There are many aspects of the workplace where precautions are taken to guarantee the health and safety of employees. Wet floor has a wet floor sign, fire alarms and extinguishers and exit are on every floor, bathrooms are cleaned to acceptable standards and the list goes on.
The one thing that is often overlooked is internet security. Identity theft is a crime that can happen to anyone at any time. And the internet these days is filled with so much spam you can’t really be sure who to trust. Working in modern offices means your employees will be working with computers and most times online. You need to be sure that they are being safe online to protect not just your business but themselves as well.
Policies and procedures
Having policies and procedures in place acts as a fair guide for all employees. It should include details of who can access certain information, what type of sites employees are allowed to visit and which websites aren’t safe for work?
You can also consider monitoring employee’s internet use, before doing this it might be worth seeking professional HR advice before creating the policy. Your policy should be clear and realistic, it should have details of the procedures and repercussions for putting the company’s information at risk.
Train and educate employees
It is important to train your employees on the importance and necessity of internet security. Employees are the number one cause of breaches at work, mostly because they’re not well trained or just plain misinformed about proper internet safety behavior. Be sure to teach them how to identify suspicious activities, emails or websites and report them to the relevant people. They should also have direct access to your IT team, in cases of a breach online, speed is important so direct contact with the IT team is advised.
Companies have policies for a reason. It is important to familiarise yourself with them. If you’re starting a new job, ask about their policies, in most cases, they’d send you a copy of the employee handbook which would normally include their internet policies. Asking questions can make sure that you get off on the right foot with your employees.
This should go without saying but you should be sure that you’re not divulging any company information online. It is surprising that people are still getting fired for some of the things they’ve said about their company online. It is best practice to think that they’re monitoring your presence online and will not stand for any form of breach.
Some companies have taken to blocking certain websites that they consider not appropriate for work. Normally, when you try to access such sites you get a message telling you that your employer has blocked access to the site. But what you might not know is that the program that blocks these site also record which computer tried to access it.
In conclusion, it’s better to be safe than to be sorry. If you’re not sure, ask questions. If you don’t know, don’t do it. With the GDPR regulation that came into place this year, it has never been easier to identify and report suspicious emails and websites looking to steal your information.