Allowing employees access to the internet from the workplace may offer some advantages in terms of communication and research, however it can also open up your company to many online dangers. Many different threats lurk online, from corn artists to malicious software’s that steal online data and information that can compromise the online safety of your workplace.
According to new research, nearly four out of five technology professionals believe employees are putting their companies at risk by failing to act safely online, this is especially so in IT companies. Despite the various online campaigns on internet safety, many employees continue to open unsolicited e-mail messages and attachments, inadvertently downloading malicious programs from Web sites and social media platforms.
In most cases, it’s not that people deliberately behave recklessly online rather, they don’t know how to act responsibly, and or may not be fully aware of the potential consequences of unsafe internet surfing and e-mail usage.
In Kenya currently, the improved telecommunication infrastructure has enabled many people to access cheap high speed internet. However, as human beings, we prefer to use free things as opposed to spending our own hard earned cash, this is why you find that most people prefer downloading and opening unsolicited attachments, or surfing the Web for sordid content not permissible or available at home. This opens up a company to a myriad of cyber threats which can have dire consequences to a company.
Here is a list of the seven most risky employee online activities that can cost your company not just financially but also have the potential to ruin the company’s reputation.
Downloading music and movies.
Yes, as harmless as it may seem to download or watch that new awesome hit from karligraph or maybe some new vine compilation, this is a high risk behavior at the workplace. Some of the sights hosting the movies and videos could be harboring malicious software that could infect your entire system and compromise the workplace online safety.
Opening e-mail attachments or clicking on links in unsolicited e-mails.
Email messages might be malicious even if they appear to come from a friend or colleague. The cyber criminals can make a senders name and email appear any way they choose on a malicious email. Email attachments are still the primary way of spreading virus and ransomware.
Using the same password on different Web sites and social media.
Passwords are the biggest weak spots in the whole internet security structure. Sometimes employees may be forced to work with more than one website or social media accounts. The problem with having many accounts is that the employee may choose to use the same password for all accounts because it may be easy to remember. This just makes the company network highly susceptible to cyber-attacks.
Giving information to unknown parties via company phone or e-mail.
These days, social sharing of data and information is the in thing. From link attachments, documents, videos and audios, everything can be shared online. Sharing this information especially to unknown addresses may just expose your company’s ip address, email or phone numbers to cyber criminals and they could be used to gain access to the workplace network systems.
Installing unauthorized software and Web browser plug-ins.
Sometimes you maybe surfing the web and a pop-up message appears prompting you to download an update for a software, or ask you to download a plugin for a particular page in order to continue. This is one of the biggest tricks that cyber criminals use to prompt one to download malware. Downloading such plug-ins may open up new avenues which the online criminals can use to compromise the online safety in the workplace.
Surfing pornographic or other dubious Web sites.
Pornographic websites are without a doubt the most notorious hosts of malicious software’s. This is where cyber criminals thrive. So you probably think when you hunched back over your computer and minimized your browser window makes you safe, well maybe from the ridicule and judgment from your fellow colleagues, but not from cyber criminals. By just clicking on that link, you may have exposed your company network from irreversible damage, or be a victim of blackmail.
Running joke programs sent by friends and colleagues.
After spending an entire day working at the office, many employees will always look for something to break the monotony and relax. They may do so by using the company networks as playgrounds by sending each other joke programs. Since people are more relaxed in opening links shared by their friends, they don’t bother to check the authenticity of the programs only to end infecting the entire company network with malicious programs. Such programs can capture and record passwords used to log in into the computers connected on the network which can be detrimental to the online safety in the workplace.