Cybersecurity Series | Part I: Simple Employee Precautions for Your Small Business

Cybersecurity Series | Part 1

Simple Employee Precautions for Your Small Business

Educating employees about cybersecurity can start small and simple. Small efforts consistently across all employees can significantly strengthen cybersecurity risk for your small business. So, let’s practice what we preach and help your business start small and simple.


#1- Clear Your Desk | The Risks of “Messy Desk” Syndrome

Wait…isn’t this supposed to be about technology cybersecurity? Yes, it is. But we are starting from the bottom of where cybersecurity begins to play a role in your business. Hence, clear your desk.

People that keep messy desks often have stray USB drives, papers with passwords written on them, etc. A lack of organization opens up the employee and your business to cybersecurity threats. A messy desk makes it difficult to keep high security folders safe, which in turn means that if theft takes place, determining when and how it took place can take weeks longer to identify.

Similar to the way your CFO keeps accounting and expenses organized, requiring employees to keep passwords, classified information and USB drives organized and safe decreases cybersecurity risk to your entire company.

Plus, the bonus? Studies show that employees with clean desks are more productive. We call that a win-win.


5 Ways to Combat “Messy Desk” Syndrome Among Your Employees

  1. Require that employees maintain a computer password on their desktop computer that locks within 10 mins after inactivity. This avoids the risk of an open and easily accessible computer when the employee is away from their desk.
  2. Consistently shred sensitive printed documents immediately after they are no longer needed. Do not store sensitive documents to shred once a week. Documents should be shredded directly after they no longer have a use. 
  3. Put classified printed documents in locked filing cabinets. Avoid stray papers on desks with sensitive information that could be a threat to business cybersecurity. 
  4. Lock USB drives in a locked drawer in your desk. USB drives almost always contain sensitive information and should be treated as such by locking them securely out of sight.
  5. Do not write passwords down on sheets of paper. Passwords should be stored in password protected files on a locked computer or secure online portal.

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