Today, everything is managed on the computer and the web. A single wrong click may lead to a data breach, thus, putting the company in a compromising position. As a result, companies have been more cautious about cybersecurity and the risks associated with the lack of security for the past few years. 

Around 61% of tech leaders believe that their company lacks cybersecurity specialists, thus making them prone to hacking. So, as an employee, always stay on guard to ensure your company’s data security.

Most cybercriminals attack small businesses and startups because they believe they don’t have tight security and have fewer controls. Therefore, they can easily infiltrate them. As an employee, you must learn about the best cybersecurity practices. The smallest practices from your side may save the confidential data from falling into the wrong hands. 

Let’s learn more about how to avoid cybercriminals. 

1. Look out for phishing emails and scams

Phishing attacks have been rising for the past few years. Phishers target employees to click on emails or Ads infected with malware, thus resulting in security breaches. Most phishing attacks take place through emails. 

Cybercriminals use social engineering to manipulate employees and users to provide sensitive and confidential information, which gives unauthorized access to the hacker. 

Follow these tips to avoid phishing scams:

  • Be suspicious of emails and surveys which require non-personal information such as credentials
  • As an employer, provide proper training and courses to your employees regarding phishing and online scams. 
  • Employ email authentication technology in your systems to block suspicious emails and Ads. 
  • Report suspicious emails, calls, and text messages to the IT department to investigate it further. 

2. Use secure and authorized passwords

Simple and easy passwords make it effortless for cyber thieves to hack into your systems. Unfortunately, around 44% of users reuse passwords. As a result, if the cybercriminal breaches once through that password, he may infiltrate other systems and gain access to sensitive information. Therefore, the employees must create strong, unique, and confidential passwords. 

Follow these tips to ensure your systems do not get hacked through your passwords:

  • Instead of reusing passwords, create solid and confidential passwords. 
  • Use a password manager to change passwords regularly and maintain strong passwords. 
  • Use multi-factor authentication wherever possible. It adds an extra layer of security and makes it harder for hackers to breach the account. 
  • Do not leave your passwords in the view of the naked eye, such as journals, post-it notes, etc.

3. Invest in cybersecurity solutions

A quality software system might be expensive, but the outcome is remarkable. You can be saved from almost every cybercrime out there. Investing timely in cyber security solutions can save you financial as well as legal costs associated with security breaches.

 Additional measures are as follows:

  • As an employer, invest in antivirus and malware detection software. 
  • Use external hard drives that backup your data.
  • Have your IT team perform regular checks on all the systems. 
  • Use a firewall to protect your systems. 
  • As an employee, alert the IT department if you suspect a bug or malware in the system. 

These tips also apply when you use your device from home. In addition, make sure you have backed up your data and have an antivirus installed and updated to avoid compromises.

4. Refrain from using shadow it in the workplace

As an employee, you should avoid the usage of systems and applications which the IT department does not authorize, usually called Shadow IT. Shadow IT defies the workplace rules, but it also poses a serious cybersecurity threat to the company’s systems. 

Shadow IT can be your device, USB, personal email, third-party service provider, etc. Therefore, take the following preventive measures to avoid compromises:

  • Do not use unapproved devices and systems in the workplace. 
  • Do not use third-party Service as a Software (SaaS) without the approval of the IT department, as it may make the company’s confidential information visible to outsiders. 
  • Do not use your device without a BYOD policy. 
  • Do not transfer the company’s data to personal USB or cloud spaces as your system is prone to hacking. 
  • As an employer, if a specific Shadow technology fulfills a desired need of the company, employ it with proper security measures. 
  • Report a suspected Shadow technology activity to your manager or the IT department. 

5. Do not connect to public networks

Hackers can easily track your data on public networks. Hence, it is better not to use public WiFi or hotspots. Of course, your circumstances may tempt you to connect to those networks, but refraining is the best way to dodge cyberthieves. 

Moreover, you are prone to man-in-the-middle attacks, where the hacker tricks you into connecting by mimicking an official network. However, once you link to that network, all your activity and login details you used, fall into the hands of cyber thieves. 

Practice these precautions to avoid cyber-attacks through a public network. 

  • Use your cellular data network through your eSim. 
  • If it is necessary to use a public network, use a VPN. It reduces the risks of cyberattacks. 
  • Use two-factor authentication, which is usually available on your cell phone. 
  • Use low-risk sites when using a public network. 

Bottom Line

Hackers are getting smarter day by day. Their crime activities are no longer confined to big organizations but targeting every device which benefits them. However, you can take precautions and help strengthen your company’s breach vulnerabilities. 

A single wrong click can compromise the company’s confidential data. Hence, as an employee and an employer, it is your responsibility to engage in safe online activities. Moreover, if you see any suspicious activity, inform your manager immediately so they can rectify the risks before a catastrophe. 

WRITTEN BY
Haroon Ashfaq
Marketing Analyst
Tkxel
Haroon Ashfaq is a tech marketing professional with expertise in B2B marketing and lead generation. He works as a business analyst for the thought leaders of the tech Industry. With a keen eye on the digital ecosystems and cyberspace, he likes to read up and write his thought out in the form of blogs.
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5 Tips to Avoid Cybercriminals