Educate Your Employees on Cyber Safety

When it comes to cyber security, educating your employees is the first, best defense against most online dangers. And there are many ways to help them get the message, from internal newsletters and staff emails to seminars and lunch and learns.

Here a few simple lessons you can give your employees on what they're up against online, and what they can do about it.

Know the threats.

Online threats include email scams, phishing attacks, botnets, viruses, and trojans. Knowing where they come from and what they look like is the first step to keeping them at bay.

Watch out for fake software.

Cyber criminals develop schemes to trick employees into downloading and installing malware on their computers, mobile devices and networks. Learning to spot the tricks can keep your precious customer and financial information under locks.

Protect your social networks.

Your employees share personal information on social media sites that can be used to build a profile of their responsibilities and activities. This information is then used to develop a convincing scam, tailored to them specifically.

Watch out for phishers.

Cyber criminals use fake emails, text messages and websites to trick your employees into giving up their important info. It's called phishing.Passwords, usernames, credit card numbers can be are taken, sold, and used. Criminals may even impersonate your business to try to scam your customers.

Employees should never respond to emails requesting private information, or click on links from unknown sources. Encourage them to be on the lookout for email scams where the message is alarmist, has spelling mistakes, offers a deal that's too good to be true, or requests sensitive information.

Know how to spot risky URLs.

By taking the URLs of recognized sites and tweaking them slightly, cyber criminals can catch unsuspecting people in a scam. Signs that a URL is untrustworthy include hyphens, numbers, spelling mistakes and @ symbols in place of regular characters.

Encourage employees to manually type URLs in the address bar, rather than clicking on email links. This can help ensure they are going to a legitimate site and not a malicious or spoofed site.

Don't write down passwords.

Encourage your employees to avoid writing down their passwords on scraps of paper by their workstations. They can be nabbed by people passing by and used to access their accounts.

Lock computer screens.

Advise employee to lock their screens when away from their desks,to help ensuretheir workstations are secure.

Protect laptops in public.

If cyber criminals get a hold of an employee's computer or mobile device, they can mine it for the important information you've worked so hard to keep secure. Remind employees to be mindful of where and how they keep their devices.

Contact IT in an emergency.

In the case of a potential breech or theft, employees should be instructed to contact security or the IT department immediately to limit the damage.

Plan ahead for departing employees.

When an employee leaves your company, make sure their account is closed quickly. If not, the open account can be exploited by hackers.

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