August 1-7 National Fraud Awareness Week

National Fraud Awareness Week (August 1 – 7)
and while internet safety is something that must be taken seriously year round, this is a great opportunity to share tips for employers and employees alike to stay secure online and protect sensitive information.
Not only is personal protection important, but protecting sensitive company information is as well. Share these tips with your employers to ensure they are doing their best to keep personal and company information private.
1. Often times, hackers will send emails asking for account log-ins or phone numbers, addresses and passwords. Check the email address of the sender and never reply to emails asking for this information. Instead, pick up the phone and call the source if you are unsure as to why the email was sent, especially if the email address doesn’t seem familiar.
2. Keep track of your log-in information in a document for easy access in the future. However, be sure to keep the document secure and locked so that no one else can access the information.
3. Use password protection on important documents and on your computer to keep unauthorized persons from accessing your files.
4. When choosing a password, select combinations that would be different for others to guess. Change your passwords every few months.
5. Install virus management software onto your computer and update it regularly.
6. Be careful when downloading programs that may contain insecure data. Use firewalls and anti-virus software to protect the information stored on your computer.
7. When providing you emails to third party sites, read the privacy policies first. Understand when and how your email address may be used.
8. Don’t enter credit card information into a unsecured site. Check that your browser displays the secure lock, which can usually be found in either the bottom right corner or the top of the browser. Use Websites that offer certification from trusted companies.
9. Be wary of wireless hotspots at airports and hotels when traveling. Make sure your security access controls and firewalls are in place before connecting to an unsecure network.
10. If you need to do business away from your home or office, use a virtual private network access (VPN). You should also make sure that your home network is protected so that others cannot tap in and access your personal information or your company’s information.
While some of these tips may be considered common sense, companies are often targeted by those looking to gain access to sensitive information, such as financial data. By educating employees on the importance of internet safety, you are protecting both your company and any personal information employees may post online. Remind employees of these points every few months and take the time to back up company data on any servers used.