All year, cybersecurity professionals work tirelessly to keep things humming. This Thanksgiving, while others are stuffing themselves with turkey and pumpkin pie, IT professionals will be putting in extra hours watching for continuous threats.
Cybersecurity concerns don’t stop when you leave the office. Even on vacation, employees can benefit from an IT professional’s expertise.
Here are four tips to pass on to employees to help them keep their personal systems and data safe—while protecting the sensitive business information they are privy to:
#1 Use Strong Passwords
Employees may not have a tech guy looking over their shoulder on vacation, but that doesn’t mean they can ignore password best practices.
Nowadays, computers can guess passwords shorter than 10 characters, so reinforce the need to make them hard to crack. Over a million LinkedIn users had “123456” as their password—but that doesn’t make it a good idea. Encourage employees to use passphrases and two-factor authentication.
As a final precaution during this busy vacation season, remind employees to update passwords before and after travel.
#2 Backup Data
Your employees’ devices are likely full of priceless personal pictures and even important work documents. If they lose their device or it gets infected with malware, they may lose this data forever. Make sure employees set automatic backups or periodically backup in the cloud.
#3 Watch Your Connections
Last year, over 25 million Americans took to the skies at Thanksgiving. When you’re stuck in an airport it’s tempting to use Wi-Fi to save your data, but turn it off. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are notoriously not secure.
Don’t worry—you don’t have to tell employees to skip the internet. Instead, encourage them to tether their laptop to their phone, or use a VPN to keep data safe.
#4 Keep an Eye on Your Devices
Many use smartphones for both business and pleasure. This means that the same phone used to access sensitive financial information or competitive data can be carelessly left at a restaurant while on vacation.
Employees need to secure their devices—whether to protect personal photos or your company’s proprietary information. So remind employees to require passwords to access their devices and have up-to-date security software to foil would-be hackers.
Whether your employees are on a trip or sticking around home, they should download apps like Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager. This way if their device goes missing, they can locate it or wipe it clean.
Stay Vigilant Year-Round
Just because it’s turkey time, don’t let your employees let their guard down. Not everyone is full of goodwill around Thanksgiving. Cyber criminals aren’t taking a break—so you can’t either.
Cybersecurity pros are especially busy this time of year. At Xilogix we recognize the hard work you put in and appreciate it. Educating your employees is important. But you also need the reinforcement of technology to protect data from threats that do get through.
Xiologix offers a complete portfolio of best-in-class cybersecurity technology that collaborates and shares threat information as part of a cohesive fabric of security. Contact us to learn more.