IT Security mistakesTechnology takes much of the threat of viruses away. But, it can only go so far. For example, if you visit a website, an ad pops up, and you click the ad, you can still download a virus that wreaks havoc on your computer network.  The repair for that virus can cost thousands of dollars and many man-hours to fix.

You can never completely eliminate IT Security threats to your network and data security, but you can significantly reduce those threats by doing the following:

1. Watch out for Weak Passwords

The trade-off here is that the stronger the password you use, and the more different passwords you use, the harder they are to remember. IT pros focus on using complex passwords for security reasons, while users like you would rather have something easy to remember so you can login without problems. Weak passwords, however, easily get hacked, and your security gets breached.

What’s the balance? To login to your computer network, you’ll have to live with remembering your password. But, if you have many other passwords you have to remember, use an app like Lastpass to help generate random passwords and keep track of them all. It’s free, based in the cloud, and syncs across all of your devices. Then, you only have to remember the master password for Lastpass.

2. Clicking E-mail Links

E-mail links are one way hackers use to thwart your antivirus and anti-malware. Cyber thieves have gotten more clever with these. If you get an e-mail even from someone you know, you have to be careful with the links they send. Often, hackers steal people’s login information and then send spam e-mails from those accounts. Usually, it’s pretty obvious when this happens. The language doesn’t sound at all like how the person typically writes.

Some e-mails, though, are much slicker. They may look very official – like they came from a company you normally do business with. They even use the company logo. But, if you read the language in the e-mail closely, you’ll notice it’s somewhat awkward. That’s a dead giveaway the e-mail’s not legitimate.

If you’re brave, hold your mouse over the link, but don’t click it. Usually, the link it actually goes to, which shows up at the bottom of your browser, is not the URL of the company it purports to be from. In fact, these links are often strings of random characters, or an unusual variation of a trusted URL  – a strong sign you should not visit the link.

Those are two simple ways to avoid security disasters at your office. Have you trained yourself, and your employees, on them?

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