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Cyber Security Best Practices for Employees

Sandeep Singh

@ Founder Digitalu | | Science-Technology

Large and small companies are facing an unremitting threat of data breaches, and these are not always provoked by malicious hackers, many breaches are due to employee mistakes or a lack of understanding when it comes to information security best practices.




For this, many companies have now taken this a cue to enable security precautions.

To curtail the threat of data breaches, companies must incorporate some robust internal security procedures to train their employees in order to ensure that they are fully aware of all potential security threats.

Scroll down for some of the most important concepts that you must educate your employees on:


1. Best practices for passwords


Since most of the system applications are accessed using a username and password, and all cybercriminals are looking for is an easy entry into a company’s larger system.


This really requires you to employ and follow the best password practices and encourage your team with the following do’s and don’ts list about password-related issues:


- Don’t use personal information such as a family member’s name, phone number, or birth date as your password.

- Choose long and difficult to crack passwords that are a mix of numbers, letters and special characters.

- Don’t use the same password for multiple systems.

- Keep changing your password – at least quarterly.

- For crucial information security, don’t rely on just on your password, instead use double authentication to make logins even more secure.


2. Shield against social engineering


Social engineering is on the boom!

Cybercriminals gather information about your company and employees to take off them, they may even attempt to authorize fraudulent charges on your credit card account as well as open accounts in their name!


To defend against social engineering, first, you need to understand where the information is shared.

Make your employees aware of such situations and encourage them to shield against social engineering.

It calls for the following:


- Be strategic about information that you post online, be it in the form of blogs, content posted through social media accounts and emails.


- Don’t share key information that could be used to hack your account.

- Don’t overlook security questions, like your mother’s maiden name or the city you born in.

- Understand some common outlines that roam around situations like phone scams impersonating the Internal Revenue Service(s).


3. Use virus and malware protection


Your employee should understand that virus and malware protection software isn’t just for the office, they must also use it on their personal systems and mobile phones.

These programs must be installed on your laptops, desktop computers, mobile devices, and servers to constantly scan for malicious messages and websites.

When your employees understand the usage of these malware protection programs, they’re more likely to use them at work.

In addition, if they’re accessing your company’s vital information on their devices, you’re more protected.

Here’s all your employees should be aware of:

- There are a huge number of malware and virus protection programs available in the market- both free and paid. The paid ones require an annual or monthly subscription.

- To incorporate a virus and malware protection program is simple: Install it on the device and set it to run automatic scans at regular intervals, and continuously install for any recent updates to make sure that you are protected against all possible malicious threats.

4. Incorporate continuous backups


Some cybersecurity threats target important data from your business as well as personal accounts.

Ransomware is an example of such a cybersecurity threat.

This malicious program gets deployed when an employee clicks on an infected link, further it also gets infected by another computer on the network.

Once a malicious program has been deployed, your important data becomes inaccessible or can even be deleted, unless the program is paid.

So, it is always the better to use a backup solution to protect both your personal and company information.

While such viruses are usually associated with business threats, criminals are now progressively targeting private users.

You can help your employees to understand the risk of Ransomware and similar malicious programs.

- It is important to regularly back up your personal data on a hard drive or a cloud-based software.

- Sign up for a backup service and run it at regular intervals in order to protect your personal information, including digitally stored documents, photos, and more. A cloud backup solution creates a copy of stored data on a device or server and hosts it at some other location.

- You can use a physical backup option as well, this could be a hard drive connected via a USB, but yes, it requires manual backups.


Many companies use both cloud as well as physical backup approach. In case, your data gets hacked or corrupted, it can be restored or accessed from the other source.

Here it is important to note that your backed-up data is only available from the last point backed up point, and that’s why you always need to back up your data regularly.

7. Recognize evolving threats


You can just teach your employees about cybersecurity and forget, it is rather a continuous process.

Since cybersecurity is not a one-time event, you get to see new malicious threats and programs trying to breach your data security.


What you all need is to help your employees to develop a common sense around cyber security threats so that they can themselves be able to recognize common threads of suspicious activities.

As an employer, you must stay on the top of new types of cybersecurity risks and educate your team.

- Encourage your employees to sign up for the virus protection software provider’s newsletter.

- Keep a stringent check on the regular updates your enterprise software provider publishes.

- Ask an IT resource or office manager to monitor information about evolving threats and periodically review them.

- Dedicate some time every month in a staff meeting or include a small write-up on the company’s intranet policies.


Also Read : How can we stop being cyber idiots?