Choose A Secure Password With 11 Tips

Strong passwords protect your information from cybercriminals and keep you safe as you use the internet.

1. Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.

The best keywords are difficult to guess, so use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and symbols.

2. Use at least eight characters.

Longer passwords are more difficult to guess, so aim to make all your passwords at least eight characters long.

3. Avoid common words.

It’s amazing how many people set common words like “qwerty” or “12345” as their passwords. You secure your accounts when you use more challenging passwords.

4. Opt for unique phrases.

Single-word passwords are easy for hackers to crack with their dictionary software. Phrases like “I like ham sandwiches” or “the dog ate my homework” are more challenging to hack. Consider misspelling phrases, too, and replace letters with numbers or symbols or abbreviate words. Examples include ilIkeh@msandw!ches or tHed@g8myhomew*rk.

5. Avoid using your name or familiar numbers.

Hackers can easily find information about your life and use those details to hack into the websites you use. Never use your:

  • Name, including nickname or maiden name
  • Birth date
  • Social Security number
  • Street address
  • Family members’ names or birthdates
  • Pets’ names
  • Address, current or former

6. Don’t reuse passwords.

When you change your password, pick a unique password that you’ve never used on any site.

7. Give every site a different password.

Use the same password for multiple sites, and you invite a hacker to access all your information. Instead, use a different password for every site. A password manager can help you remember all your different passwords.

8. Use a two-factor authentication.

A two-factor authentication or 2FA increases your log-in security. It typically includes your password and a PIN, code, fingerprint or voiceprint.

9. Don’t save your passwords.

Browsers typically prompt you to save passwords. Always click no. Someone could gain access to your device and then log into websites using your saved passwords.

10. Log out of websites and devices.

After using a website or device, log out. This step reduces the chances of someone logging onto your device and gaining access the sites you used.

11. Change your passwords often.

At least once a month or more often for bank or social media sites, change the password. Set a reminder alarm on your phone’s calendar if necessary.

When you secure your passwords, you make it more challenging for cybercriminals to steal your personal information. For additional safety tips and details about cyber insurance, talk to your insurance agent today.

Practical Tips To Avoid Phishing Attacks At Work

According to a phishing study conducted by KnowBe4, employees in the insurance, manufacturing and technology industries click phishing emails or open infected attachments more than employees in other industries.However, no industry is immune to phishing attacks. Use several practical tips to protect your company from phishing attacks.

1. Recognize spam.

Emails designed to gather and steal information can be disguised to look like they originate from a legitimate company. Check every email carefully before you open it, and look for this and other signs of spam.

  • Originate from an unrecognized sender.
  • Ask for confirmation of personal, financial or banking information.
  • Contain a sense of urgency.
  • Threaten to contact the police or other organization if you don’t comply.

If you notice any of these signs, mark the email as spam and delete it.

2. Use secure websites.

Employers may need to order or pay for items online. In this case, they should only use secure websites to share personal or financial information. A lock icon on the browser status bar and https URL indicate that the site is secure.

3. Carefully update information via email.

Cybercriminals can practically duplicate the look, logo and other details of a legitimate company as they attempt to steal data. Your employees should always verify that the email is from the right company before they submit personal, financial or other secure information. Even then, they should use caution since anyone can hack into email and access the sensitive data it contains.

4. Avoid clicking on certain links, files and attachments.

Links, files and attachments from unknown senders may contain a virus or spyware that can compromise your entire network. Remind employees not to click on email links, files or attachments from senders they do not know or are not expecting.

5. Beware of pop-ups.

Annoying pop-ups can also be a tool cybercriminals use to gather sensitive data. Legitimate companies do not gather information via a pop-up, so employees should not click on pop-ups, copy a pop-up’s web address into a browser or enter personal information into a pop-up screen.

6. Utilize IT security measures.

Your computer system should feature IT security, including a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and spam filters. Update these measures regularly, and instruct your employees to keep them intact.

7. Hold frequent training.

Human forgetfulness and evolving phishing scams require you to host frequent cybersecurity training. It teaches your employees to recognize and avoid phishing scams and can dramatically decrease risks.

Phishing scams can harm your company now and into the future. In addition to purchasing cyber insurance, protect your company when you take these practical steps.

Building Valuation: Closing the ‘Underinsurance Gap’

When settling Building Insurance claims, it can be tough to determine the real cost of replacing or restoring damaged property. Unfortunately, the methods that policyholders, insurance companies, and agents usually use to set the right amount of coverage all have their weaknesses; according to insurance experts, this means some buildings might be underinsured by up to 40%!

This shouldn’t be a surprise. Basing the amount of coverage on the purchase price of a building doesn’t factor in possibly significant changes in the value of the location. The same problem applies with using real estate appraisals, which are based on the sale price.

Although setting coverage by estimating square footage and material costs can be fairly accurate, these methods depend on the validity of the data plugged into the formulas. What’s more, changes in zoning or building regulations can have a significant impact of the value of the building.

