Even though cybersecurity awareness month is ending, cybersecurity and staying safe online are increasingly important as our world continues to operate virtually for so much work and play. Cybersecurity is a year-round effort and should be your first consideration when buying or connecting a new device or service, both at home and within your company.
Cybersecurity Starts with You
Every time you use the Internet, you face choices related to security. There are friend requests to accept, links to click, websites to visit, and WiFi networks to join. Your safety and the security of the nation depend on making safe decisions online. Making the Internet more secure requires all of us to take responsibility for our cybersecurity posture. Be sure to tell others not to click on unknown links or emails.
Simple Steps to Keep You Cybersafe
- Use and maintain anti-virus software and a firewall. Use an anti-virus program and a firewall to protect your computer from viruses and Trojan horses that could steal or modify your data. When software notifies you of an available update, be sure to update as soon as possible to prevent hackers from exploiting known issues or vulnerabilities. Also, set up an automatic, regular spyware scanning routine to catch vulnerabilities.
- Establish and Enforce a Computer Usage Policy. Ensure your organization has a computer usage policy outlining how employees should use their work computers and the Internet. The policy not only safeguards against cybersecurity threats but keeps your company safe from legal liability should an employee visit, download, or engage in illegal activity or leak confidential information.
- Double-check email attachments. An email that looks as if it came from someone you know does not necessarily mean it did. Viruses can alter the return address to look like the message came from someone other than the sender. Before opening any attachments, verify that the message is legitimate by contacting the person who sent it. Use caution even when emails are from people you know and be wary of unsolicited attachments.
- Trust your instincts. As the old saying goes, “if it is too good to be true, it probably is.” Always be sure to scan documents and attachments with anti-virus software before opening them. Do not open suspicious emails or attachments and turn off automatically downloading attachments. The greatest cyber threat is your employees.
Although this month’s focus is on cybersecurity, bad actors find other ways to access confidential information. There are several ways criminals can access your information without accessing your computer network. Examples include overhearing phone calls, looking at computer screens in public places, and dumpster diving (looking in your trash or your employee’s trash). Does your company have a policy to control access to and destroy confidential documents? With employees working remotely, are they printing off confidential documents and throwing them out with their local trash? It may be an excellent time to remind your employees that there are other ways criminals can gain access to your confidential data and of your organization’s policy regarding the handling and destruction of confidential data.
Dewpoint is here to help your organization review and improve its cybersecurity posture. We have security professionals and trusted partners to keep you safe year-round.