In past QuickTips, we’ve discussed how the human element is one of the weakest links in IT security. That’s why social engineering is such a well-used tool for hackers. Training and diligence are important safeguards against such external threats, but what about security holes within the walls of your office?
How many times per day do you step away from your computer without logging out or locking the screen? If your answer is more than “zero,” then you may be exposing your network and data to threats. If you leave your computer logged on and unattended, any person that sits down in front of it has access to all of the things you do such as your email, server permissions, and more.
Furthermore, a breach doesn’t necessarily require ill intent on the part of an employee. Perhaps you’ve left financials or client records open on your computer while you went to refill your coffee. An employee doing something as benign as delivering papers to your desk might see the information on your screen and, if your business is subject to privacy laws like HIPAA or FINRA, that could constitute a breach.
Now, consider the havoc an employee with malicious intent could wreak.
Fortunately, protecting yourself is easy. Simply press the Windows Key + L at the same time to lock your computer. Yes, you’ll have to re-enter your password each time you sit down, but that’s better than the alternative, and it will help keep your login password at the front of your mind (something your IT staff will undoubtedly appreciate).