How to
Ryan Harnedy
Mar 2016

Checklist: 5 Quick Security Wins to Help Close Out Your Week

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It’s 4:45 PM on Friday. Everyone is winding down from the week and gearing up for the weekend. However, think about how much better your weekend will be if you leave the office knowing your users have all done their part to help keep your company's critical data safe and secure.

In Barkly’s recent IT survey, three out of four IT pros said they believed employees’ security practices were “moderate at best.” Teaching your users how to follow best practices will help make sure you leave on Friday with a spring in your step and a song in your heart. To help, we put together a checklist for your company’s employees so they (and you) can enjoy that secure Friday Feeling all weekend long. 

1) Check for and run software updates

Get your users into the habit of checking for software updates at the end of the week to make sure that everything is up to date and secure. Another option is to turn on automatic updating for you Mac and Windows computers so whenever there’s a new update your users will get it without thinking.

As an alternative, you can also schedule your updates to run overnight or on the weekend so when your users show up on Monday they know their software is up to date and ready to go.

2) Run your antivirus / anti-malware scan 

Encourage your users to run one extra antivirus scan before heading out on Friday. Friday afternoons tend to be lighter so they’re a good time to run a scan without slowing much down. This also allows users to sign off for the weekend feeling great and knowing their computer is virus-free!

3) Check for unfamiliar software

Have your users do a quick cursory review of the software running on their computers. If they find anything that looks new or unusual let them know they should report it to IT.

To do a quick check on Windows just open up the Windows task manager and see if there is any software or processes that you’re not familiar with. On a Mac, you can access it by hitting Command+Spacebar to open up Spotlight and then search for “Activity.” Once you’ve opened it up you can do a quick check to see if there’s anything new or unusual running on your Mac. 

4) Lock and shut down your computer

When the clock strikes 5:00pm it can be easy to catch Fred Flintstone syndrome: Yabba Dabba Do and you’re out the door! It can be easy in the rush to start your weekend to forget, but it’s helpful to remind your users to lock or shut down their computers before heading out the door.

If your users take their laptops home in the evening make sure they fully shut down their computers before heading out.

5) Make sure your backups are up to date

While it’s important to take precautions against ransomware and malware infections there is always a chance that something may get through. Before you head out for the weekend make sure that your backups are up to date and running regularly. Regular backups are the best way to make sure if anything does happen you can recover your critical data and get back to work quickly and with little loss of productivity.

Photo by: Travel Coffee Book

Ryan Harnedy

Ryan Harnedy

Ryan writes about how to make cybersecurity make sense to end users and keep employees safe from ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks. He enjoys decoding buzzwords and sharing security tips that users might actually follow.

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