether you should add something or not, you should ask the boss.
Every day there are companies that experience cyber attacks. In some cases, it can ruin the reputation of the business and make things so bad that it has an effect on their profit margins. Instead of allowing this to happen at a company you own or one where you work, make sure that you keep all of this information in mind when using your work computer.