Having a firewall installed to protect your network is an important component of cyber security but keeping your data safe from cyber criminals takes a layered approach. Do you know another important factor that can help keep your network safe?

It’s you!

There are some easy, and effective, steps you can take to keep your information secure.

Respect Your Access Level

Privileged access to certain files, folders, and even physical locations is granted for a reason. Trying to go around that access – even if it’s for a good reason, like to complete an assigned task – can make trouble for you and your company. Having privileged access also means making sure you don’t leave doors (both literally and figuratively) open to others who don’t have that access. Make sure to always obtain the proper permissions to access secure information.

Be Mindful of the Links You Click On

Email messages, social media posts, and text messages can be a playground for cyber criminals to send malicious links. These links can infect systems with malware or take users to phony sites in an effort to collect sensitive data like social security numbers or bank account information.

Email phishing attacks also try to get victims to send sensitive data or money to the criminal. Make sure to always be sure you know who an email came from and links are legitimate before clicking on them. You can hover over names and links to verify the URL address and instead of clicking on a link you can type the URL directly into your browser.

Report Security Incidents

Mistakes happen and if you realize you have clicked on a bad link, responded to a phishing email, or if something just doesn’t seem right, it’s important to report it. Even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal, or you think you’ve fixed the situation, it’s always best to check. Hackers can exploit even the smallest door that’s left open to them.

Follow Company Cyber Security Policy

Circumventing company policy not only could lead to disciplinary action for you, it could lead to data breaches and ransomware attacks. Policy is implemented to keep the data of the company, employees, and clients secure. There are procedures for collecting, transferring, and securing data that must be followed in order to ensure that security. Be sure you know company policy before accessing or sharing company files, data, and information.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Awareness goes a long way when it comes to security. It’s easy to get wrapped up in work and mindlessly click on an email that appears to be from your boss, but it only takes a second to make sure. Look at it carefully – does the email address look right? Is there a strange request in the email? Are there unusual phrases or misspelled words in the email? Sometimes it’s easy to just glance at things without reading them carefully when we’re used to getting similar messages over and over throughout the day. Be sure to read everything and double-check anything that doesn’t follow normal procedure or doesn’t seem right for any reason

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