As the digital world grows ever more important in our lives, data security in the workplace continues to be a great concern for businesses of all sizes. A strong culture of cyber security is the best defence for small businesses, and that means making every individual employee aware of how to protect data.
Despite the growing awareness of the importance of cyber security in this digital age, SplashData revealed that the most common passwords in 2016 were still ‘123456’ and ‘password’. With so many people putting themselves, or even their businesses data, at risk you have to ask the question: are you a data security risk?
We’ve looked at the ways you can be more proactive with your online security to reduce the chances of a breach.
How safe is your password?
When it comes to keeping passwords safe, the simpler it is, the more likely it is a hacker will be able to break into your system and take your valuable data. Of course, nothing is completely secure, but by following these password security tips, you should be able to protect data and deter an attack.
- Ensure that your password contains at least 8 characters
- Use both upper and lower case letters
- Combine both numbers and symbols in your password
- Don’t use anything that could be easily linked to yousuch as names, birthdays, telephone numbers etc.
- Use different password for each of your online accounts
Regularly update your security
With security software, regular updates are key to keeping cyber-attacks at bay. Older software will not be able to protect your computer or data from the latest viruses and methods used by hackers. Cyber-attacks are growing increasingly complex, and with breeches of major organisations hitting the news on a regular basis, it’s something that needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. To keep up with the most recent threats, you will need to make sure your computer has all the latest updates.
Take care of physical data
We may be in a digital world, but there is still a place for printed files and documents in the workplace. To make sure no one gets their hands on this precious information, be sure to check everything for sensitive data before you discard it. When you do dispose of any important documents, be sure to use a shredder so anything important is completely distorted.
Secure your computer
Protect data and keep your computer safe by investing in a laptop lock. This will deter a thief or hacker from attempting to steal or break into your laptop. This physical precaution gives you an extra level of security and is a positive step towards keeping your data secure.
Back up your data
If you are a victim of a cyber security incident, regularly backing up your sensitive data to an external hard drive could be the only way to ensure you can re-install all of your information. Keep them safely stored away when you aren’t using them to ensure they aren’t stolen, in lockable storage or a location that thieves wouldn’t think to look.
Be wary when you’re working remotely
Remote working brings its own risks, but there are precautions you can take. If you need to access public Wi-Fi, a VPN (or Virtual Private Network) can be a good way of shielding you from prying eyes. You’ll be able to access a business or private network if you’re travelling, as well as access shared files if needed. A VPN service is generally something you need to pay for and there are a number of different services around.
Whether you’re sat in a coffee shop or on the train, being aware of who is around you is important – especially when working with sensitive information. Don’t look at anything you wouldn’t want others to see like personal emails or confidential work documents and be sure not to spread your paperwork and anything else important all over the table in front of you.
If you need to work on your commute or in a café, you may benefit from a privacy screen. This goes over your laptop screen and means the information you’re looking at can only be seen if you’re facing it directly, so you don’t have to worry about prying eyes looking over your shoulder.
Help avoid compromising your data security by taking these extra measures to ensure your data is safe from any potential threats. If every individual adopts these additional steps towards a secure cyber workspace, the possibility of a cyber-crime can be significantly decreased.