We’ve published several blog articles about enterprise security technologies, but it’s equally important to focus on the other side of the security equation and make sure people know how to properly log off, lock, and walk away from their work space. To that end, even something as (seemingly) mundane as forgetting to lock your computer can leave your network vulnerable. Big-time.
Here are four actions every office worker should take before leaving for the day, even if you feel like you can fully trust your co-workers. Not to sound paranoid, but when it comes to crime, the old saying is true: “It’s always the person you least suspect.”
Log Out of Your Web Accounts Before Logging Off Your PC
Before leaving your workstation, it’s best practice to log out of whatever online accounts you have open. It might seem like you’re safe by simply closing your web browser, but if you didn’t take the time to actually log off from your account, your browser may keep your account open, despite the fact that the browser itself was closed. In a situation like this, all a person has to do to “hack” your account is open the browser and go to the active website. Upon doing this, they may find your account open. They will then have complete control to navigate your account as if they were you, which can lead to some pretty hilarious social media posts. They could also change your account settings, revoking your control. Social media isn’t the only culprit here – bank accounts and online email accounts are just as susceptible.
The consequences of not logging out could be more serious if a malicious hacker were to remotely take control of your computer while you were away from it. All they would have to do is open your web browser, look at your history to see what sites you frequent, and then visit these links from your browser. An account that’s still logged in will grant them instant access. In a situation like this, an account that’s been manually logged out of would be more difficult for a hacker to access.
Be Sure to Log Off Before Stepping Away From Your PC
For similar reasons as logging out of your account, you will want to log off of your PC before walking away from it. If you don’t, a co-worker could easily access your desktop and mess with it in ways only limited by their computer know-how. What’s more, if you work in an office where strangers have easy access (like customers and delivery personnel), you will want to log off before stepping away from your PC. You never know who is going to walk through your front door and snoop around the place.
Put Away and Lock Up Any Mobile Devices
It may seem harmless to close your laptop and leave it on your desk when it’s time to go home, but for someone in the mood to do some crime, a mobile device left out in the open is an easy target. You may think that your co-workers can be trusted to leave your device unattended, but all it takes is one conniving worker who has it out for you to grab your device, dig in, and set you up for failure. Instead of leaving your device out in the open, lock it up in a drawer or a closet, utilize a laptop lock cable, or just take it home with you if it’s your device.
Lock Up the Office Before You Leave
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many businesses overlook the security of side doors, windows, and other access points around their building. Being fully dependent on security measures like access cards, codes, and keys isn’t enough to fully protect your assets, especially if several different employees can unlock your office. An employee that isn’t wise to the ways of security may see nothing wrong with loaning their access code to another worker and if you don’t regularly change your locks, then employees who were let go may still have access to your building.
(Image Source: iCLIPART)