The “human” factor is perhaps the biggest gap in any company’s data security system. The fact is, we humans don’t always do what’s best when it comes to keeping information secure. We are creatures of habit and, sometimes, those habits can put your company and your clients at risk. Here are 5 very human behaviors that could be endangering your data security.
1. Unsecured Wi-Fi
It’s natural to want to get work done when you’re away from the office, and so many locations have free Wi-Fi these days that it seems only natural to connect and get right to work. But the unsecured, public networks at places like the airport or your local fast food restaurant aren’t the place to be accessing sensitive business information. These networks can be accessed by anyone, and even amateur hackers can access the data you’re viewing or sharing through these networks. So if you’re hooking up to public Wi-Fi networks, make sure you’re only doing so for personal browsing purposes.
2. Sharing Passwords
When you’re trying to share information with someone or get them to help you on your computer, it may seem like the easiest option is simply to give the person your password. Keeping your passwords confidential may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes our desire to make things simpler overpowers our common-sense security knowledge. Obviously, sharing your password is a definite security taboo, no matter how sure you are that the person can be trusted. Keep your passwords to yourself and find other ways of sharing the information or getting the person’s help.
3. Using the Same Password
As we’ve said, humans are creatures of habit, and we’re also creatures with limited memory capacity. With all of the information you have stored away in your brain, who has the energy to try to remember a different password for every program? It’s much easier to use the same username and password across the board. But this is a big data security risk: if one of your accounts gets compromised, suddenly every account you have is compromised. Use a different password for every program and keep your passwords in a safe place, such as a password saver app, so that you don’t have to remember them all.
4. Leaving Computers Unattended
When you’re working outside the workplace, it’s important that you never leave your laptop unattended, even for a moment. While you get up to go grab your Starbucks coffee from the counter, someone could easily swipe your laptop, and all of the information contained on that laptop could be compromised. Even simply not paying attention to your laptop when it’s sitting right next to you can compromise data; someone could be looking at your screen over your shoulder without you realizing it. If you’re going to access sensitive information in a public place, make sure you’re doing so in a way that doesn’t allow others to via your computer screen, and never step away from the computer for even a moment.
5. Personal Mobile Devices
In today’s technology world, many companies welcome a “BYOD” policy, or “Bring Your Own Device.” This can help save a company money on providing every employee with laptops and other equipment. However, if you’re going to have employees using personal devices to access organizational networks, it’s important that you ensure every device has security settings to protect the data that is being accessed. Devices—such as mobile phones—that are not secure can easily be compromised, and the data they have access to can be stolen.
Data security is a complicated and multi-faceted aspect of the modern business, but it is something that every business owner or CEO must be aware of—as should every employee. Make sure to provide your employees with proper training on data security, and have a clear policy on the matter. You should have strict processes in place to help protect the information that your business handles.
If you don’t have secure processes in place, contact us. eFileCabinet’s document management software offers high-end security measures to help ensure your company is doing everything possible to protect your clients’ data.