One of the after-effects of the novel Coronavirus healthcare crisis was that many businesses and corporate companies shifted their operations online, encouraging teams to work remotely to align with SOPs better. While convenient, working from home comes with its security limitations, so we felt the need to compile a document listing down our best cybersecurity tips for employees.
Unsecured networks pose the risk of your communication with the internet being intercepted by hackers and other cyber-attackers. This could mean that if you’re sharing classified information, like client files or financial reports, these could be hacked into, leaked out to competitors, or worse, used to exploit you.
There are, however, several different ways to lower this risk while still maintaining a healthy work-from-home model. Following specific cybersecurity tips for employees will ensure employees’ health safety and help you cut down on several office maintenance costs.
You can use these cybersecurity tips for employees to provide free online safety training for employees to considerably lower the risk of your business falling victim to cybersecurity threats.
Cybersecurity Tips for Employees
If you’ve been looking for useful cybersecurity tips for employees, here are some of the top ones, according to our security experts at PureVPN for Business, as promised.
Not only can you use these cybersecurity awareness tips for employees to conduct online safety training, but you can also use our curated list of the top cybersecurity tips for employees to boost security around your business, even if you’re an independent consultant or freelancer. Let’s have a look at these tips in the right order.
Make sure that your data is well-protected at all times
This is the most important feature of our cybersecurity awareness tips for employees. Here’s something to consider: you probably would never go around sharing personal information like your passwords, or online banking credentials to people, no matter how much you trust them, right?
Let’s begin by saying that practicing the same caution is important for work and business. With technology, hacking practices and exploitation scams have also evolved, getting smarter and smarter every day, making it necessary for corporations and companies to support their teams by conducting training and offering employees phishing tips.
One of the easiest ways hackers infiltrate your devices and networks is by creating email addresses and websites that may look like your colleagues’ or businesses’, but they aren’t. Scammers can go as far as faking caller ID information to make the whole scenario more believable so that they can get money out of you.
Once they have the right information, they can take control of things like the company’s social media accounts, email IDs, and screen all communication. Not giving out confidential or personal information may seem like one of the most cliché cybersecurity tips for employees but you’d be surprised to know how dangerous even something like giving someone access to your business emails can be.
So, one of the best and simplest IT security tips for employees that you can follow to protect the integrity of your data is to train your employees to keep their account access to themselves and use access sharing tools instead of telling someone their password is really necessary.
HIT DELETE: unknown emails, links, ads
Emails from people you don’t recognize, shady ads on websites that aren’t popular, or trusted more often do not lead to phishing scams. These consist of links embedded in certain emails and ads that lead to pages and websites that contain viruses or other malware aimed at gaining access to your data and accounts.
With just one click, you can give access to your entire office network to a hacker and compromise on valuable business data and even client information.
As one of our best cybersecurity tips for employees to reduce the risk of data loss, refrain from entering your corporate or personal information into forms on websites you are not sure you can trust or emails from people you don’t recognize.
Phishing scams can not only lead to hackers stealing your data and exploiting it, but can also lead to identity theft which can snowball into a whole other jumble of legal issues, not to forget, this is the most common way that ransomware attacks occur.
One of the best information security tips for employees to keep from falling victim to these scams is to use an email authentication system to block emails from suspicious email addresses.
These systems alert you as soon as an email address has been flagged as suspicious so you can take a look at it and unflag it if you feel like it is from a legitimate source.
Strong passwords are harder and take longer to crack
If you’ve been asked to add special characters, capital and small letters, and numbers to your passwords while trying to make accounts on certain websites, there’s a reason for it. Stronger passwords with a mix of everything are more complex and take longer to crack, keeping your system secure for longer.
On the other hand, simpler and easier passwords are easy and quick to crack and can leave your company’s network vulnerable. This is why another of our best cybersecurity tips for employees is creating complex and unique passwords.
For maximum security, ensure that your password is at least 10 characters long, including special characters, symbols, and capital and lowercase letters. Another great practice to encourage your employees to follow is to regularly keep changing their passwords and keep track of all the passwords using a password manager.
Use two-factor authentication
Here is another one of our favorite data security tips for employees: Two-factor authentication! This is a great way to add an extra layer of security to your company accounts. Two-factor authentication requires you to provide an additional piece of information apart from access credentials.
This additional piece of information is generally more personal, for example, a question that most people likely don’t know an answer to. Apart from this, this could also be a code that is sent to a personal cell phone or email.
The idea behind the two-factor authentication is that even if an attacker has managed to unlock a password, he also knows personal details like the answer to a security question or has access to the person’s incoming messages and emails.
