Businesses of all sizes can be vulnerable to security breaches and cyber attacks. One of the biggest problems is often that the staff they employ don’t have a full understanding of what the dangers are and what they could be doing to help prevent attacks. All staff should be fully aware of all security processes and should be involved in keeping the company protected.
The first thing any company should do is make staff aware of their responsibilities. If they are exposed to sensitive company data, they should have a full understanding of what their duties are to keep this data safe and secure. This should also cover the way in which they conduct themselves on social media and how this might affect the company.
Provide regular training for your staff so that they understand what a security breach or scam might look like. Give them details of previous attempts and teach them how they should react in a situation they find suspicious. You might also want to make them aware of the most common types of phishing emails, what they tend to look like and what should be done if they receive them.
Make sure that your staff all have personal passwords set up on their individual machines. This will make sure that only they can access their accounts. Store passwords safely and securely, so that only a network administrator would be able to find them.
Your inbox often becomes so full of junk mail that it’s easy to become confused about what is dangerous and what is not. Which emails are useful? Which emails are legitimate? Which emails should you absolutely not open under any circumstances? Here is a quick summary of the different types of spam email and how to spot them:
- Advertising. You might sign up for advertising from brands that you know and like, which is perfectly legitimate. However, a number of other adverts might come through for all kinds of bizarre products. If it’s not something you recognise, don’t open it.
- Documents containing viruses. If you open the attachments with emails of this kind, you risk installing malware onto your computer. These can often look very convincing and it could be easy to mistake them for a real document. The safest thing to do is to not open documents which you aren’t expecting from unknown senders.
- Scams or phishing emails. These are people using false identities to try and scam you out of money. They might be posing as an individual or a company. Never send money to an unknown individual, even if they say it is for a good cause. Emails from fake companies can often look quite realistic, however they will usually give themselves away by asking for credit card details or payments. If you’re ever unsure, call the company and ask them directly. Use a number from their website or from a letter to you rather than one from the suspicious email, or you may just be ringing the fake company directly.
In the age of the internet, it is incredibly easy for fraudsters to commit crimes related to internet banking and con people out of a great deal of money. Whilst phishing emails have always been something to be cautious of, methods of committing internet banking fraud are becoming ever more sophisticated, and you can never be too careful with your bank transactions.
An increasingly popular method of committing fraud is the production of fake documentation. Fraudsters send letters notifying companies of changes to banking details, and they’re able to make the letters look incredibly convincing. Company logos, personnel names, signatures and many more features can all be replicated to make a document look legitimate. These fake letters will usually be sent to companies notifying them of changes to bank details, tricking them into paying money into the criminal’s account instead.
To avoid this kind of fraudulent activity affecting you, never trust any documentation which informs you of changes to bank details without conducting further investigation. Contact the company who have supposedly sent the letter, but always use the contact details which you have on file for them. Criminals attempting to commit fraud will anticipate you checking and may well have set up fake email accounts, so it’s important not to use any of the information contained within the letter. If you begin dealing with any new companies, remember to take down their contact details and store them somewhere safe so that you can get in touch with the right people should you have any security concerns in future.
Backing up the important information which you keep on your computer is essential. You never know what might happen to your computer and in the event of a hardware failure or other unplanned file deletion, you’ll need to know that you still have access to them. There are a number of options which you can choose in order to keep the data on your computer backed up.
You should ensure that you backup your files on a regular basis to avoid losing anything important. There’s often a setting for doing a full computer backup to your hard drive which will take care of everything which is saved onto your device. However, this won’t protect against theft of your computer – you’ll need to have backed up externally. Doing this is easy with an external hard drive. You can plug it into your computer via the USB port and save a copy of all your important files onto it. They’re not particularly expensive so you may even want to buy two to be on the safe side.
The problem with an external hard drive is that it can also go missing. You may lose it or it may be stolen along with your laptop or PC during a burglary, so it’s never going to give you 100% protection. The best way to mitigate this risk is to use a cloud backup. This is an online backup tool which allows you to store your data and access it from anywhere. It doesn’t involve any hardware so is a very safe and reliable method of storage.
Each IT problem, whether it be an issue with hardware or a software is unique in its own way. So it may seem likely that each issue should be tackled in a different way, to match the problem that needs to be solved.
This is not the case. Each and every IT issue can be approached in a structured way. A way that can be transferred and used on any other problem. A basic overview of the structure is as follows:
Define > Assess > Decide > Implement > Evaluate
While the structure remains the same, the actual tasks that may need to be carried out will likely be different for each IT issue. This is where the nature of issue will need to be assessed, then depending on what the issue is discerned as, a decision will need to be made on what will need to be done.
Making sure your computer data is secure is of great importance. Your personal information holds many details about yourself and your business. For this reason it’s wise to utilise the functionality of your computer programs in order to manage your data in a secure manner.
Keeping a record of orders in a spread sheet format will make searching and handling them far easier. A spread sheet can contain thousands of entries, making them suited for businesses that track this amount.
A database serves not only as a record storage system, but a method of inputting data too. A well designed database can make recording thousands of orders far easier thanks to a streamlined data entry system.
A standard word document may be all your business needs. A word document for each individual order, stored in a system of folders is a common technique of order storage.
In the last post we looked at some simple methods you can keep your PC secure. This post continues the topic, focusing on passwords, how they are used and how to keep them safe.
Passwords can be troublesome. They are a pain to remember, but they are an important and necessary part of computer usage. Most websites, programs, games and apps require the use of a username and password, so its important to keep yours safe.
A great way to keep track of passwords is to write them in a small text document on your computer. This is much more effective than relying on the ‘forgotten password’ function many websites and applications use. However, this is not a good idea if your computer is used by people other than yourself.
It can also be effective to write passwords in a notebook that you keep on yourself. This is one of the most secure ways of storing a password as its impossible to access a physical notebook through the internet.
It is common knowledge how to use a computer or internet device. The fact you are reading this on some kind of internet compatible system means you understand the technology pretty well. But do you understand the fundamentals of IT security. It may be more important than you realise.
Basic IT security is straight forward. It’s in its straightforwardness that people often times forget to do it. Keeping up to date on your current procedure is a great way to refresh your ideas on IT security. Which leads us to the first question. What is your current IT security procedure?
It is not as intimidating as it sounds. Simply put, do you have a password on your computer, phone or tablet? Do you think you should have a password on your computer, phone or tablet? The answer to these questions will go along way in identifying your current IT security set up.
There can be many roles within an information services department. In smaller groups these roles may be shared by a few system admins. But within larger groups the maintenance of an IT system is split between several people, one of which is the security administrator.
A lesser known role within computer administration, a security administrator is a specialist in computer and network security, including the administration of security devices such as firewalls.
A common task a security administrator will carry out is the management of the anti-virus software over a system. This software will be updated and checked at regular intervals by the security administrator, in order to maintain the security of a system.
A security administrator will often provide consulting on general security measures. Updating the other members of the information services department on the current operation of the network security, among other status updates of the information system.