As a construction professional, you can’t afford to “guestimate” the cost of building repair or restoration after a loss. For example, you probably have a strong grasp of arcane and complex zoning and building ordinances in your everyday work.

We’d be happy to provide a complimentary review of the valuation of your buildings for coverage purposes and recommend any needed changes. We can then explore opportunities to improve the accuracy of building valuations for your clients — and ours, so that we can help close that 40% “underinsurance gap.”

Top Tips To Reduce Stress At Work

Three in four adults report that work stress affects their personal lives. Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, your HR department can share several tips that help your staff reduce stress at work.

Schedule your Day

Your productivity naturally wanes during the day. Be proactive and schedule tough, unpleasant or high-energy tasks for the moments when you have the most energy, and leave mundane or boring tasks for low-energy times. With this tip, you’ll get more done and feel less stressed.

Listen

Maintain an open-door policy that welcomes co-workers to share challenges they face. With this information, you can address areas that should be changed and help your staff find solutions that reduce their specific stressors.

Eliminate Interruptions

Email, pop-ins and phone calls interrupt your train of thought and can affect your deadlines. If you can’t turn off your phone, shut your office door or set up office hours, work to manage your response. Accept the reality that you will face interruptions and try to remain calm. Then perform triage and prioritize the interruptions as you deal with the most important things first and delegate or leave the rest until tomorrow.

Take A Deep Breath

Give yourself a moment to breathe deeply when you feel tense, overwhelmed or angry. Simply inhale through your mouth, count to five and exhale slowly through your nose. This break can calm your mind and body during meetings or after frustrating encounters with clients or co-workers.

Improve Interoffice Relationships

Encourage team members to build trust and improve communication. Team bonding exercises and problem-solving techniques eliminate troublesome interpersonal problems and related stress.

Exercise

Take exercise breaks throughout the day to reboot your body and your brain. A quick walk during lunch, stretch breaks every hour and yoga, basketball or a bike ride after work can help you relax.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Stress eating may help you feel better in the moment, but it can actually make you feel sluggish, irritable and tired. Boost your protein intake and cut sugar as you fuel your body to work and think efficiently. Stock the break room with healthy snacks and water, too.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep affects your ability to think clearly, make decisions and handle challenges. Implement a good sleep hygiene routine so you can stay alert and function at your best while at work.

Buy Plants

Plants brighten your workspace, clean the air and help you relax. Your plants may also lower your blood pressure and quicken your reaction time, helping you get more done and feel less stressed.

These top tips help your co-workers feel less stressed at work. Implement them in your workplace today.

Employee Retention Tips For Your Business

To help your business grow and stay healthy, you need to retain your employees. Your company will experience higher employee and customer satisfaction ratings, and you’ll save money and conserve resources when you maintain a consistent workforce. Gain these benefits and protect your company when you implement several employee retention tips.

Hire Quality Employees

During your hiring process, try to fill positions with staff members who fit in with your culture, possess essential skills and embrace your company’s vision. Employees are more likely to stay long-term when they feel at home in your company.

Clarify Expectations

Ensure every employee understands their production goals and other expectations. They’ll experience less stress and feel more secure and motivated when they have a clear set of goals to achieve.

Tap Into Talents, Skills and Experiences

Every employee has a hidden skill or two that can benefit your business. Get to know each member of your team, and discover the unique talents, skills and experiences they possess. You can then maximize each staff member as you stretch them professionally and enhance your business.

Provide Tools, Training and Growth Opportunities

Equip your employees for success when you provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs. You can also schedule performance reviews and ongoing training workshops, seminars and classes that help your employees feel professionally fulfilled and satisfied.

Appreciate all Employees

Incentives, gifts and rewards show employees that you value and appreciate them. Consider offering:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Competitive salaries
  • Free lunches
  • Regular verbal thank you’s

Each of these appreciative measures boosts morale and gives your employees reasons to stay.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Protect your employees from stress and other health problems as you encourage work-life balance. Offer nontraditional work hours or a flexible schedule, extra holidays, realistic work expectations, and more breaks. Your efforts improve employee morale and satisfaction.

Strive for Fairness

Most businesses implement different pay and incentive levels, but do your best to be fair and equitable. Offering only certain employees higher pay, extra bonuses or other perks will negatively affect employee morale, productivity and longevity.

Welcome Feedback

Give your employees freedom to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions as you create an open environment that welcomes improvements and innovation. Be sure to take all suggestions seriously, and give employees credit for their ideas as you keep your team excited and involved in your company’s growth and success.

Conduct Exit Interviews

When employees do leave, conduct exit interviews and ask why they’re moving on. Their insights can help you improve operations and reduce future employee losses.

With these tips, your company can improve employee retention. You’ll then gain a variety of benefits that keep your business healthy.