IT Security Tips are a great way to keep employees informed about how to safe on their devices. It is important to keep employees informed on what to avoid so they don’t fall victim to a cyber attack. Share these IT Security Tips below with your staff and take a peek at them for yourself too. They are helpful and good to know for a business owner and your team members.
IT Security Tip #1: Start with a fresh session or browser window
You’d like to access the company website or a site for one of your vendors from work. When you click on your favorite browser, it opens to your homepage: msn.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, espn.com… You get the point. You then select the bookmark for the desired website and go. BIG problem! Most websites these days have tracking cookies, microdots and other advertising and data-collection bots that sit on them. These little spies are now following you across your browser session. Be careful with your information. Web portal sites as listed above are filled with ads, and the site’s overhead is paid for with information they get from you.
- Consider changing your homepage to something like https://startpage.com/. They don’t spy.
- Always open a new browser tab when navigating to a new website. Close the last one to keep things tidy after the new one loads.
- Consider using add-ons in your browser to cut down on ads and spies. Not sure how? Ask us.
IT Security Tip #2: Don’t send your private information to anyone!
We’re seeing a new variant of an old scam. Here’s what happens: a secretary gets an e-mail from her boss – who is traveling – to please send him, as soon as possible, scanned copies of all the W2s the company issued at the end of January. The message appears to come from her manager, including having what looks like his actual e-mail address when she looks at in Outlook. She gets suspicious – she has just talked to her boss on the phone that morning, and he never mentioned needing that information. Before she collects the W2 PDFs that are on the HR drive, she decides to text her boss and check on it. Great catch! The boss never requested that information. Had she not been proactive and instead just completed the task assigned to her, she would have given a scammer all of the confidential information that is on a federal W2 form for every employee in her firm! The scammer likely would have used the information to commit identity theft and/or file false returns next year to claim the refund.
Always be vigilant and proactive – it’s better to be suspicious and double-check everything when dealing with confidential information. Try to provide that detail in an encrypted e-mail, or at minimum with a password on the files (and don’t include the password in the body of the e-mail!). The few extra minutes it takes could save months of heartache for everyone.
IT Security Tip #3: Don’t download ANYTHING you’re not authorized to download
So you have a big file you need to get over to your printer YESTERDAY and you can’t get it to “send” via e-mail because the file is too big. What should you do? The right thing to do is contact your IT department (us!) so we can assist by installing a secure, commercial-grade file-sharing application. What you shouldn’t do is download a free copy of Dropbox or some other file-sharing software without telling us. Dropbox and other free apps come with a price: SECURITY. These applications are known for security vulnerabilities and hacks. Plus, if we don’t know about it, we can’t manage it or secure it; so the golden rule is this: NEVER download any software or application without checking with your IT department first!
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