4 small ways you can improve IT security at work

With cyber hacking and data breaches hot on the agenda for companies, each and every staff member needs to understand and know what is at stake – and how they can individually do to reduce any IT security risks. 

Recent report, Cybersecurity -- protecting your future shares that internal threats from employees and vendors quickly rising in priority as cybersecuirty expands from purely being an issue for the IT department.

Download the report

So here are a few small steps you can take on a daily basis to ensure everything from your computer at work to your smartphone is kept fully secure from any IT security risks.

Keep portable devices safe

Any devices that you use for work purposes, such as your laptop or tablet, must be kept in sight at all times if you are out and about. After all, it is easier than you might think to accidentally leave them on the seat of your train, or not realise you have been targeted by a thief until it is too late. It is important to be vigilant, and for extra security, ensure every device is password-protected.

Use trustworthy storage media

Even the most innocuous storage media can represent a threat to data security today. For instance, USB sticks could be infected with malware and infect your devices with harmful viruses, so it pays to make sure they have been verified by the IT experts within your organisation before use. It's also a good idea to encrypt any portable storage media, just in case the worst does happen and they are lost or stolen.

Choose strong passwords

The best passwords are those that are difficult to guess, so steer clear of anything obvious such as "123456". Ideally, your password should include a combination of letters and numbers, while your chances of being hacked will be reduced considerably if you use a different one for every device and account. Finally, make a point of changing your passwords every few months, just to make extra sure that they are difficult for an unscrupulous person to guess.

Use only trusted Wi-Fi networks

Hackers are highly adept at tapping into open Wi-Fi networks, so any official business should only be carried out on trusted and secure connections. 

While it is ultimately an employer's responsibility to take the lead on introducing and implementing IT security procedures, it is clear that many of these steps are a matter of common sense. Simply being aware of the importance of IT security and the consequences of what can happen when mistakes are made can make you far more conscious of the need to make small changes while at work.

*This article was originally published in August 2015 and has been updated to reflect more up-to-date information.

Tags: IT Security