5 Ways to Keep Your Data Safe This Christmas

The festive period is always a hectic time for business with annual deadlines to meet, the office party to organise and an influx of pre-Christmas orders to process. As staff are winding down and preparing to spend time at home with their families, criminals and cyber thieves are ramping up their efforts to steal unsuspecting companies’ equipment, data and money.

Reminding your team of the security threats to be aware of will keep your business secure. We’ve outlined five key measures you can implement to protect your data this holiday season.

1. Lock away laptops and memory sticks

Thieves are particularly active over Christmas and looking for easy wins. Small, portable devices such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets and memory sticks provide them with easy fodder. Keep all devices locked away in a secure location and ensure there is anti-theft protection software installed which will render the device useless if it gets into the wrong hands.

2. Destroy confidential papers

When staff are sidetracked by festive fun, it’s easy to forget to clear your office of confidential data. Important documents containing the bank details, names and addresses of your employees and customers should be shredded so that opportunistic thieves can’t steal them.

3. Adopt a staff IT policy

With Christmas preparations in full flow, staff can become easily distracted and less vigilant to the signs of cyber scam. Provide each employee with an IT policy that outlines the security measures required to keep your data safe. Make staff aware of the:

  • security risks of reusing passwords across different accounts.
  • benefits of using a password manager to create auto generated, randomised login details
  • latest fraud schemes to avoid
  • risk of clicking on suspicious links on unsolicited emails.
  • need to inform your IT manager immediately of any scams

Very often the victims are not the business owner but entry-level employees and those who have access to important information such as financial and employee data. Ensure every staff member is familiar with your policy and that they adhere to the advice given.

4. Get homeworkers to update their passwords

Over the Christmas period many staff will work from home on non-work devices such as mobiles and desktops, with weak passwords and outdated browsers. Remind employees to update their login credentials and use the latest browser version to keep everything secure. A password management system such as LastPass or RoboForm will deliver the required security measures to keep passwords safe.

5. Reiterate the risks of public wifi

Public wireless networks in cafes are often unsecured and prime targets for hackers. Ensure your staff are aware of the risks of logging on in remote locations such as cafes. Encourage them to find an area with a secure internet connection or to wait until they get home to avoid the risk of having your data snatched by a cyber crook.

The festive period may present an increased risk of theft and cyber scam but by implementing our five key security steps, you will safeguard your data and business reputation.

Need help keeping your data safe over Christmas? SDR provide document storage, data destruction and shredding services which are fully ISO and GDPR compliant. Contact one of our data destruction experts today for further information about keeping your business secure.