Cybersecurity: How To Keep Your Data Safe Online in 5 Easy Steps

January 27, 2022

One of the biggest threats to businesses today is cybersecurity breaches. Two common types are phishing and ransomware attacks. 

Phishing involves fake emails and websites that trick you into giving bad actors sensitive data or that install malware on your system.

Ransomware attacks use malware to hold data or systems for ransom. The SonicWall Cyber Threat Report shows a 62% increase globally in this type of cyber threat.

As an Executive Assistant or Office Manager, you probably manage logins and other sensitive data for critical business systems. 

Here are five simple ways you can protect yourself and your company from these threats:

  1. Create strong passwords, and don’t share them. If you don’t already use a password manager, consider setting one up. They help you create strong and unique passwords for every service you access. If you need to create a strong password manually, remember these key steps: use capital and lowercase letters, use symbols and numbers, never use obvious words or personal information, make sure it’s unique from your other passwords, and aim for a length of 10 characters or more.

  1. Don’t open or click links within suspicious emails. Even with spam filtering, malicious emails can get through into your inbox. Cybercriminals are very good at spoofing brand emails to make them look exactly like the legitimate ones. Be wary of emails that ask for sensitive information—instead of clicking the link in the email, log in directly to the service website to avoid potential issues.

  1. Log out of critical systems when stepping away from your desk. This is important if you work from an office or public space. Some systems automatically log you out after a short time of no activity, but it’s always best to be proactive. 

  1. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). If you need to access critical systems, never do so on an open, public wifi network where your traffic can be monitored by others. Instead, use a VPN to help keep you secure. Your company may already provide a VPN. If they don’t, there are several low-cost VPNs that can give you peace of mind.

  1. Look for the lock button on your browser. Before entering in login or payment information online, always double-check that your site is secure. Look for the lock symbol at the top of your internet browser, near the website address. If you don’t see it, the site is unsafe for sharing sensitive information.

Office Otter User Tip: Set a recurring task to remind you to regularly change your passwords. Use checklist items to list all of the sites where you need to change your password.