What is security awareness? Wikipedia defines security awareness as the “knowledge and attitude members of an organization possess regarding the protection of the physical and especially, information assets of that organization.”
Presently, there is an increased potential for people to deliberately or accidentally distort, damage, steal or abuse the data that is stored within a company’s computer and information systems. For this reason, most organizations now have mandatory security awareness training for all new workers as well as existing ones.
According to the European Network and Information Security Agency, “being aware of the risks and available safeguards is the first line of defense for ensuring the security of information systems and networks.” This statement emphasizes the need for an institution or organization to protect its physical or information assets by empowering its employees with adequate security awareness.
Whether you own a business and would like to teach some basic security awareness tips to your employees, or you are an employee who have yet to receive adequate security awareness training from your employers, this post is for you. It shares basic security awareness tips that you must know. Although the required security awareness training varies among organizations, some basic tips can be applicable in all places and settings. Here are 10 of such basic tips:
10 Best Security Awareness Training Tips You Need To Know
1. Don’t give personal information readily
Always ask questions before disclosing private information about yourself or your employer – especially when you think the requested details are not necessary for the objective. Never disclose the requested details until you have been informed about how the information would be used and assured that it would be protected. If you are not satisfied with the answers given, don’t disclose your details.
2. Use social media with caution
Your information is never safe on sites like Facebook and MySpace, as hackers easily find their way through people’s accounts. So, always think twice before posting any sensitive or private information on these sites that may help hackers steal your private information.
3. Protect your PC while on wireless networks
Because wireless networks are shared, they are a huge risk. The other users within the network may be hackers who can easily steal your password. So, always keep your PC protected by turning on your firewall and avoid sending your passwords through the air. If you regularly share sensitive information over a network, use encrypted wireless networks, which offers higher levels of protection.
4. Always use your own device
Although you may have “cleaned all your tracks” after using another computer, a keylogger (a program that logs all your key strokes) would easily disclose everything you did on the computer. If you would work with passwords or other sensitive information, use your own device (that you own and protect).
5. Never disclose passwords and PINs-: Don’t ever be too trusting of your friends, relatives, or your colleagues at work. Always keep your passwords and PINs to yourself. The more you disclose your private information to others, the higher your risks of being burned.
6. Never open strange attachment and applications
According to research, one of the commonest ways by which worms and viruses are spread is through email attachments. So, avoid opening email attachments from unknown senders. Even if a mail from someone you know contains a weird-looking attachment, question the sender about it before proceeding to open it. File-sharing tools are other means by which you can get bad files on your computer. Avoid opening files from tools such as Limewire, Azureus, and other Bit Torrent clients.
7. Don’t disable security tools-: One common mistake that can expose your computer to bad files is turning off your anti-virus or firewall – usually while trouble-shooting slow applications. Most of the time, when people do this, they forget to turn it on.
8. Be wary of HTML emails-: You may not know this, but it’s true: some emails may contain embedded text that may be as dangerous as malicious attachments. Embedded HTML text and PDF can contain harmful codes. So, do not open any unsolicited emails.
9. Always shred unused papers-: Before you dispose of unused papers that contain sensitive information, always shred them into useless pieces. You never know who may want to retrieve them from the waste bin and use them for illegal purposes.