Educating Your Employees on Digital Hygiene Practices

June 3, 2022

Did you know that cyber crimes are becoming more prevalent and that signs show they will continue to become more prevalent year by year? Many people are amazed at all the benefits of technological progress. However, technological progress also brings certain disadvantages along with it.

As this trend continues, digital hygiene will become more important for businesses. If you have not already suffered because of poor data hygiene, consider yourself lucky. It is not because cybercrime is an unlikely occurrence.

So how can you ensure that your employees follow great data hygiene practices? Read on to learn about the most important things to ensure that your employees know about proper data security!


Enjoy Cyber Safety With Security Tools

The first thing to ensure that everybody understands is the importance of basic security software. This includes simple tools like antivirus and anti-malware software.

You might think that sophisticated cybercriminals know how to get around these protections. While there is some truth, it does not mean that these protections are not valuable.

Just as with crime in the real world, criminals have a tendency to target victims who do not have protection. After all, why should they bother getting around protections when they can simply move on to someone else who does not have them?

For this reason, every employee should use standard antivirus software and similar tools. They should also make sure to keep these tools updated.

As criminals develop new techniques, security tools develop new protections. However, you will not be able to enjoy these protections at your company if your employees do not make sure to update their tools.


Use Best Practices for Passwords

Many people do not understand the importance of proper password selection. It is still far too common for people to use terrible passwords like password or 1234.

Many people use these kinds of passwords knowing they are not secure. However, they try to balance out the ease of use with security.

It is unfortunate that so many people have heard false information about the best practices for secure passwords. Many people think they need a complicated password that is difficult to remember to achieve proper security. That is one of the main reasons they give up on security and fall back on easy passwords.

The truth is that you can have passwords that are easy to remember but that also provide great security. So how can you do this? The most important thing to understand about proper passwords is that they are all about length rather than complexity.

Very few people try to guess passwords to break into a system. Instead, they use brute force systems that guess many possible passwords. The longer a password is, the more letters, numbers and symbols these brute force systems have to get right.

The number of possible passwords grows exponentially when you make the password longer. For most people, choosing 3 or 5 simple words in a phrase that is easy to remember will give them a powerful password. At the same time, it will be much easier to remember than a combination of special characters, numbers, and letters.


Maintain Digital Security by Updating Software

We already discussed the importance of updating antivirus software to ensure that it can protect against the latest criminal techniques. However, the same basic principle applies to software tools of all kinds, not only to antivirus or security tools.

Almost every software tool will have updates now and then. In many cases, these improve how well the tool functions. However, these updates also commonly improve the tool’s security against modern cybercriminal techniques.

That means that updating software is not only about enjoying improved tools but also enjoying superior protection. Ensure every employee checks their tools frequently and installs any available updates.

If possible, have them set every tool, so it updates automatically whenever a new update comes out. That will minimize any time their tools are vulnerable to criminal attacks.


Schedule Regular Employee Education

Some business leaders mistake informing their employees of something once and then think their job is done. The truth is that people often forget things that they only hear one time.

Schedule regular education on the subject to ensure your employees follow great data hygiene practices. You can add 5 or 10 minutes to an existing meeting to remind employees about data hygiene practices.

Having six 5-minute reminders spread over a year will be much more effective than a single 30-minute meeting held once a year.


Improve Data Protection With Company Devices

Make sure your employees understand the importance of using company devices. Using other devices for company work can provide extra vulnerabilities for criminals to attack. Professional data experts can help companies maintain secure devices.


Back-Up Your Data

If you are the victim of a cybercrime, you can often avoid most of its effects if you have good backups of your data. Ensure that every employee schedules a time one or more times each year to back up their essential data.

That way, even if you are targeted by a criminal, you may be able to avoid any serious negative consequences.


Educate Your Employees on Digital Hygiene

The more you know about digital hygiene practices, the better you will be able to protect your company. Ensuring your employees know essential security practices can help close potential security vulnerabilities.

To improve your security as much as possible, you might want to get help from professionals. To learn more about improving your data hygiene or to speak with experts who can help you with your security, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us anytime!

Learn more about improving your data hygiene