How to Keep Your Workforce Safe Online
May 02, 2018

In today’s world, we spend most of our time online whether it’s for business or for pleasure; therefore, it’s vital to keep ourselves, and our employees, safe when online. From entering personal data when ordering online to emailing sensitive data, the way that your employees share and interact online could be putting your company at risk of a serious data breach without you even realizing it.

No matter how hard you work as an individual to stay safe online, if your workforce is not educated and continues to make poorly informed choices then this will affect the future safety of your company. While most staff do not enjoy attending training workshops, or even if you provide online modules to complete, then you may be met with some resistance at first. However, explain the relevance of why you are completing training to keep your workforce safe online. If you highlight the benefits of this to your colleagues, emphasizing that the knowledge they acquire will also keep their kids and family safe, then you are sure to have an employee base that is ready to learn how to make positive improvements in the future.

If your company is in need of better online safety, be sure to keep these tips at the forefront of your mind if you want to ensure that your colleagues and crucial business data are kept out of the reach of opportunists.

Keep your passwords safe

It might sound incredibly obvious, but you will need to start by reviewing how passwords are stored across your firm and whether they’re strong enough. Chances are, you are bound to find colleagues who still write down their passwords on scraps of paper or worse stick them to their desktop monitor. Remember that once cyber-criminals have access to an employee password, they will be able to get into your network just by logging in – resulting in a serious data breach that will damage your company.

To limit such risks, ensure that your colleagues change their passwords regularly, and keep any passwords that they choose secure by using random combinations of digits and letters, rather than information that can be easily hacked such as the name of their first pet, their date of birth or even the names of their children. The stronger the password, the more difficult it is for hackers to make their way into your network, meaning that your workforce will be kept safe and secure.

While most employees will grumble at the thought of updating their passwords, there are easy ways to improve the passwords in your company. For example, sites such as Security Baron provide reviews and guidelines for keeping passwords safe and secure, in addition to the best password managers you could consider using in your firm. Once your passwords are kept updated and safe, the risk of a breach will drop.

Basic education

If you want to ensure that your colleagues remain safe and protected online, then you will need to provide some basic in-house training and support. If you have part of your workforce that uses telecommute or works at home, then make sure that they also understand the importance of having up to date anti-virus protection in place and make sure that they also use firewalls and anti-spyware on their home machines also.

Basic education will ensure that your workforce remains safe, no matter if they are working or using their computer for leisure. If your company celebrates safety and security, as one of your key values, then it is crucial that you include cyber security and best protocols for any work that is completed online or on your company network in this also. However, it is important that you do not create a fear-based environment, and by providing a basic education you can explain to colleagues that you are looking to make changes to improve their current working environment. If you do not already include online protocols and best processes to follow as part of your onboarding or regular safety training, then now is the time to do so.

Crisis protocols

Finally, if you are looking to keep your workforce safe, then you will need to ensure that you have an up to date and relevant crisis protocol in place in the event that your firm gets hacked or a data security breach occurs. Make sure that all of your colleagues are educated and aware what actions should occur in the event of a communications breach. From social media to important company files or data being hacked and shared online, it is up to you to ensure that your workforce knows exactly how to respond in the event of an emergency. There are many options from briefing your IT team, to even making sure that you have stock phrases ready for your communications department, it certainly pays to plan ahead so that you are prepared in case of any emergency. Remember that your colleagues will have learned not to share any confidential information online as part of your new and improved safety training, so they should now be calm and professional under pressure.

If you want to ensure that your company continues to operate safely and efficiently, then it is vital that your workforce remain safe and informed, so that they make the right decisions when accessing information online. Be sure to keep any passwords safe and ensure that colleagues change their passwords regularly and make sure that colleagues do not choose obvious names or information as part of their company password. Provide a basic education so that even remote workers are kept protected, and make sure that you highlight the importance of cyber security for all employees across your business. Finally, have a crisis protocol in place so that your staff know what to do in the event of a breach. Once your staff have been briefed, and your workforce is prepared, you can rest safe in the knowledge that your company is no longer at risk of being compromised.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash