Computer Security Day - November 30

Computer devices have become an integral part of society, which is why it is worth taking a few minutes to think about how we secure them, if at all. Carve 10 minutes out of your schedule today to reduce your risk of being compromised. The communications today’s electronics allow us to sustain is amazing if you consider what we were doing 20 years ago. Every day, we respond to urgent requests, respond back to clients and colleagues, participate in discussions, and collaborate in many places other than where our computer sits on our desk. How did we ever manage before!

The security risks are heavier than before because vulnerabilities can no longer be addressed at one point of contact in a central machine room, and because people bring all kinds of devices into the workplace, some better protected than others. Today, as part of international Computer Security Day, take 10 minutes to do the basics for your tablet, smartphone, laptop and other smart devices you use.

  1. Don’t leave your mobile devices unattended. Yes, that includes your office! Think of your suitcases at the airport: would you leave them unattended for several minutes or overnight? Of course not. Your locked office is not good enough. If it is a laptop or a desktop computer, power it down at night.
  2. Don’t leave peripherals unattended! You know how your dentist tells you to only brush and floss the teeth you want to keep? Same idea here (it’s a stretch but work with me folks!). When you leave your office, lock up memory keys, hard drives or anything else that has any kind of data on it.
  3. Make sure you have an updated virus protection on all of them. A starting point can be found here. Do a Google search for devices not on this list.
  4. Change your password today on all your devices! Do not use the same password at the office as you do for any personal device. This reduces your risk factor. Still not sure if you need to change your password? If you haven’t done it since your last birthday, you’re due!
  5. Make your password ironclad. Not sure what that means? Then take the test. Check how easy it is for a hacker to get into your systems: http://www.passwordmeter.com/.
  6. Remove the sticky note hanging from your computer screen.

Can you afford not to do something today? Don’t procrastinate. Hackers don’t.

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