Data Security Best Practices

As the year comes to a close, SHAPE wants to promote smart IT security decisions to take you into the new year. While SHAPE has your business covered, we’d like to share a few best practices that will promote safety and efficiency in all your personal computing endeavors.

LOCK YOUR COMPUTER

Windows: Control + Windows Key
Mac: control + shift + power (control + shift + eject for devices with optical drives)
While this may seem unnecessary, users may leave valuable corporate information exposed even while away from their machine for just a few minutes. Unfortunately, social engineering (using human interaction to bypass security protocols and/or access valuable information) is a real and unexpected threat. Additionally, it’s possible for co-workers to move, alter or delete valuable information unknowingly while using an unfamiliar machine for only a few minutes.

USE COMPLEX PASSWORDS AND CHANGE OFTEN

C0mp1exP@$$w0rds instead of complexpasswords
Many programs and corporate IT departments now require more complex passwords, but it’s smart to take this habit to personal devices and accounts as well.  A few good password best practices include: never reusing old passwords, never give away or write down passwords, especially on a laptop or around a desk, don’t use common words like your name or the word password, and make your password complex by incorporating uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters to make your password unique and unpredictable. Also, be sure to change your password every 60-90 days or, if remembering passwords becomes too much of a burden, consider looking into two-factor authentication for your apps and data.

USE LATEST SOFTWARE

Always ask a SHAPE representative what your upgrade policy is, but it’s always a good idea to use a manufacturers latest software version to prevent issue. Not only can this improve functionality, an update, or patch, may be specifically designed to combat a security threat not addressed in the initial release. Additionally, always update from the manufacturers site; don’t search through third party sites to find new software and, when necessary, get a second opinion. This goes for new software and especially attachments received from unfamiliar email addresses.

BACKUP OFTEN

Deciding where to store information can be tough now that there are so many cloud options in addition to corporate drives and various local storage locations. Familiarize yourself with SHAPE’s storage policy and additional options for personal information. Then, stick to a back up plan. IT companies exist for one main reason: computers don’t always act the way we want them to. Eliminate the headache of lost data in the event of a disaster by performing regular backups to planned locations.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Again, SHAPE practices the highest level of security when guarding your data, but we cannot emphasize enough the important of data security in today’s dynamic tech landscape. Here are the highlights:

  1. Lock your device every time you walk away from it.
  2. Use complex, unpredictable passwords and change them often.
  3. Keep software up-to-date via the manufacturer’s website.
  4. Know your storage options and keep data secure in case of outages.

If you have any questions regarding the state of your data security, or would like SHAPE to start securing your company, reach out to us at info@shapeint.com. Thanks!

 

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