Sure, you have antivirus software and a padded case for your laptop. It’s safe. Right?
Here are six easy things to remember that help secure your computer and your work’s network:
Don’t let anyone, including family, friends or even co-workers, use your work computer or your user account. Don’t share your password with them, either.
Your favorite browser’s old plugins may have security vulnerabilities. There’s a reason why your IT help desk limits the browsers you use. Work with your IT team to update browsers and plugins regularly to protect your computer and the office network.
Don’t access workplace data on mobile devices unless absolutely necessary. Workplace data often has personally identifiable information, or PII. Things like customer account numbers are considered PII and valuable assets. Don’t allow them outside your work network. Remember, PII is protected through privacy laws.
Beware web addresses that look authentic but seem suspicious. They’re likely a phishing strategy. Some shady characters used the concern of “fake news” to spin off the “cnn.com” domain and fool people into registering for a news feed. And whenever something is hot and popular, it’s a lure for a certain trap. Take the cryptocurrency rage. According to Business Insider, “scammers have found a way to make their website addresses (URLs) look just like the authentic URLs of some popular cryptocurrency exchange sites, like Binance and Bittrex. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting crypto trader, using your login credentials on a scam site can lead to theft of your cryptocurrency or your regular government-minted money.”
You have the power to detect and report phishing emails when you know the obvious signs. Phishing emails are emails that are designed to gather information about you for a malicious purpose. While these emails can be quite deceptive, there are usually some major warning signs, such as containing some form of warning, like your bank account is about to be suspended. This warning will request that you click on a link and fill out a form with either personal information or account login information. When in doubt, contact the company directly rather than responding to the email.
It’s Not Just Email Attachments
Your probably already know that email attachments can contain malware, but did you know that messages via instant messaging software can also contain dangerous attachments? If someone you don’t know sends you an attachment via email or through instant messaging, DO NOT click on it. Hackers are notorious for trying to trick people by attaching malware to unsolicited messages. Only consider selecting or downloading an attachment from someone you already know or whose identity and intentions you can verify. And even then think twice. Otherwise, malware from the attachment could wind up infecting not just your computer, but also all computers on your organization’s network.