The best offense is a good defense – but good judgement is your best friend when it comes to your information security. Many businesses feel like information security rests solely in the hands of their IT team. And while knowledgeable IT staff are important to hacker-proofing your business, your own employees play critical roles as well.
Here are two things you and your employees can do to keep your business safe from hackers.
Avoid Unauthorized Applications
Often businesses end up with computer viruses and malware because they installed them. Sad, but true.
Hackers are – in general – pretty smart. Malicious, but smart. They can trick people who might never fall for a scam offline. The best hackers know more than code. They also know what makes Internet users tick, and they can create scams that the smartest users fall for.
When it comes to apps, if it’s not needed for you to do your job, don’t download it. It’s not worth the risk.
Even if you’ve installed that application before, be careful. Hackers often create bogus versions of popular software and repackage it to include malicious code. Make absolutely sure the source you’re downloading the (business-critical!) app from is the real deal.
You put yourself and your business at risk when you download from unauthorized or unofficial sources, or peer-to-peer networks.
When in doubt, consult with your IT staff.
This applies to add-ons, plugins and extensions as well.
Beware of Browsing to Questionable Websites
Make smart choices about the websites you visit. Browsing to questionable website is another easy way to compromise your system.
Aside from being against the code of conduct for many companies, sites that advertise adult content or free downloads of any type are often dangerous to your data security. They frequently contain misleading links that install harmful software.
The site doesn’t have to have adult content to be a security risk. Many seemingly harmless websites host malicious code. Some sites even execute downloads just by visiting them – no user input or clicks required.
Rule of thumb: If it looks odd, it’s best to leave it alone.
When in doubt, you can check the validity of web addresses (URLs) with a WHOIS search. A popular site for this is DNSstuff.com.
Your Internet browser matters in this equation, too. Make sure it is up to date to ensure it is using the latest technology to identify and filter out phishing sites.
Antivirus Software Will Only Protect You So Much
Common sense is your first line of defense against hackers. But everyone makes mistakes.
If any software begins to install itself, close it out immediately. Then run a security software scan and alert your IT department pronto.
It is critical that you ensure your antivirus software is always up to date. Many infections happen because people don’t allow their antivirus programs to apply updates.
Forward this post on to your teammates so everyone can get on the same page when it comes to apps and web content.
Don’t have an IT team that can come to the rescue in the case of an information security threat? Let’s talk!