NCET explores business and technology
By Dave Archer
In last month’s column I looked at how you can protect your privacy and your personal information at home and in your home office.
This month, we’ll take a look at the steps you can take to protect your Internet privacy at the office or in your business. To learn more, we asked the advice of three of Northern Nevada’s top Internet privacy experts:
- Alex Berta, Threat Intelligence Lead, GRIDSMART Technologies, Inc.
- Gary Micander, Technical Services Manager, Sierra Computer Group
- Kimberly Pedego, VP of Client Engagement, Noble Studios
Here’s what they recommend:
- When away from the office, we often look for free internet – and so do attackers. They’ll lay dormant on a network and wait for you to connect and start browsing. If you’re using public WIFI, use a VPN to help protect your information.
- If you travel for work you’re an easy target for thieves, so consider Full Disk Encryption. Losing a laptop left in a car or on a coffee table during a quick restroom break can be catastrophic.
- Use the same level of password protection on your mobile device as you do on your computers. And change your passwords often.
- Enable two-factor authentication where possible. This can prevent unauthorized users from accessing your accounts even if they obtain your username and password.
- Encrypting your emails, which often contain sensitive and confidential information, protects the information from being intercepted by an unintended recipient.
- Keep work and play separate. Ideally, personal devices should be restricted to an isolated segment (wired or wireless) of your office network that can’t access your business servers and devices. And, don’t use your work computer or phone for personal web browsing, email, etc.
- Install software updates. While many people feel that installing updates breaks or changes functionality, it’s much less of an issue with modern update processes, and the security risk of not updating is much more of a concern.
- Make sure your data is backed up and can be restored easily and quickly. The most common response to system infection or compromise is to completely delete all data on a computer or server.
- Keep your hardware current with firmware updates, upgrades, etc. Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s safe.
- Always lock your workstation when you’re away, even for few seconds. This helps prevent prying eyes from looking at your information or running malicious programs on your computer.
- Never click on links in emails from unknown senders, and never go home and try to open that email on your home computer. This results in home computers getting infected, which can lead to theft of personal info, credit card info and more.
Learn how to protect your office and business at NCET’s Internet Privacy luncheon – featuring our panel of experts – on September 26, 2018. More info and register for the event at NCETspecial.org.
Dave Archer is President and CEO of NCET, a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to people explore business and technology.