Most businesses use online systems to operate. Whether it is email, online payment systems, advertising or storage of client’s information, few businesses could survive without some form of online presence. Unfortunately, this leaves your business vulnerable to online attacks that can cripple systems, violate client’s personal information and cost a lot of money to fix. The good news is that by taking a few basic steps you can do a lot to ensure your business continues to operate smoothly.
Sounds simple enough, right? Apparently not. According to SplashData up to 10% of people have used one of the top 25 most frequently used passwords. At the top of the list is 123456 (3%of people have used this password) which is closely followed by password. Other common passwords include admin, letmein, qwerty and abc123. Instead, use something unique, a phrase or a password generator.
Passwords are the keys to the castle so by changing the locks you can control who comes in and out. Many systems have programs that prompt you and your staff to change passwords every 30 or 60 days – take advantage of these.
We all have that friend or co-worker that has half a dozen post-it notes stuck to the side of their computer screen with all their different passwords written on them. Obviously if you leave the passwords laying around you are just making it easier for the wrong people to gain access to systems or sensitive information that is your job to protect. Encourage your staff to use password generators and to keep their passwords private.
When a staff member leaves your organisation, even on good terms, remove their access from all of your systems. You cannot control what someone does with your business data once they leave, or who they give that data to.
How often do you get bombarded by emails and don’t always look at who sent the email? You think you recognise the sender, so you assume it is safe and click on the attachment. This is an easy way for hackers in infiltrate your system or for viruses to cripple your system. If you don’t recognise the sender, delete.
If you educate your staff about how to protect their own personal data and information, it raises their awareness about what they should and shouldn’t do online and potential risks that are out there. If staff are educated about the potential risks, they will be more likely to adapt these practices into everyday life and therefore more likely to adapt safe online practices when at work.