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Common Mistakes Compromising Computer Security in the Workplace

ID-100179893Keeping data secure should be a top priority for any business, regardless of industry.  Stolen information can have serious consequences for your operation and possibly your customers. The good news is you can easily cut down the risk of threats by taking relatively simple measures that are not time-consuming, nor particularly costly. Here are some of the top mistakes compromising computer security in the workplace.

PC security isn’t just about how well you can protect your systems; it is also about how you design a system and how you use it. But since in a business environment you cannot make sure proper usage of the systems and adherence to the company guidance on PC security, you can use monitoring software like Mobistealth to make sure that company resources are used for the purpose they are intended for. The solution is frowned upon by many but if implemented with full disclosures, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Poor Choice of Passwords

The whole point of passwords is to prevent unauthorized access to information, but poor choice of said passwords makes computers vulnerable. Many IT experts recommend passwords that are at least 12 characters in length, and contain a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters like an asterisk. For businesses, there are programs that allow for central monitoring of employee passwords that ensure they follow established guidelines for optimal  data protection.

Not Updating Programs

This second tip is based on the assumption that all computers in your workplace are running virus and spyware scanners, which is one of the pillars of internet security. If you are lacking this, get on that one stat. But, many fail to reap the optimal benefit of these programs because of a failure to regularly update the programs so they are fully equipped to fight of the latest malicious intruders.

Not Installing Latest Security Patches

Operating systems, like software, often need tweaking to operate at peak efficiency and keep the ever-evolving number of threats at bay. These updates come in the form of ‘’patches’’, which fix the current ‘’leaks’’ in the OS. Those with ill intention will act on these vulnerabilities very quickly, and if these updates are not installed immediately, data is at risk.

Lack of Proper Instruction and Knowledge

If you will be relying on your employees to enact certain security measures, you must clearly outline what is expected of them, and provide instruction when necessary. It may not be enough to tell them to avoid certain websites or ignore certain types of emails. It would behoove you to explain why such things pose a security risk to the business. If they are expected to perform certain tasks to keep software programs up to date and the like, outline the specific steps they must take to achieve such things.

Clearly explaining the importance of certain measures, such as running an up-to-date version of antivirus software, is also important to prevent employees from ignoring certain protocols. Sticking with the antivirus as an example, knowing its importance may make some employees less like to disable it because it ‘’slows down the system.’’ Educate your staff about the risks posed from phishing, email attachments and other threats, and how to recognize them.

Trying to Do it All Yourself

Fortifying your system against the myriad threats it faces can be an involved task; large companies have the luxury of well-staff IT departments who handle these issues with ease. The typical small business owner does not have such a resource, and often lacks sufficient personal knowledge on the subject. While an in-house IT staff may not be in the budget, you can probably swing for a consultation, or perhaps hiring out a freelancer to handle your IT matters.

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