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Cybersecurity in the workplace is everyone’s business and everyone’s responsibility. Just by clicking on a link or opening a seemingly innocent attachment, you can infect your organization’s computer system with a virus that can spread like wildfire or allow a threat to gain access to your files and intellectual property. Below are recommendations to avoid cybersecurity breaches.

Protect Your Devices and Files

Whether at work, professional development sessions, or conferences, keep your technology close to you at all times to avoid both theft and hacking. We’ve all set our smart phones down and forgotten them for minutes or hours. In my case, my nieces left several funny pictures on my camera roll for me to find later. The consequences could be much more serious, though. The devices can be stolen, files can be removed, contacts can be copied, or viruses can be introduced to wreak havoc.

Add and Alter Passwords

Take advantage of adding password protection to all of your devices and accounts and then alter them on a regular basis. A device with a special character password, two factor authentication, or biometric protection will be of no use to a thief or hacker if he can’t use the device. Additionally, be careful to not use the same password for multiple accounts or program your accounts to remember your passwords. As someone who has to request a new password for her student loans account every single month, I know all the passwords are difficult to remember, but losing work, money, and time is a lot harder.

Use USB Drives Cautiously

USB drives are both convenient and dangerous. They have a large storage capacity and they are easy to transport. This means a lot of data, potentially sensitive, can be lost in a moment if you misplace an unprotected, unencrypted drive. Furthermore, so many of these devices look alike that it’s easy to pick one up thinking it’s yours only to discover that you have just introduced a foreign device to your work or personal computer. In an instant, your network can be completely compromised. For USB safety tips, explore our USB drives blog here.

Search and Control Your Social Media

Someone wants to be your friend on Facebook or follow you Twitter, but who is this person? Before you click confirm, check out this new friend or follower. Additionally, use the security controls that come with your social media accounts to control access to your personal information, photos, and whereabouts. The more access and information a hacker has about you, the more dangerous he is.

Examine Emails for Phishing Schemes

Phishing emails are embedded with malicious content or attachments for the purpose of comprising and possibly cloning your computer network or even your mobile devices. These emails can be very convincing and can look as if they are from family, friends, or colleagues. I recently received an email that appeared to be from my sister in an email account reserved for junk mail, and it had just one link. Before clicking on the link, I examined the message closer and discovered the source was actually not my sister’s email address. If you receive an unexpected email or an email with attachments or links, examine the message thoroughly before clicking on anything. When in doubt, don’t click and don’t open. For more safety tips regarding phishing emails, consult our Phishing Emails Blog here.


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