Summer mode, the time of year when “summer hours” and summer vacations are happening, is upon us. It’s easy to think more about how you’re going to get out and enjoy the rising temperatures instead of what you’re doing at work. Unfortunately, your data security at home and work won’t take a summer vacation, even if you are. Here are three fairly simple things you can do to insure your data security is up to date.
Don’t Ignore your password change reminder
It can be really tempting to hit “not now,” or “remind me later” or just hit the red “x” to make the message go away when your computer wants you to update your password. Whether it’s your computer, your email provider, or an app you use to access your banking information, just take the two minutes to update the password you use for it. You might not get another reminder until it’s too late, or the next time you get the reminder, you could be rushing out of the office to hit the road for your long weekend, or something else equally fun. If you do decide to handle it later, you’re going to have to track down the right section to update it in your settings, potentially update the wrong thing, then have to get your administrator involved. So instead of promising you’ll handle it later, just handle it now.
Don’t put everything in the recycling bin
At work, you might have thought that putting everything that’s paper in the recycling bin is better than it landing in the trash. You might be using that same policy at home. However, would you put your bank account information in your recycling bin at home? Or would you leave your credit card statement for your company card laying out on your desk? If you’re putting documents with data like this in the recycling bin, you’re essentially inviting anyone to look at your data. Once your recycling bin hits the curb, anything that’s in it is considered public domain. And if you have a secure bin to shred in your office, but don’t like making the trek to put documents in it, just think about what your competitors or office know-it-all might discover if they took a closer look at your recycling bin.
Don’t get phished
A very common way that people get “phished,” meaning, their passwords or email are compromised by an outside party, it occurs when they click on a link in an email that they should have avoided. The password recovery email that you get when you forget a password is one way that hundreds of thousands of people were phished in the 2017 scheme that targeted Google, Yahoo and other email providers. If you didn’t request a “forgot my password” email, or you don’t know the sender of an email that is popping up in your email, it’s best to not open the email and delete it. If your company has a more detailed explanation for how to handle SPAM, phishing or nuisance email, you should certainly follow their prescribed steps. But on a very simple level, if you’re unsure of an email, don’t open it, don’t click on it, and never ever open an attachment.
If you’re feeling like your data security is the last thing you want to be dealing with on a lovely summer day, just think about how many lovely summer days you’ll be giving up if you have to fix your identity and online credentials if you’re not paying attention to what’s happening with your data.