Even if the vast majority of your Internet usage is business-related, you’re still online quite a bit. And let’s be honest; we all use our office computers for personal use occasionally, even if only during breaks. As you know, it only takes one security breach to put your whole network, including sensitive client information, at risk. So, it makes sense to create some protocol for safe surfing, both for your personal habits as well as your employees’ use.

Use caution with email. Don’t send sensitive information over email, like credit card or Social Security numbers. That information will be contained in the account’s email history, and either your account or the recipient’s account could be compromised at some point. Exercise extreme skepticism with email attachments, as malware can be easily embedded.

Use strong passwords. All online accounts, even your personal ones, need to be protected with a strong password. Use a combination of lowercase and capital letters, along with numbers and symbols, and don’t use the same passwords for multiple accounts.

Use instant messengers wisely. Use a nickname, rather than your real name, and don’t share crucial data over instant messenger. These accounts can sometimes be viewed by third parties.

Shop smart. If you use your work connection for online shopping, exercise caution with websites. Look for the lock symbol or “https” in the address bar, to ensure that you’re using a safe site.

Be suspicious of links. Never click links received in emails from banks, your tax preparation company, your credit card company, and so on. Hackers can create very realistic-looking emails that direct you to a phony login page, where your account name and password are then gathered. Always proceed directly to that business’s known web page, and log in from there. Use the same caution when directed from one website to another via links.

Educate your employees. Share these tips with your employees; they’re really not very helpful unless everyone else on your network is also using them.

Install a proper firewall. If you aren’t certain about your firewall’s status or strength, give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH. We’ll evaluate your current security protocol, and make recommendations for upgrades that will increase the safety of your network.