Secure your Wi-Fi
It is crucial for office Wi-Fis to be secure and encrypted in order to maintain data integrity. Working remotely, employees should be encouraged to use a VPN or Virtual Private Network to connect to the office network securely.
On the flip side, public Wi-Fi networks should be avoided at all costs because these are generally unsafe, easily hacked, and can provide a hacker access to all connected devices, making them dangerous.
This brings us to another one of our cybersecurity guidelines for employees: use a VPN! A VPN will encrypt your communication with the internet and ensure that your browsing and online activities are anonymous and private. If you’re looking for a reliable VPN for your team, PureVPN for business would be an ideal bet.
The product features secure remote team connectivity, a centralized dashboard to manage teams and data, site-to-site tunnel secure connectivity including secure access service edge and malicious traffic filtration, and dedicated and team IP, to name a few highlights.
Think it could be the all-in-one business security solution you’re looking for? Reach out to on email (here) and request a free demo!
Enable firewall protection at home
Firewalls for corporate and personal networks can provide some level of security against cyberattacks. These can keep unauthorized users from accessing your website, emails, accounts, and other information.
Even though company firewalls work, if you have a team that is working remotely, it’s imperative to encourage them to install their firewalls at home or provide them with free firewall software to install at home.
Update your operating systems and web browsers frequently and create data backups
Operating systems like Windows come up with updates and patches pretty frequently. These patches usually resolve existing issues and vulnerabilities that could potentially risk your security and harm your data.
The same goes for browsers and antivirus software, as new updates with more robust security and new protocols are frequently launched to counter different kinds of attacks as they advance. This is limited to PCs and laptops at the office and the devices used to access the office network from home.
Cyberattacks are generally aimed at data and can result in massive data losses. One of our top cybersecurity tips for employees to avoid these losses is making data back-ups so that you aren’t left without your original, unaltered data in case of a malware attack.
A rule of thumb for data back-ups is to store the files offline. This could be on an external hard drive or a USB device. Another secure option is storing this data on the cloud.
Be aware of social engineering
Social engineering is the very art of exploiting the human mind and is a tool that hackers and cybercriminals often use to gain access to systems, data and even buildings. In a social engineering setup, a cybercriminal could call an employee of a company, calling himself an IT support person, and ask him to give out his access to credentials for support in fixing a ‘technical error’.
This may be a simple scenario where you could probably have easily detected fraudulent activity; social engineers have gotten skilled at this over the years. They can pose as a banking officer, a lawyer, and even a law enforcement official and try to gain access to your information.
To protect against social engineering attacks, it is advised to offer security awareness tips for employees and educate them about the latest techniques that social engineers are using. It is also good to review your procedures and limit financial and technical duties to a few select employees to reduce the risk of information leakage.
Install a security system
This may sound excessive to small businesses given the costs and overhead of a sound, high-quality security system. However, this is one of our most recommended cybersecurity tips for employees to ensure that your system is safe from external attacks and damage.
A security system includes a set of tools that will help you upgrade your cybersecurity and prevent attacks and breaches. These tools can include a business VPN subscription, antivirus subscriptions, and, even external hard drives to back up your data.
This will help increase the security around your office and make it safer for your remote team to work from home.
Take advantage of third-party controls
Contrary to popular belief, a large majority of data breaches start from within the organization, making access limits if you’re looking to minimize the security risks.
Many cybersecurity tools like PureVPN for Business offer companies and businesses to set up access control to limit classified information to a select few employees.
Stay clear of social media scams
Over the past ten years, the boom of social media had completely transformed the communication infrastructure, especially when it came to business. However, social media has also become one of the most popular platforms for hackers and snoopers to hunt and scam their prey.
Popular for various types of scams like phishing, catfishing, hidden URLs, profile hijacking and gaining access to your information via third-party applications, social media has pretty much become the devil in disguise for cybersecurity concerns.
To avoid being scammed on social media, it is crucial to stay clear of any links that look suspicious, keep your personal information to yourself, and avoid accepting friend requests from strangers in addition to using strong and unique passwords.
Remember, even though these cybersecurity tips for employees work, the best way to make sure that your online presence, data, and sensitive information is secure is to use tools like VPNs to keep your online activities private.
VPNs will let you maintain a sense of anonymity while using the internet and encrypt all of your communication, making it almost impossible for cybercriminals to detect you and hack into your device.
If you’re looking for a business VPN to encourage secure remote working for your team, we will encourage you to request a free demo of the PureVPN for business. Built as the most advanced secure remote team connectivity and data access control solution, we’re sure your business will benefit from its wide range of features.