Security Training Tips for Your Staff
Posted: May 07, 2015
Running a successful business means taking into consideration all possible threats, before an issue even arises. It’s an unfortunate fact about running a small business that one of the greatest security weaknesses is human error. In fact, the more employees you have on staff, the greater your risk. That’s not to say that your employees have ill-intent, but rather mistakes can happen due to a lack of knowledge and training. Technological threats and even physical security issues are areas that need to be addressed on a regular basis within your company, especially when you make a new hire. Many business owners make the mistake of assuming all employees are aware of common preventative measures when using online programs and when they share information. But it’s that assumption that puts businesses at risk. Not only will training and procedures make your staff more aware of potential issues they may not have considered on their own, it will help your managers to identify risks garnered from conversations with staff members. Communication is crucial to the success of any small business, and keeping your staff fully informed will help to protect both your online and physical assets.
- Enforce strict policies about how to keep a computer clean. Install hardware that blocks users from adding programs to work devices without specified permission. Some may not consider the added threat when these programs are installed. The majority of these programs are likely safe, but it’s an added protection from staff unaware of the right type of programs that are acceptable. Some adware is harmful to computers, as are certain search toolbars. Blocking these installations can prevent long hours removing viruses down the road.
- Train your employees on the best way to create a password and the value of keeping this information private. Passwords are made strong by their length and combination of numbers, symbols and letters.
- Make sure your staff is aware of the damage suspicious emails can cause to a computer. They should know how to verify the sender by hovering over the address and not simply clicking on the email. In doing so, they can prevent opening harmful viruses onto your network. You’ll also need to install spam filters on your network, in case any suspicious emails are accidentally opened.
- Purchase a cloud network for your company as backup. The cloud is a safe and effective way to store information, in case your network is corrupted or down. The online storage drive comes with its own security measures, but you can also install your own additional security hardware. Train your employees to store their information safely on both the physical hard drive and the cloud.
- Contact a security company to evaluate your currently security needs and to make recommendations about the right products to protect your physical valuables. Lights, cameras and alarm systems work together to keep your business safe when no one is on site. This vendor will provide you with information that you can use during training for the staff members who will be responsible for opening and closing duties.
- Create a procedural list for your staff members that details the correct ways to lock up at the end of the night. Only give this responsibility to your trusted, long-time employees to reduce risks. They should have their own key and also the code for your security system. Express the need to keep the information private, while ensuring they are aware of the safety features installed on site to make them feel safe locking up alone.
- Provide your staff with a survey to evaluate their security mentality. Make the quiz anonymous to eliminate some of the pressure. Ask about what safety measures are acceptable for the company, while asking about items discussed during the training process. Share the results and go over any flaws you may have found. Assure your staff that this is not about shaming them, but rather ensuring the whole team is on the same page.
- Make hard copies of all of the information discussed during the training sessions for staff to create personal notes and also for future reference. They should be easy to read, with enough detail to make sense of your company-specific policies. Communication throughout the fiscal year is important. Refer to this document via email when a threat occurs, in order to prevent potential mishaps. Always speak with kindness, but stress the importance of following the security rules. Your employees should be your biggest partner in your company’s security, not a potential threat.
About the Author: David M. Shaw is a contributing author and former business owner. For 20 years, he worked in technology, helping his customers to get a better grasp on how to use computers. His son now runs the business, and he encourages high-quality physical security systems for inventory protection.
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