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10 essential cybersecurity practices for new employees

26 January, 2023

Welcome to the wonderful world of cybersecurity! As an employee starting at a new company, it’s vital to understand the importance of good cybersecurity practices. After all, human error is responsible for around 90% of data breaches in organisations.

By following your company's cybersecurity practices, you’re helping to protect your company's valuable information and assets from cyber threats, alongside keeping the company's operations running smoothly and maintaining the trust of customers and partners.

And let's be honest, following your company's cybersecurity practices isn’t just a responsibility; they’re an ethical obligation to protect your company and colleagues' data. If you don't, it could lead to serious consequences like a data breach, financial losses, and damage to the company's reputation.

Knowing where to start can feel bewildering, but don’t panic, because in this blog post we’ll be sharing ten cybersecurity practices to adopt to help protect your company.

But first…

Why are positive cybersecurity behaviours important?

Cybersecurity isn’t something that should only concern CEOs and tech team members, it’s something we should all be concerned about and, crucially, something we can all impact in a positive manner.

Human error is responsible for around 90% of data breaches in organisations, and anyone can make a mistake leading to a breach.

This is why it's crucial for everyone in your business to understand the importance of following the company's cybersecurity practices and the value of adopting new, secure behaviours.

It isn’t just about keeping cybercriminals out; it's also about keeping us all accountable and ensuring we all do our part in protecting your company's information.

Here are our top 10 behavioural practices for new hires:

Use strong and unique passwords

Using strong and unique passwords is one of the most basic, yet essential, cybersecurity practices you can adopt. You would be surprised at how many employees’ passwords are ‘password’. Is this you? If it is, then here are some tips on creating strong passwords.

A strong password should:

  • Be at least 12 characters long
  • Include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Avoid using easily guessable information, such as your name, birthdate, or common words.
  • Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts too, as a data breach on one site could lead to a domino effect across all your accounts.

Keep your software and devices up to date

Software and device updates often include security patches to fix known vulnerabilities. If a security vulnerability is discovered, hackers will often try to exploit it before a patch is released. By keeping your software and devices up to date, you can ensure that these vulnerabilities are fixed and your devices are protected.

Be cautious when opening attachments or clicking on links in emails

Phishing scams often use emails to trick people into providing sensitive information or downloading malware. Always be cautious when opening attachments or clicking on links in emails, especially if they are from unknown senders. Take a look at our blog on how to spot a phishing email.

Use a VPN when working remotely or accessing company resources from a public network

A VPN encrypts your internet connection and helps protect your data from hackers. Public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure and can be easily hacked, so it's essential to use a VPN when working remotely or accessing company resources from a public network.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks

Public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure and can be easily hacked. If you need to access company resources or sensitive information while on a public network, use a VPN to encrypt your connection and protect your data.

Use two-factor authentication whenever possible

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a second form of identification, such as a fingerprint or a code sent to your phone. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account, even if they have your password.

Be mindful of your online presence

Be careful about what you post on social media, and be aware of your privacy settings. Hackers can gather information about you. Be mindful of the information you share online and use privacy settings to control who can see your posts. Take a look at our blog post on how to reduce your digital footprint.

Use anti-virus and anti-malware software

These programs help protect your computer from malware and other malicious software. They work by scanning your computer for known malware and alerting you if it finds anything suspicious. Keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software up to date to ensure that it can protect you from the latest threats.

Be aware of social engineering tactics

Cybercriminals often use tactics such as phishing and pretexting to trick people into providing sensitive information. Be aware of these tactics and be cautious when providing personal information, especially over the phone or online. To learn more about social engineering, look at this blog post.

Report any suspicious activity or breaches immediately

If you suspect your computer or network has been compromised, report it to your IT department immediately. Time is of the essence when it comes to cybersecurity breaches, the faster they are detected and dealt with, the less damage they can cause.

Download your free quick wins checklist

Ready to start reducing cyber risk in your new starters? Click the text below to download your free quick wins checklist, no details required. Alternatively, why not book a quick demo with one of our cyber risk reduction specialists?

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