ShredQuick Blog

Common habits that put your Bradenton data in jeopardy

Security breaches and data theft happens every day in offices around the world, including here in Bradenton. Some of these incidents spring from habits many employees have that expose data and practically invite thieves to take it. Here are some of the common mistakes or bad practices that can lead to data and identity theft that puts your office at elevated risk.

 

Leaving documents on your desk

Offices get busy. When business is moving quickly, it’s hard to remember to do small steps that protect the information we manage. One of the simplest tasks in keeping info secure and private is to keep it off your desk when you’re not around. Exposed documents draw attention, and they’re often the cause of security breaches that never need to happen. Whether it’s paper or electronic data, hide your documents away so they’re not accessible.

Setting passwords that are too easy to figure out

Yes, having to remember multiple passwords can be a pain. But making them so laughably simple to remember is flat-out dangerous to your company and its data. Thankfully most password-creating software now prevents you from creating thought-free passwords like “12345678,” “abcdefgh,” or the dreaded “password.” But go the extra mile. Using a mix of at least nine lower and upper case, special characters, and numbers will make your password harder to guess or decrypt. Try not to write passwords down anywhere. Your computer should have a password manager to safely keep track of all the various, hopefully multiple passwords you use.

Throwing old technology and documents in the trash

Even old, outdated, or broken technology contains enough data that can be extracted for nefarious purposes. Leaving old devices in trash receptacles or dumpsters gives potential criminals a clear opportunity to get that data for fraud or identity theft. When it’s time to get rid of old technology, use a professional media destruction company to be sure it won’t fall into the wrong hands. The same goes for paper documents — the surest way to keep disposed information secure is employing a professional shredding service.

Postponing automatic updates

Automatic system updates always seem to pop up at the most inopportune time. You always have the option to delay them, but it’s important to schedule them as soon as you can. Many of these updates contain crucial safety upgrades that respond to the latest security threats and viruses. If you get a notification and you can’t let the upgrade happen this minute, set it for the very next time you’ll be away from your device, preferably on the same day, for a half-hour or more. It may not even take that long.

Opening fake company email

Phishing has gotten more sophisticated and insidious. You may get emails appearing to be from legitimate companies like Amazon, Microsoft, or Apple (I just got a couple from “Netflix” thirty seconds before writing this sentence). They tell you something is wrong with your account or it’s just been suspended. They’ll ask you to verify certain information and click on a button to provide it. These emails may look official, but they’re scams. They’re often identifiable by bad grammar or misspellings and come from an email domain that doesn’t match the company name. Don’t open them — and never open an attachment from a source you don’t know and trust.

 

Data security expertise

ShredQuick helps dozens of Bradenton businesses by destroying old data and advising customers on good security practices. Call us to find out more.

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