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  • 24 April 2024
  • 4 min read

10 ways employees can protect themselves from identity theft

Top 10 effective ways employees and organisations can minimise the risks and threats associated with identity theft attacks.

Identity theft cyber-attacks pose significant risks to both individuals and organisations. With the help of new attack vectors that utilise emerging technology, cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods.

As a result, it is essential for employees to be equipped with the knowledge and tools to safeguard their personal and professional information. At TSC, we encourage organisations to take a proactive approach to creating and staying vigilant, so that employees can minimise the risk of falling victim to identity theft.

Here are 10 effective strategies to bolster your defences:

  1. Manage Your Digital Footprint: Employees should be mindful of the information they share online. Limiting the personal details exposed on social media platforms and other online channels can reduce the likelihood of identity theft. Encourage employees to regularly review their privacy settings and be cautious about sharing sensitive information. TSC has created short but engaging eLearning courses on managing your digital footprint that cyber security leaders can use to run awareness campaigns that can then be supplemented by our other materials, such as top tips leaflets, animated infographics and even games that condense complex issues into easily digestible sessions.
  2. Strengthen Device and IoT (Internet of Things) Security: Securing devices and IoT (Internet of Things) devices is crucial in preventing unauthorised access to personal and corporate data – especially as many organisations now operate in a remote or hybrid setting. Employees should ensure their devices are equipped with robust security measures such as encryption, biometric authentication, and firewalls. Regularly updating software and firmware can also patch vulnerabilities and enhance security, closing backdoors that may have opened for threat actors.
  3. Deepfake/A.I. Security Awareness: With the rise of deepfake technology, employees must be aware of the potential risks posed by manipulated media. Training programs should educate employees on identifying and responding to deepfake content, emphasising the importance of verifying sources and exercising caution when consuming media online. We work with many clients that utilise virtual reality or metaverse technology; as a result, we have created personalised and customisable solutions for the emerging technology they utilise every single day. We can do that for any industry, globally.
  4. Safely Navigate the Metaverse: As mentioned, the metaverse continues to evolve, so employees should exercise caution when engaging in virtual environments. Educate employees on the risks associated with virtual interactions, such as phishing scams and malware dissemination. Emphasise the importance of verifying the authenticity of virtual identities and transactions and simulate the environment in a safe setting like our Virtual Reality Check game.
  5. Password Security and Management: Encourage employees to create strong, unique passwords for their accounts and avoid using the same password across multiple platforms. Implementing password management tools can help employees securely store and manage their credentials, reducing the risk of unauthorised access. And whilst we offer and understand the value of comprehensive password security and awareness training, we also encourage our clients to utilise other communication channels like webinars, leaflets, GIFS, and games to highlight and hammer home the importance of constant password security vigilance.
  6. Phishing Awareness and Simulations: Phishing remains one of the most common tactics used by cybercriminals to steal sensitive information. Conduct regular phishing awareness training sessions and simulations to educate employees on recognising and avoiding phishing attempts. Provide guidance on how to verify the legitimacy of emails and avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments. Employees can fall into a lull an forget their security awareness behaviours. In these instances, it is important to remember that security awareness must be a priority every single day. Cyber criminals may use season dates to intensify their attempts, but they will be hoping employees and organisations take their eyes of the ball year long – you simply must not allow this!
  7. Regular Security Updates and Patches: Keeping software, applications, and operating systems up to date is essential in mitigating security vulnerabilities. Encourage employees to enable automatic updates and regularly check for patches released by software vendors. Promptly applying updates can help prevent exploitation by cyber attackers.
  8. Maintain a Clear Desk and Locked Screen Policy: Implementing a clear desk and locked screen policy can prevent unauthorised access to physical documents and electronic devices. Encourage employees to lock their screens when stepping away from their workstations and securely store sensitive documents when not in use. This may sound relatively simple, but you would be surprised how often employees neglect to lock their screens when they step away. Use signage, posters, and regular communication to keep employees on their toes and aware of the secure behaviours they should be exhibiting.
  9. Exercise Caution on Public Wi-Fi Networks: Public Wi-Fi networks pose inherent security risks, making it easier for cybercriminals to intercept data transmitted over unsecured connections. Advise employees to avoid accessing sensitive information or conducting financial transactions while connected to public Wi-Fi. Encourage the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to encrypt internet traffic and enhance privacy.
  10. Adhere to Data Storage, Archive, and Destruction Policies: Develop and enforce data storage, archive, and destruction policies to govern the handling of sensitive information. Employees should be educated on the proper procedures for storing, archiving, and disposing of data in compliance with regulatory requirements and organisational policies.

Working with TSC: How Cyber Security Awareness and Training Can Minimise Identity Theft Threats and Risks

Collaborating with a trusted cyber security awareness and training provider can significantly enhance an organisation's defences against identity theft. Through targeted training programs, employees can develop the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and mitigate identity theft risks effectively. By fostering a culture of security awareness, organisations can empower employees to safeguard their personal and professional information, ultimately reducing the likelihood of falling victim to identity theft.

TSC’s immense library of material relating to identity theft risks and threats is ready to be deployed in organisations in a variety of languages. Furthermore, if an organisation wanted more personalised, customised, and bespoke solutions, if you are struggling to find the show that fits, we will work one-to-one with you on content, design, and purpose to meet your vision and requirements.

Written by
Nas Ali
Cyber security and awareness content creator focused on emerging threats and the next wave of cyber security risks like AI, deepfakes and tech 4.0 initiatives in order to build towards a more secure organisational culture.
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