Are you concerned about the privacy and security of your data online? We ALL should be! In an era when many of us take our work home, travel for business, and use our personal mobile devices to shop and bank, security is becoming a more important issue – inside the office and out.
That’s why it’s critical to know how to protect yourself and your data by following some basic best practices. Whether you’re at work or at home, use this need-to-know information as a guide to increase your security and privacy.
1) It’s not safe to use USB drives to share files and other information. Security experts are reporting that the problem runs deeper than the possibility that the thumb drive is infected with a virus. USB devices can have malware installed to completely take over a personal computer, invisibly alter files installed from the memory stick, or even redirect a user’s Internet traffic. Even worse, it’s possible for the attack code to remain hidden in the firmware even after it appears to have been wiped.
2) Know that public Wi-fi connections aren’t totally secure. Using your laptop, tablet or smartphone at a café, library, in a hotel, or at the airport can leave you vulnerable. Always be cautious about what information you send and the sites you visit.
3) Get savvy about encryption to protect your data. One option is to use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your personal data in wireless hotspots. This is important for anyone who uses public Wi-Fi access, whether or not you’ve paid to use the service.
4) Keep your devices up-to-date with the latest firewall protection and antivirus programs. It’s also very important to make use of the most current operating system patches.
5) Use an email filtering service. Unfortunately, malware and viruses are often sent out through spam, or email from a friend or colleague who may have had an account or computer hacked. An email filtering service hosted by a third party provides another important layer of protection for your machines and data.
6) Set a policy for employees on where, how, and which devices can be used to access company data. Do your employees check their email from a smartphone? That can increase productivity, but you need to have a system in place to secure your data.
Bonus tip: No matter the size of your business, it’s always a good idea to speak with an IT professional to help review your network operating system, set great privacy policies, and streamline your IT system. If you need additional advice or information, please let us know at Oram Corporate Advisors. We look forward to hearing from you!