Short and Pithy IT Security Tips for Users

There are reams of paper (and plenty of zeros and ones, too) dedicated to explaining how security can better be handled by and for users. To put it simply, however, it comes down to how easy IT can make it for users to police themselves when it comes to risky actions, how well users understand best practices when it comes to IT security, and how quickly IT can respond to security risks and issues. To that end, Dominic Vogel writes ten security tips that can be easily understood and implemented by users to help establish a better, safer experience. The first tip is both beneficial to the user and a bit of a slap in the face to some IT departments: “Never give out login credentials (over the phone, in person, email). Any competent IT department would never ask for your login credentials in any circumstance.” Other tips include:

  • revealing link destinations by hovering over link
  • thinking before clicking
  • reporting loss or theft of any piece of equipment you use for work related tasks
  • don't sent private info over a public wifi
  • be careful with items from unknown sources
  • use a different password for every website
  • never leave your technology alone in a public area

One of the more helpful tip provided by Vogel comes when he addresses passwords: If you have difficulty remembering complex passwords, try using a passphrase like “I love getting to work at 7:00!”. Longer passwords are harder to crack than shorter complex passwords. So next time you find yourself struggling to get users to understand even just the most basic IT security best practices, consider breaking the list down to just 10 easy-to-follow pieces of advice such as provided in this article.

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