10 Golden Rules to Protect Your Professional Computer

10 Golden Rules Title Picture

 

Summer time is upon us, and we are more relaxed as holidays approach… But it’s not a reason to forget good habits regarding digital security at work, as hackers don’t go on holiday!

 

Passwords:

  • Choose a complex password with at least 10 characters.
    It should ideally have four different types of characters: lowercase, uppercase, numbers and special characters (included punctuation marks). The longer and more complex the password is, the better, as the combination possibilities increase.
    Forget “easy” passwords like the name of your partner, of your beloved kids or of your pet.

  • Create a different password for each web platform and mobile application.
    Do not use professional passwords or credentials for personal use. It would be a pity that your Facebook account becomes the first step for a ransomware in your company.

 

Your Computer:

  • Lock your computer every time you go away from it.
    A malicious person could use it without your knowledge, and get or exploit confidential information. Remember also your colleague who could make a joke and tell the whole department you offer everyone a drink…

 

  • Do the recommended updates: they can be indispensable for the security, as they correct flaws or mistakes. Next time, read the message carefully shown, and if not sure, ask your IT department. We all shall avoid being stressed of the left click by clicking “refuse” each time.

 

  • If you find or if someone offers you a USB stick insideCute cat picture or outside your organisation (as goodies for example), bring it to your IT department. Don’t plug it on your computer. It could contain malicious files. No, no, even if the file name is “Cute kitty pics”, we resist to the temptation and we don’t open it!

 

Emails:

  • Check the sender before clicking on a link or opening an attached file. Vigilance is the key word: Double check the name of the sender and be on the lookout for any difference with the official email address. Hackers use many subterfuges to deceive you into a known person or into making you answer immediately, in order to get your credentials/passwords per email. They use for example messages like “Dear member/customer” or “Urgent answer needed!”.
    To know more about how to detect phishing emails, you can read this article.

 

  • Don’t activate macros in a document you don’t know the origin. Malicious code from an unknown sender could be hidden in a file and infect your computer.

 

During a business trip:

  • Use a privacy screen filter. You’ll be keeping away prying eyes in trains or planes. Useful also to watch in peace pictures of Grandma on the beach.

 

  • Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi. It’s possible that that Wi-Fi is unsecured and that your personal information is intercepted if a hacker is connected too on that network using a malicious software.

 

Finally,

  • Control as much as you can professional information. Don’t give sensitive information per email (as passwords for encrypted files – prefer a call). Be careful also not to be too expansive on forums and social networks: you could, without wanting it, disclose precious information for a malicious hacker. Avoid talking about the planning or internal organisation, flaunting your development or commercial achievements on a LinkedIn profile, etc. This information could be an entry door for someone outside of the company!