Thursday, September 29, 2011

Protect Your Personal Info At Work

With hacking a prevalent problem at home and in the workplace, a recent study commissioned by IT firm Sailpoint set out to see just how dangerous the modern workplace is for personal data, private browsing and identity protection.

According to the survey, one in five Americans would ditch a company if it lost their data, and 10 percent would tell their friends and family to abandon that business. But even though people are worried about it happening to them, nearly the same number of Americans said they would steal data from their employer, given the chance. Even more outrageous, almost a quarter of British citizens surveyed said they would sell that info for profit! (Only 5 percent of Americans would – or at least admit it.)

These statistics underscore the need for security in the workplace. There are simple things workers can do to protect themselves.

Always Log Out: A workplace uses a lot of public terminals and company-owned computers. From an open Facebook account to an e-mail left up, co-workers can swipe critical information just by walking past your desk. Sales leads or sensitive financial info are just a glance away if you don't take the extra three seconds before lunch to log out.

Make Complex Passwords: If you cover your desk in Yankees gear or have a prized pup named Pepper, you don't want to use these obvious interests as passwords. Any curious co-worker could pop into your personal info. Use at least one number or symbol to throw off would-be intruders.

VPN Services: A VPN account, which transfers your computer transmissions to a remote server, is the safest way to use office wifi. Many offices have encrypted wifi. But if co-workers are already on the same network, they can see your information with the right mouse clicks. So ensure that you are truly browsing in private at work.