4 computer security basics for every employee

When it comes to the security of your organization, there is no room for error. As today’s cybercriminals grow more sophisticated, business-crippling scams can infiltrate your network at any time. Their most penetrable target? Your end users.

So, what can you do to protect your organization against cyberattack? The first step is to educate your employees.

phishing scams

Phishing is an illegal attempt to obtain sensitive information (usernames, passwords or bank information) from your computer or network via the Internet by a cybercriminal. Phishing attempts are often in the form of an email or text message.

What are some examples of a Phishing Scam?

  • An offer that is too good to be true
  • An urgent email requesting sensitive information
  • An email sent from someone you do not know – always check the email address itself because the display name disguise itself as any name
fed ex phishing

How can I avoid a Phishing Scam?

  • If you’re unsure whether a link within your email is safe, hover over the link with your mouse to preview the URL, avoid clicking the link if the URL doesn’t seem safe
  • Maintain regular software updates
  • Use firewalls and anti-virus software on all of your devices
  • Be wary of pop up advertisements
  • Never give your personal information over email or text message


Malware, short for “Malicious Software” is used to access or damage a computer without the user’s knowledge or permission. Oftentimes, malware is spread through a phishing attack!

What are some examples of Malware?

  • Ransomware used to extort money from you or your business
  • Sending email spam to your email contacts
  • Spyware that steals sensitive information from your computer without your knowledge
  • Adware that forces advertising on your computer

How can I avoid Malware?

  • Avoid opening email if you don’t know the sender
  • Do not open attachments or clicks on links in an email or text
  • Consider using pop-up blockers in your browser
  • Do not click on unknown links
  • Avoid clicking pop-up ads

safe web browsing

Your organization’s end users can avoid phishing and malware scams by practicing safe web browsing practices.

What are some best practices to cascade to my end users?

  • Keep your browser up to date
  • Avoid questionable websites on all of your devices
  • Read the “terms of use” to any website that you want to use
  • If you’re unsure of whether a link is safe to click or not, hover over the link, look at the bottom of your browser to see the URL, avoid it if it URL doesn’t make any sense
  • Trust your gut!

strong password protection

Employees at your organization can keep their personal and company information safe by following these best practices for password use set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology:


  • Use a pass phrase instead of a pass word
  • Ensure that your passphrase is difficult for other people to guess, but easy for you to remember
  • Passphrases should be at least 8 characters long, but no longer than 64 characters
  • A passphrase should not contain any personal information – your name, birthday, organizational name or address, etc.
  • Passphrases should be a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and characters

How can I keep my passwords secure?

  • Never share your passphrase with others
  • Do not log others into any of your accounts
  • Your passphrase should never be written down

next steps

Many end users find cybersecurity best practices overwhelming and difficult to abide by. Due to what is at risk if your business suffers a security breach, an IT resource that understands the complexities of maintaining 24/7/365 security of your infrastructure is essential. Consider a third-party resource, so you and your employees can focus on your business while they handle the technical stuff.


To speak with a cybersecurity expert about your organization’s technology, please fill out the form on this page. We will contact you shortly with additional information.

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