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Top 10 IT security risks

As experts in IT security, we know more than most the kinds of things that can cause you to have a system meltdown.  Misplaced passwords, foolish downloading and lazy maintenance can lead to someone hacking into your IT system and causing some real long-lasting damage. Of course, we are not all security experts and many put their security at risk without even realising it, which is why we have compiled this top ten list of things to avoid in order to keep your IT network secure and confidential.

10. Being clumsy

You don’t say, huh? It may seem obvious but common sense can often be overlooked when using an IT system that you have used so much you have begun to take for granted.  Be careful what you are clicking, think about what you are doing and don’t assume that everything you do on your system can be quickly undone.  If making any changes make sure you can easily revert back to the old operational commands of the network in case anything goes wrong.

9. Turn off automatic updates

Aren’t they annoying? Whenever your computer tells you it is time to install automatic updates, you die a little death inside and prepare yourself for hours of seemingly pointless installations. Contrary to popular belief, automatic updates are useful. In fact, without them, you can be susceptible to contracting malware. Get a virus in your system and your IT network is rendered useless – not all viruses can be picked up by anti-virus software!

8. Insert any kind of stored data into your drivers

USB sticks and CD ROMS can, and probably will, be inserted into all manner of computers and therefore could have contracted all sorts of viruses that once installed, could destroy your IT system. Only use data sources from trusted people or invest in some device scanning software to make sure everything you put in your computer is safe to explore.

7. Save just one copy of everything

We are all busy these days so saving multiple copies of work and transferring it onto a number of portable devices can take up far too much of your time. Fail to backup data in this way though, and should your IT system become breached and your data lost, you would spend just as much time doing all your work again. By keeping backed up data in a different location to your normal office network, like our backup software does, you can be sure that even if it is lost, it can be easily restored. Our Managed Backup service takes all the effort out of ensuring you have accurate and up to dates backups of your critical business data.

6. Download too much freeware

Free stuff is great isn’t it? Not when it is installing malware, creating system conflicts and crashes it isn’t. It can be easy to replace official software with free, open source alternatives but a lot of the time you are getting what you pay for – unofficial solutions that frequently carry security threats. Be careful what you download for free or if possible, only purchase official licensed software.

5. Open every single email you receive

You have thousands of emails in your inbox but you are not as popular as you may think. Many of these emails are likely to be spam. Clicking on unsolicited content or opening emails from people you don’t know could lead you to download malware to your system, effectively shutting the whole thing down. Our Managed Anti-Spam service will filter out the vast majority of unsolicited spam and remove all viruses and malware before it gets anywhere near your computers.

4. Ignore your capacity

Set a reminder for when your anti-virus runs out and make sure you stay on top of how much space you have left within your IT system. There is nothing worse than being over your data allowance and experiencing computer systems that slow and clogged up. As your hard drive gets closer to filling up, your computer will have to spend much more time trying to find spaces to save your files, which will drastically slow down everything it does.

3. Knowingly surf the web unprotected

There’s always that space of time between when your anti virus programme expires and when you update it. You may spend a few days looking for a better deal or could even forget to update it. Make sure you update your anti virus as soon as possible and never surf the web without an up to date working antivirus – it would be sod’s law that you would contract a virus during this blip. Our Managed Anti-Virus service is always kept up to date to provide optimum protection and can be auto-deployed across your entire network.

2. Post your personal details online

It can be easy to put too much online. Whether sending a quick email or posting on a forum, contact details can be easily leaked without you actually realising the security risks. Make sure you think about the information you give out online – stray information can be easily picked up by hackers and used to their advantage. Remember, if you wouldn’t hand the information to a total stranger, don’t post it online.

 

1. Be too relaxed over who has access to your computer system

 

A relaxed boss is a good thing but one that is too relaxed to regularly maintain and update the control panel to their IT systems access panel is a risky thing. Think about which employees you are giving access to your IT system and make sure that when an employee leaves, they are instantly withdrawn access and passwords are changed. There is nothing worse than a vexed ex-employee hacking into company data and causing destruction.