5 devices in your office that need protection

December 11th, 2017

Person viewing and holding tablet over laptop with coworker in office

Copyright: kantver/123rf

With cybercrime on the rise, even our office technology is at risk and can be targeted by a host of hackers, spyware, malware, viruses, and more. The following is a list of devices you should keep secure around the office.

1. Laptop & computers

Not securing a computer around the office could let a hacker easily access confidential company files and data, or bog down your device with spyware from spam emails or sites. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their approach and have learned to target the emails of others, hoping that their friends, acquaintances, and/or coworkers will open their dubious links if they are sent from a recognized source. Frequently update your software and trusted applications so hackers can’t exploit old glitches in your device systems. Encrypt any additional devices that work with your computers, such as flash drives, for added security.

2. Smartphones

Smartphones are quickly becoming as advanced as nearly any computer, making it important to secure these devices from cyberattacks. Be wary of text messages from strange numbers, particularly those that request information or provide an unknown link to click on. Much like the email method above, this is one tactic that cyber-attackers are using to place spyware or viruses on your phone to gain access to data or prevent some systems from working properly.

Another potential vulnerability of smartphones is through the Bluetooth capability. By leaving your Bluetooth on, especially when using unsecured Wi-Fi, hackers can see the networks you’ve previously connected through the Bluetooth. Lastly, if your smartphone does get hacked, it can be used to create an open gateway between smartphones (i.e. the hacker’s device), making sharing data from your device to another relatively easy.

3. Printers

Allowing unsolicited access to your printer is nearly equivalent to leaving a history of your printed documents out in the open. Wireless printers can be hacked through an unsecure network via malware letting the intruder see your print jobs, including any sensitive information they might contain.

4. Tablets

Tablets, much like computers, are another office device that can be hacked for data. Beware of suspicious applications in the app store that might install more than just a desired program on to your device. Although iOS tablets are more difficult to hack than their other counterparts, any device is equally exposed when you download risky apps. If you need to install an application on your device, do some research. Check out the reviews and read up on any possible glitches it might have to ensure it can be trusted, since it requires your permission to download.

5. Routers/modems

Having unsecured routers and modems can allow hackers to create ad redirection for Internet sites. This means instead of being able to regularly use sites that you want/need, you will be sent elsewhere. Ad redirection is used so that cyber-attackers can get clicks on undesired sites or send you to phishing sites where they are able to steal credentials.

Additionally, having an unsecured network is a major gateway to leaving your other devices vulnerable to hacking. Set up a secure Wi-Fi network that requires proper credentials (WPA2/PSK) to log-in and keep this information limited only to those who must use it. A guest network (if applicable) should remain separated from the main one.

More tips for shielding your devices:

  • Install a reliable security/antivirus program on your devices and keep it updated.
  • Avoid clicking on mysterious links in emails, text messages, and other forms of messaging communication.
  • Create multiple backups of data for files and more in the event of a cyberattack
  • Frequently change passwords (including a device’s default). Make them lengthy and complex with a variety of characters.

Keep up with our blog for other security-related tips your office can employ.

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