Many businesses go to great lengths to secure their physical assets, but often leave gaping holes in their electronic security protocols. While IT administrators can provide some protection, it’s up to the users to keep a network secure. Employers must ensure that employees are trained on avoiding common risks that can compromise technology or cause expensive repairs. Here are some critical security areas that employees should be trained on.
Phishing occurs when someone attempts to get employees to click on links to fraudulent websites or to provide or verify personal information. Train employees to never click email links from individuals whom they don’t know. If an email looks questionable, call the person or company sending it to verify that it is really from them. Finally, educate employees to never provide personal company or employee information to anyone. All legitimate requests for personal information must go through an HR representative or company leader.
Server-wide antivirus systems provide some protection. However, viruses can still slip by, especially very new ones. Teach employees to never download files from individuals that they don’t know or from websites that are not well-known. Additionally, instruct employees to immediately notify the IT department if their antivirus system catches a virus so that their system can be assessed for additional damage.
New software is developed daily and much of it has real business benefits. However, much of the freeware that is available from the Internet isn’t secure. The files themselves can contain viruses or the products can have security holes that allow hackers to access your computer through the software. Businesses should have an approved software list and employees should not install anything not on the list.
Mobile Device Security
Today’s mobile workforce uses phones, laptops and tablets in addition to standard desktop computers. However, these items can also cause security issues. Develop protocols for the types of software and apps that can be installed on these devices and periodically check to ensure employees are adhering to them. Items like laptops and tablets also need functioning antivirus software running on them. Additionally, instruct employees to never connect their personal devices to work devices to prevent the infection of the network.
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The Most Common Workplace Injuries Aren’t Major Accidents
When many people think of workplace injuries, something major like a forklift accident comes to mind. However, data shows that the majority of workplace accidents aren’t actually that dramatic. In fact, many of them are everyday occurrences that can happen to anyone. However, these seemingly minor mishaps can still cause significant harm to both employees and the employer.
Top Workplace Injuries
Each year, the Department of Labor and Bureau Statistics releases the top injuries that resulted in worker’s compensation claims for the previous year. Interestingly, the injuries don’t really change that much from year to year, and they aren’t life-threatening accidents or chemical spills. In fact, most injuries are due to overexertion, falls and accidental trips. In 2014, the top injuries were:
- Falls on same level
- Being struck by an object or equipment
- Falls to lower level
- Other exertions or bodily reactions
- Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle
- Slipping or tripping without falling
- Being caught in or compressed by equipment or objects
- Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks
- Being struck against an object or equipment
Avoiding Workplace Injuries
Preventing these types of mishaps is a two-fold process. It requires adequate employee training as well as modification of the workplace to reduce or eliminate the chance or injury. With regards to safety training, it’s clear that employees need reminders on the proper way to lift, carry and move objects around the workplace. Back injuries caused by overexertion don’t just happen on the loading dock. They also happen when receptionists attempt to carry supply boxes that are too heavy. Employers should conduct an annual training class that provides tips on preventing these commonplace injuries.
Modifying the Workplace
In most cases, workplace modifications will also need to be made. For example, to prevent slips and falls, modify all not-carpeted areas to include carpet or slip-resistant flooring. Additionally, remove all tripping hazards from working areas, such as unsecured cords and even boxes and work supplies. If inadequate storage results in piles of supplies near walkways, install shelving or another solution to reduce the risk of accidental injury.