Get Back to the Basics of Data Security

Your computer is telling you an update is available and you need to restart. How long does it take you to actually restart and install the updates? And, you’re creating an account on a new website – did you use the same credentials that you are using on every other site?

Most of us have been there. It can be easy to get complacent about data security. News stories about data breaches exposing customer data are becoming more and more common. These stories just show how important data security is.

So let’s get back to the basics of keep your data (and your company’s data) safe. There is never a 100% guarantee, but you can save a lot of time and money preventing data compromises by just sticking to the basics:

  1. Do not use the same password for all of your accounts. Most people take the easy way out on this one. But using the same password means a hacker only needs to figure out one password to access all of your accounts.
  2. Make sure you have a good backup of your data and back it up regularly. If you DO get a virus or fall victim to ransomware, you can easily recover your data.
  3. Don’t open an email attachment or click on a link from an unknown sender. And even if you know the sender, be cautious. There is always the chance someone you know has been compromised. This is true for email AND social media. If it’s not something you’d open on email, don’t do it on Facebook, either.
  4. If you’re shopping online, check the validity of the site before you buy. To do this, click on the lock on the toolbar in Internet Explorer.
  5. Do not give out your passwords, even to coworkers. Please ask that they change your password if you need them to access your computer or email without your presence.
  6. Do not store your passwords in an unsecured location. This includes an Excel file on your computer and post it notes under your keyboard. If you need to store your password somewhere, use a secure password manager like LastPass or 1Password.
  7. Keep your computer, phone and tablet up to date. Yes, it can be annoying to restart your computer to do, but these updates often times contain critical security patches.
  8. Lock your computer if you walk away from it. Your IT Company can implement a security policy to lock your computer during idle time after so many minutes. You shouldn’t rely only on this, though. Don’t leave your computer open for anyone who walks by to access.
  9. Use Malwarebytes, or other malware prevention programs, to check your computer for malware. Run these scans on a regular basis and keep the program update to date so you’re protected against the latest threat.

Remember these steps and make it your mid-year resolution to take your data security seriously. It could prevent some serious headaches down the road.

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