CONTINUED FROM BEST PRACTICES FOR BUSINESS AND PERSONAL USE ON ONE DEVICE: PART ONE
3. SOCIAL ENGINEERING
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, social engineering refers to the act of deceiving or impersonating a person so as to steal private information and/or money, or to install malware onto their device(s). As an all-too-common practice, these malevolent campaigns have caused millions of dollars in losses to businesses around the globe. In fact, the FBI reported that cybercriminals stole more than $676 million from business email compromise (BEC) and email account compromise (EAC) scams in 2017 alone. The updated number has increased to over $2 billion in 2020, according to the most recent report from the FBI. Cybercriminals continue to use more and more advanced scams as people become aware of older ones.
In a typical social engineering ploy, hackers will take advantage of your trust and curiosity through confusion and misdirection. Oftentimes victims of social engineering will receive an email or message that:
- Asks for help
- Claims to have incriminating/embarrassing photos or videos
- Notifies you that you’ve won a prize or contest
- Poses as a friend, colleague, or relative
- Requests an update in login, credit card, or personal information
These messages can be easy to spot, but digital deviants have been finding more convincing methods of deploying their phishing scams. Once a victim clicks through a malicious link, hackers can gain access to any information housed on the infiltrated device, including personal and professional data.
To prevent your employees and fellow business executives from succumbing to social engineering scams, encourage them to immediately delete emails that request passwords or financial information, ignore odd requests for help or handouts of money, update spam settings, install anti-virus software and firewalls, and be wary of messages from unknown senders.
4. SECURE NETWORKS
Browsing on a secure network should be considered paramount whenever you’re browsing sensitive information. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. The fact is, when someone is in need of wifi, just about any connection will do—be it from a cafe, subway, airport, or bar.
According to Raytheon, 72% of 21-to-36 year-olds (currently the largest demographic in the workplace) have connected to public (no-password-required) wifi. This figure should be a serious concern for both employees and employers alike. Cybercriminals can tap into unprotected wifi networks, access sensitive information, and even transfer malware onto connected devices.
5. BACKUP & DISASTER RECOVERY
When you’re sharing a device for work and play, it’s crucial that you know how to find your device in the event of a loss or theft. If you’re a business owner, you need to be proactive in communicating the protocol to your employees. If you don’t have a backup and disaster recovery plan, now is the time to create and/or invest in one.
Both Apple and Microsoft have ways to locate lost devices. If you’re using iOS devices, be sure your employees have Apple IDs. This feature allows you to set up “Find My iPhone.” While the title only makes mention of iPhones, the GPS-based setting can find iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and AirPods.
Similarly, Windows has a tool for finding desktops, laptops, and/or Surfaces if they’re lost or stolen. As long as the location settings are turned on, and the IT administrator has a Microsoft account, the device can be located.
No matter your device and account, know the protocol and follow it. Having an outline of actionable steps to recover a device is a vital step in keeping good cyber hygiene, and will ultimately protect your proprietary information should you lose your device.
YOU’VE ALREADY TAKEN THE RIGHT STEP
Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, your first line of defense is always education. It is no longer an option to be cyber-illiterate, as it only takes one vicious malware attack to crush an entire organization. You’ve already made the right first step by reading this piece and learning how to stay safe. The next step is getting your whole team on the same page.
As your organization grows, utilizing technology for both personal and professional use becomes riskier; however, buying all in-house devices and data plans can be an expensive investment.
In 2019, we saved as much as 40% on telecom and internet services, and 31% on cellular data plans for businesses around the country.
What’s more, our analyses are completely free unless we find a way for you to save. Reach out to Verify Services by clicking here.