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June 30, 2016

Three Easy Things Your Employees Can Do to Protect Organizational Data

You alone lack the power to single-handedly stop a data breach in your enterprise. It’s just too big of a responsibility. In fact, even your IT staff can only do so much.

To win the war against hackers, you need to drum up support from the people who use your network the most. These are your average end users, who are—believe it or not—on the front lines of cyberdefense every day. The decisions they make while using the Internet will play a major part in the overall safety of your network.

Here are three easy steps your employees can take to prevent a data breach at your company:

1. Create strong passwords: Chances are likely that your end users are protecting their machines and Internet accounts with weak or outdated passwords. Remember that the shorter and simpler a password is, the easier it will be for a hacker to crack it. Employees should be using long, complex passwords. The best ones have a mix of upper and lowercase characters, as well as special ones.

Employees should also fortify their accounts with two-factor authentication. This involves using an additional layer of protection to make it harder for hackers to gain unauthorized access to an account.  A common example of two-factor authentication involves generating a one-time verification code. According to one study, 86 percent of people who use two-factor authentication believe their accounts are more secure.

2. Keep low social profiles: It’s perfectly fine for workers to maintain social profiles on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Workers should be aware, though, that posting too much personal information can be dangerous. Hackers often troll social networks looking for information that can be used to further their social engineering efforts. Such information can include current positions, birthdays and ongoing projects. Encourage your workers to clean up their social media profiles. You should also remind them about best practices, like being careful about the people they connect with.

3. Stay away from public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi can be great for checking movie times or finding a local restaurant. It’s not so great for accessing important work applications. While public Wi-Fi hotspots are convenient, they are very insecure. Hackers often sit on public Wi-Fi hotspots looking for vulnerable devices. Encourage employees to be very careful about where they log in, and make sure they know the risks that come with using insecure hubs. One thing that all employees can do is make sure their Wi-Fi is off when their devices are not in use. This will prevent their devices from automatically connecting to public networks.

Keep in mind that employees can be sensitive about their online habits. While the above points may seem like common sense, to some people they are invasive. This is especially true for those using personal devices in the workplace, or those who use personal accounts for work purposes.

So if you’re unsure about how to approach your employees, leave the task to Apex Technology Services. Apex offers comprehensive cybersecurity training, which will provide your workers with everything they need to know about staying safe. For more information, click here.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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