5 Tops Tips to Keep your Staff Safer Online in 2019
Throughout 2018 almost every day carried some headline about companies being hacked, data being lost and the big social media giants selling your data without your knowledge.
However, those are the media headlines. What they don’t show is the number of small business that has lost money and even been driven out of business as a result of cyber hacking.
Without a doubt 2019 is going to be no different, in fact, it could be worse. So what can you do help make sure this doesn’t happen to your company.
Here are 5 top tips…
It doesn’t matter how many times we seem to say it people just don’t listen and you can understand why, so many sites, so many passwords. However, when it comes to your business, your staff need strong passwords. Let’s stop calling them passwords and start calling them passcodes. If you use words, then you are going to fail at the first hurdle.
Take the responsibility out of their hands and issue them passcodes on an individual basis: a combination of letters and numbers and special characters that are unique to them.
For example, Tqbfjo5ld!£
I know what you are thinking, how on earth are they going to remember that, all they will do is write it down which defeats having a strong passcode right? Well actually no. Firstly what you see above is a passphrase. It’s simple to learn.
The quick brown fox jumped over five lazy dogs! £
The phrase is simple to remember. You could use a nursery rhyme; Ba Ba Black sheep have you any wool which would become something like, Bbb5huaw£.
The ‘s’ becomes a five, so you add a number in then a pound sign for a unique character.
Pound signs are great characters to use. Pound signs appear mostly on computers and keyboards destined for the British market and not on overseas consoles. Therefore it just makes that character harder to check for a foreign hacker.
Make sure that whoever is in charge of issuing passwords stores them in an encrypted digital vault with a master passcode only known to them.
If you don’t tell your staff what you expect of them in the workplace then how will they ever know? We provide guidance around all sorts of things, time off, dress codes, working hours. Do you provide clear and unambiguous guidance about online safety and security?
It should be written into your policy documents at the very least. I am sure every employee knows what to do in the event of a fire, what about in the event of a phishing scam! Do they know what to do if they receive a suspect email? Do they just delete it or do you have a procedure to learn how they got it in the first place and how to stop it happening again?
Do you test your cyber security? We test our fire alarms in our office once a month and even have fire drills. When was the last time you checked your office cybersecurity?
Firewalls and VPN’s
Even if you are a tiny business, with just one or two computers, ensuring that you have Firewalls and Virtual Personal Networks is essential.
Of course, setting these things up is only half the story. Once you have done this, you also need to ensure that you test at least once a month to make sure they are working correctly.
Social Media is a big part of modern business life now. From the one-person brand to major companies social media is a fantastic way to promote your business.
It is also very much part of your employees’ life. Not many employees won’t have some form of personal social media.
This needs to form part of your company policies. What are the rules around personal social media? Do you know what your employees are saying? Are they damaging your company and its reputation with what they are saying online?
Do they need to access personal social media in the office and what are you doing as an employee to protect them?
Hopefully, if you have implemented all of the above, then you will have dramatically reduced the chance of phishing emails coming through, but you won’t stop all of them.
However with well trained and knowledgeable staff implementing everything above they will recognise and be able to follow the procedures you have in place.
If you or your company would like some help with online safety, security and policy around protecting your business, staff and yourself then drop us a line.