6 Tips For Educating Users on Proper Computer Security

6 Tips For Educating Users on Proper Computer Security

Data breaches in 2018 cost companies an average of $3.86 million for each event.

Even the smallest of breaches will cost your business time, reputation, and customer confidence. Can you afford the risks?

Boosting computer security and preventing data breaches starts with improving user awareness. It's not your IT department's sole responsibility to be accountable for data breaches, either.

Computer Security: It's Everyone's Responsibility

Your IT department already knows how to follow cyber security protocols. Your hardest job is to convince other, non-technical, staff that they need to protect data, too.

Teaching all employees how to improve computer safety doesn't take long and could save you potentially millions of dollars by preventing leaks, hacks, and breaches.

6 Ways to Boost Cyber Security Awareness

Make sure your employees boost computer safety by teaching them some easy habits to follow every day. Remember: every single employee needs to get involved if your cyber security awareness training is going to work well.

1. Insist On Good Password Management

Good password management - including using different passwords for each website, financial login, or other software - is the first step to hacker prevention.

Your technical team can install requirements for each user to regularly update their passwords. They won't be able to use old passwords over and over again, either.

2. Create a Lock-Screen Culture

Encourage users to lock their phone or computer screen every time they walk away from the device.

A locked screen helps improve internal security and protects sensitive data. It should be a habit everyone uses for their work and personal devices as it's a first-line defense against data breaches.

Put up notices, send reminders, and name and shame repeat offenders. Celebrate those who follow the rule, too. And do not allow employees to write passwords on a sticky note attached to their screen!

3. Remind Users About Automatic Updates

Automatic updates can interrupt a day's work, so some people like to switch them off.

Don't allow this! These updates are essential security patches to fix known issues that leave your devices vulnerable to cyber attacks. Make sure automatic updates are enabled - and accepted - by every user to protect your network and data.

4. Don't Allow Unknown Devices

Something as simple as plugging in a smartphone via USB to charge it could bring your entire network down. If the smartphone is a user-owned device, without high-security protocols installed, it could be infected with malware.

Set all computers to not allow unknown devices. This will frustrate staff, perhaps, but also protects your internal network, storage, and data. All devices, such as USB memory sticks, can be scanned and approved for use. This helps protect your data and reduce the risk of a breach.

5. Never Allow Business Devices On Public WiFi Networks

Don't allow your business smartphones or laptops to connect to open public WiFi networks. This is a huge cyber security risk. Unsecured networks mean anyone with a little technical knowledge could access any device on the network.

This leaves your files and sensitive data - including business financial data - easy picking for cyber criminals. If devices must be taken out of the office, provide ways to access the Internet securely, such as secure WiFi dongles that create a private network for the user wherever they are.

6. Don't Click If It's Not Legit

Train staff to recognize suspicious emails and to always hover over a link to check the URL before they click.

Any red flag, such as a suspicious 'From' email address or unusual spelling mistakes, should stop them from clicking anything in the email. Create a culture of flagging: make sure staff flag suspicious emails or websites to your technical team to check.

Do You Know the Dark Web Risks You Face?

Adding computer security training as standard to all employee induction and continuous development programs is a great first line of defense. However, do you know about the potential risks your business faces from the outside?

The Dark Web is how nefarious characters get around your cyber security. The good news is that we can help. Ask us for a free Dark Web scan of your network to find out what unknown risks lurk in the shadows.