When the pandemic forced widespread remote work on most companies a couple of years ago, many decisions were made hastily. This period was followed up by more measured considerations, including: How do we make sure that employees remain productive while working off-site? And how do we keep remote employees’ workspaces secure?
Business Network Consulting, which provides IT support in Dallas, TX, offers these seven tips to prevent workers from inadvertently providing openings to hackers and endangering your business.
Keep it updated
Many workers see the notifications about availability of a new version of their software, antivirus, or anti-malware tools but ignore them because they have something more pressing to do. But these updates are often released specifically because they address new threats—which means that with each passing day that employees put off the task, their systems become increasingly vulnerable.
Train employees either to begin or end their workday with any necessary updates to their system.
Get rid of the dead weight
Instruct workers to uninstall unnecessary software, such as bloatware, trialware, and just plain old unused software. This type of decluttering improves machine performance, and it also helps with security because if you’re ignoring unused software, you’re also ignoring its updates.
Individual employees can get rid of easily by going to their Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features on their PC and selecting those items they no longer use or never used. If they have a question about whether or not to delete a certain file, shouldiremoveit.com is a useful site for determining if the software is necessary or useful.
Don’t auto connect
Request that employees shut off the feature that automatically connects them to available Wi-Fi connections. Presumably, the Wi-Fi connection they’re working on away from the office is secure—but those to which they might be connecting in public may not be.
Invest in a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN keeps your users’ internet traffic private. Think about it like an encrypted tunnel between your employees’ devices and an external VPN server. This masks their IP addresses and keeps them more secure.
Use a password manager
People who don’t use password managers often wind up doing things that put company security at risk, including using easily remembered (and easily guessed) passwords or reusing passwords over multiple accounts. Password managers make things simpler for users and harder for hackers.
Don’t be click happy
Train employees to think before they click. Emails and texts designed to confuse users into revealing information or download malware have become increasingly more difficult to spot. Exercising caution is an important first line of defense against security vulnerability.
Report, report, report
Create an environment where users understand that they should immediately let your IT team know if something seems off. Any issues, questions, or concerns should be reported; even if they’re not sure it’s an issue, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Dallas IT support providers BNC understands the complexity and the strategy it takes to work with employees toward the common goal of keeping your business secure. Contact BNC’s IT experts for a consultation on implementing employee security best practices.