3 Holiday Activities That Put Your Company at Risk

3 Holiday Activities That Put Your Company at Risk

December 18th, 2012
3 Holiday Activities That Put Your Company at Risk

Though few people think about it, holiday parties, online shopping, and employee travels can pose significant security risks to your business. As you're traveling, shopping, and working remotely, you're more likely to let down your guard when it comes to securing valuable company information. And nothing ruins the holiday spirit more than a stolen identity, data breach, or leaked trade secret. Here's where to take extra precautions this season.

1. Shopping.
As Inc.com stated, there's no use denying it: Employees will be tackling their holiday gift lists on their lunch breaks and during lulls at work. In addition to taking advantage of company time, this means that your employees are using company technology to access plenty of unsecured sites that could attract viruses and worse.
 
You probably can't keep employees from surfing the Web during downtime… so what can you do?
  • Advise them to visit only trusted e-commerce sites and hand their personal information over only via sites secured by HTTPS. 
  • Make sure employees know that any deal that seems just too good to be true, well, probably is.
  • Keep your malware and virus scans up to date in case an employee happens upon a scammer-run site that may install malware that could end up infecting your entire network.
 
2. Traveling.
Nearly every airport has a free Wi-Fi connection and mobile devices make working on the go easier than ever before, making it likely that employees will be wrapping up loose ends as they make their way back home for the holidays. So what's the problem? 
 
Employees working from unsecure Wi-Fi networks at airports, hotels, and coffee shops means that confidential company information can be blasted out into the online ether. If your employees are working on the go, consider setting your remote workers up with a virtual private network that will secure all their Internet interactions, even if they're using a public network. 
 
3. Celebrating.
Holiday parties and general revelry can lead to loose lips around topics that are usually reserved as confidential. As your team hits the bars and the bottles during the holidays, everyone should have a clear idea of what is off limits to the general public. And to minimize risk, encourage employees to take extra precautions and leave their company-issued devices at home as they're participating in holiday cheer.
 
And, if all else fails, just give your employees the week off between Christmas and New Year's to avoid these and other headaches. Happy Holidays!
 

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