In our second installment of security related blog post we will talk bout securing your work computer.
Set a strong Password
Here is a good set of guidelines:
- Try to use a non-dictionary words
- Include uppercase, lowercase, numeric and symbol characters in your password
- Set policy to change password every 72 to 90 days
Do not share your password
No matter how strong your password it, it is useless if you share it with someone. Do not under any circumstance share your password with anyone in your company.
Try to not use public Wi-Fi Hotspots
Sure it may be convenient to use Wi-fi hotspots at your local Starbucks, Second Cup or Tim Hortons, but these networks are mostly free and ‘open’ meaning that whatever you transmit may be unencrypted and visible to anyone with a few simple tools.
The nature of software is that there are bugs and vulnerabilities that are spotted after the software has been released to the market. Software companies release updates to fix these issues as quickly as they can and so to prevent hackers from taking advantage of these vulnerabilities keep your operating system and other software up to date with the latest security patches.
Install anti-virus and firewall on your desktop and laptops. Optionally you can also install ad blockers and anti-malware for added protection. There is a common misconception that Macs are immune to viruses and hacks. This is not true; any computer that is connected to the Internet is a potential target. Also, if your company has a combination of MacOSX and Windows machines, Macs may not be harmed by a Windows virus, but they can infect Windows machines with a shared file or even an email.
Ask your network administrators to only allow work related website to be accessible on your network. Encrypt all hard drives to protect valuable data or better yet, do not allow storing of confidential information on local machines such as laptops or desktops. Set firewall rules to allow access to your data servers only from allowed devices and networks. Use VPN instead of giving direct access to data servers.
Aside from strong passwords and having physical locks on your employee laptops, you can purchase laptops with finger print scanners.
All of the above does only so much to protect your computer. You must make sensible decisions when operating a company laptop or desktop. Do not install software from unknown sources, ask your IT administrator if you are unsure. Do not go to sites which you are unsure of.
If is vital to secure your laptops and desktops, but it is even more important to protect your servers that store data, website and email. These procedures usually take in-depth knowledge and time. We provide full managed server services for our clients that deal with sensitive information. Contact us to get a free consultation.