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  • Denrique Davis

5 Steps to Ensure Your Company's Data is Secure

Updated: Apr 11, 2021

Accessing data securely on Laptop Desktop and Mobile
Importance of Data Security wherever you are

Data has become one of the most valuable assets in the world and as a result, this has made cybercriminals more emboldened, making information security more important than it’s ever been.

It’s not just cybercriminals you need to be aware of, it’s a fact that the majority of data breaches are a result of negligence or staff errors within the organisation; such as a lost or stolen computer or mobile devices, weak passwords or the accidental downloading of malicious software, all can lead to data loss or a data breach incidents. Data breaches happen all to often and can carry hefty fines from the Information commissioner’s office (ICO), that could be catastrophic for some businesses, not only that but a data breach can also diminish your organisations' reputation.

Whether you are a business owner or an employee, there are 5 simple preventive steps you can take to help keep your organisations' data secure.

1. Your Password is too easy to hack!

Strong passwords are a necessity to deter cybercriminals and protect data. You need to change your password regularly to make it harder for hackers or thieves to access your company’s sensitive information.

You should never share your password with anyone and your password should have a certain level of complexity so it is difficult to guess. Complexity is one aspect, but your password should also be something you can memorise. Don’t have the best memory? Well, there’s an App for that Dashlane is a great app for storing your passwords and boasts a ‘Best in class security that has never been hacked’ Dashlane offers a safe easy way to manage business passwords.

Best practices for coming up with complex, strong passwords:

  • Ensure to include a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols in your password, a minimum of two of the following categories: lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers & symbols (e.g., *, %, £, #).

  • Ensure your password is at least seven characters long; the general rule of thumb is the more characters you have the more secure the password.

  • Do not include part of your name or User ID in the password.

  • Make sure you change your password periodically; this will increase the security of your company’s data.

2. Beware of phishing emails

Phishing emails are fake emails that criminals and hackers use to target your identity, financial information or gain control of your computer and network. The email will usually look as though it has come from a trusted source like your bank or a renowned e-commerce website.

These emails tend to include links to login pages or attachments to download. Before you do anything confirm:

  • ·You recognise the sender's email address because at first glance it can look like an address you recognise e.g. @amazon.co.uk / @amazn.co.uk

  • Ask yourself if this Is an email you were expecting.

  • · And if all else fails and you are still not sure just delete the suspicious email without opening, better to be safe than sorry.

3. Be aware of your surroundings and prying eyes.

Portable devices, such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones can be easy targets for prying eyes, these people can sometimes be referred to as visual hackers. Although we are spending less time in the office than previously ‘visual hacking’ can be an issue in any workspace and a great way to mitigate this issue is to attach privacy filters to your devices, so visual hackers are unable to view your screen EPHY provides privacy filters for smartphones, laptops, and desktop computer screens.

4. Protect your organisations' data at your workspace

Whether you are still working from home or have headed back to the office it is important that you protect your company’s data. Stepped away from your desk for a moment? It’s normal we all do it and taking a break every so often is even recommended, but when you do you must take precautions. Protecting your organisations' data from those not authorised to see it is imperative and below are a few simple tips to ensure you keep your workspace secure.

  • When you leave your workspace, make sure you lock your computer or laptop. Most operating systems let you adjust your security preferences, so a password is required to unlock or wake up your system.

  • Keep all sensitive documentation you need in a secure location like a locked drawer or cupboard that only you and/or those authorised to see that information have access to, alternatively try not to print sensitive information unless it is a necessity.

  • Clear your desk or workspace when leaving it unattended to ensure you are not putting your organisation and its customers' data at risk. Without a clear desk or workspace, you are not always aware of what potentially sensitive information could be on your desk, so adopting a clear desk policy will ensure the integrity of your organisations' information

5. Select the right ITAD Partner

IT asset disposition or ITAD for short simply refers to the practice of removal, transfer or disposal of IT hardware such as redundant or retired PCs. There are many examples of data backups falling off the back of trucks or sensitive data getting into the wrong hands once it has been donated or disposed of. Data security is a life cycle management issue and at Advance Services, our ITAD practices not only support your organisation’s data security needs but can also form a part of your organisation’s sustainability strategy.

So whether you’re upgrading, donating or otherwise getting rid of computer equipment, Advance Services offers a secure tracked collection of IT assets, asset reporting so you know where your IT assets are at all times and Ministry of Defence standard Secure Data destruction methods so you can rest assured your sensitive data won’t get into the wrong hands.

As a leading ITAD service provider, Advance Services can refurbish your ‘redundant’ IT equipment, so they are ready for redistribution, resale or charitable donation at your direction. Alternatively, we can ensure your assets are disposed of in an eco-friendly manner and issue you with an environmental certificate If you would like to know more, just get in touch with a member of the team today.

Share these tips with others in your organisation to help keep your organisations' data safe and secure. Found this helpful? Learn more about data security risks and why it is important your company has a data destruction policy.

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