Create Stronger Cyber Safety Policies

Even the most capable employee won't know all the cyber threats they face, so giving them strong policies to follow is a must. Set effective rules and guidelines to ensure that your employees know what's appropriate, and what isn't, when they're working online.

Establish a clear Internet usage policy

Your Internet policy should be specific about the types of online practices that are acceptable when using work computers, devices and emails.

  • Restrict the types of websites that employees are allowed to visit to exclude those that could compromise your network. Consider implementing a web filtering system. Advise employees on what software is safe to install on their computers, and to seek permission when downloading new programs.
  • Require employees to set strong passwords and use different passwords for different logins.

Establish rules for using email safely

Creating a strong email policy will make it easier for employees to foil the schemes of cyber criminals.

  • Restrict the amount of personal email sent using employee's work accounts. This will limit your business' exposure to online threats that come through personal contacts.
  • Specify when it's appropriate for employees to share their work email addresses. Limit it to trusted contacts and organizations.
  • Tell staff to avoid using the "@" symbol when posting a company email address online. Instead, use formatting such as "john at companyxyz dot com" so that spambots can't extract the email address.
  • Prohibit employees from opening and responding to suspicious emails.
  • Direct employees to avoid opening email attachments unless they're from trusted contacts and organizations.

Establish a strong social media policy

Using social media can give small businesses a leg up on their competitors. But it also presents a unique set of challenges. How should an employee use social media? How should employees represent themselves online?

Here a few pointers on avoiding social media headaches:

  • Set rules on what kinds of business information can be shared online, and where.
  • Prohibit employees from posting confidential and proprietary information.
  • Create instructions on whether employees should use their work email to sign up for social media sites and newsletters.
  • Set guidelines on the correct usage of company trademarks.
  • Consider implementing a company social media policy. You can tailor yours based on the many examples that are available online.
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