Driving a powerful car can be an exhilarating experience, but if you have no idea what you’re doing, it can be dangerous. This is why governments require drivers to pass a safety class before they can speed down the road encased in steel and glass. The Internet is also a powerful tool that can be exciting, beneficial, and dangerous.
Granted, the Internet cannot hurt you in the same way as a car crash, but navigating the Internet without proper training can leave you broke, trolled, spammed, without an identity, and if you look for love on the wrong websites, you might even end up physically harmed. In the same way that you must take a safety class before driving a car, it’s also a good idea to receive some kind training before accessing the net.
It might be a bit much to lobby the government to mandate these Internet safety classes (feel free to debate the role of government regulations in the comments), however, having some kind of Internet safety class in high school, or making these classes available at your local courthouse, would go a long way to help make the Internet a safer place. It would take a lot of work to mandate such sweeping reform; instead, it might be easier and more effective to implement some kind of Internet training program for your business.
You may be an Internet savvy business owner who can spot a scam quick enough to hit the back button before the website loads, but it’s a mistake to assume that everyone in your office knows enough about the dangers of the Internet to keep your business safe from cyber-threats. Even if you spend money on the most bulletproof network security system, all it takes is one employee to unknowingly approve a bad download and your entire system can be infected. In a 2009 report on data loss, Blackblaze.com found that 46% of users experience data loss every year. The report revealed that the second most common factor for data loss is human error.
You likely already have some kind of new hire orientation in place; it would be well worth your time to include even a 30 minute overview on the fundamentals of Internet safety. You would want to hit on topics like:
- How to avoid spam.
- What to look for in a phishing e-mail.
- The need to regularly cycle out old passwords for new ones.
- Never give out financial information in a solicited e-mail.
- When in doubt, back out. It’s better to ask a supervisor about a fishy site than to proceed with a download that you’re unsure about.
There are many more Internet safety best practices that you will want to communicate to your employees, for a more complete list, call PACE Technical Services at 905.763.7896. The best network security solution your company can have is a combination of an educated workforce, along with strong network security technology, like PACE Technical Services’s Unified Threat Management tool. Reach out to us in order to learn more about UTM; we can install it on your network while educating your office on the dangers of the Internet.