The Most Common Data Security Mistakes Your Staff Makes (Part 1)

Sometimes your worst security threat is an untrained or careless staff. A well-maintained online security setup can easily be overcome by a hacker if an employee makes a simple mistake. Let’s go over some of those common data security mistakes that lead to many of the data breaches that companies suffer today.

Common Data Security Mistakes

  1. Opening an email attachment – No matter how many times management may have told employees to be careful about emails from people they don’t know, this is still one of the most common issues. The fact is that sometimes the sender isn’t a stranger. If a friend’s email gets hacked, cyber criminals can send everyone in that person’s address book a malicious link. A message from a friend arrives with the title, “You’ve got to see this!” or something else that is innocuous. The employee clicks the link, and the damage is done. Employees need to be trained to question links, even from someone they know, if they were not expecting the message.
  2. Putting off updates – The computer says it needs to restart for new updates to take effect. However, the staff member is in the middle of a project and delays the restart. Days pass. The problem is that the update was for a security issue, and now that employee’s computer is a hacker’s way into your network because the exploit is still useable. You must train employees to apply updates as soon as they are available.
  3. Pornography, pirating, and other shady websites – If a visited website is compromised, it doesn’t take long for a computer to become compromised. Obviously, these are the kinds of websites employees should not be using on company time or company devices. Unfortunately, employees may also work from personal devices and save login credentials. It’s not a long stretch to have those credentials stolen if shady websites are being accessed on the same device. Train your employees to save logins only on their work devices, and to use such devices only for work.

These are just three of the most common data security mistakes made by employees. We will consider more in future articles.