Whether you leverage the power of a managed service provider (MSP) or rely on an in-house team, your IT department ensures the technology you use is up-to-date, secure, and functioning properly. Although their technical expertise can manage and fix a lot of common and not-so-common problems, they’re also aware that employees play a vital role in that larger mission.
Below, you will find six things your IT team wishes you knew.
Although persistent notifications to update your software to the latest version might be annoying, they’re absolutely essential to follow. Outdated software is often filled with bugs and lags that dampen performance. Worse still, some bugs also present vulnerabilities that open you up to security threats and cyberattacks.
Updating your software provides robust security while improving overall performance. To ensure you have the latest version, check for updates regularly or set up automatic updates. Either way, the key takeaway is to install updates as soon as they’re available.
Backups of important data are essential for effective disaster recovery. If a hardware failure, security breach, or other disaster happens, knowing you have multiple backups makes recovery far easier.
Alongside backing up your data, follow the 3-2-1 rule to avoid relying on a single point of failure. Alongside Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud storage services, backup important data on an external hard drive and USB.
Creating a strong password for your accounts might sound obvious, but that obviousness causes people to overlook it. That’s unfortunate because this simple security measure is still one of the most powerful ways to protect your personal and professional information. Weak passwords—such as P@assword123!— are simple to hack and can lead to costly data breaches.
A strong password includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols that are at least 12 characters long. In addition, each password should be unique to one account. Consider using a password manager to easily keep track of everything, and enable multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security.
If you receive a suspicious email, notice unusual activity on your computer, lose a hard drive, or suspect that your device has been compromised, play it safe by reporting it to your IT department immediately. The faster the IT department can determine the severity of the threat, the faster it can prevent any further damage and protect other employees and the company as a whole.
Just as employees should report any security threats to the IT department immediately, they should also feel comfortable asking them any questions. If you’re uncertain how to use a new piece of software, ask IT. If you want to provide some useful feedback, tell IT. In both cases, open communication with your IT department helps prevent misunderstandings that could lead to larger problems down the line.
Although you don’t have to become a cybersecurity expert, it is important for business owners and employees to educate themselves about the cyber risks associated with the technologies they use. This will help you avoid the most common threats and develop plans for mitigating any emerging ones.
One way to build this awareness is through formal training sessions offered by your MSP or IT department. You can also do it by reading and sharing relevant articles about emerging threats and trends throughout the year.
With the above six things in mind, you and your IT department can work together for a safer and more efficient future.