Minimize Data Security Risks

5 min

Don’t inadvertently compromise company data. Practice common-sense information security.

To help you avoid common data security risks, here are four best practices:

1. Restrict access to data.

Use common sense. If you’re working on something sensitive, don’t leave it out in the open or on your screen if you leave your desk. By the same token, set your devices to auto-lock when idle, and close, turn off, and store them in secure locations when you’re done with them

2. Keep clean machines.

Your company has rules about what you can keep or install on your work devices. Follow these rules; unauthorized outside programs can open security vulnerabilities. For maximum security, you should also keep your devices and software up to date. So don’t ignore update notifications. Install them!

3. Back up your work.

Protect your work by backing it up so that you have multiple copies of your most important documents and data. If you’re targeted by a cyber attack, you’ll at least be able to access your files from another device.

4. Speak up.

Finally, when you see something, say something. If anything strange happens on your computer or mobile devices — they start running slowly, you get suspicious emails, etc. — let your IT team know.

Minimize basic security risks by:

1. Restricting access to data

2. Keeping clean machines

3. Backing up your work

4. Speaking up about anything suspicious

Time for a quiz.

Enrique just read an article about rampant cyber crime and wants to adopt better data security practices. The first thing he does on his work laptop is install available updates. He then deletes third-party apps that weren’t authorized by his company. Why were these good moves?

Quiz 1 of 1

Why was it a good move for Enrique to update his work computer and remove unauthorized third-party apps from it?

Because updating his computer will make it perform better — and by extension, allow him to work faster.
Because old versions of software would prevent him from properly backing up his data.
Because keeping old versions of software, as well as unknown outside software, opens up security vulnerabilities.
Because he doesn’t want anyone to find out that he’s been breaking his company’s rules.

The correct answer is C.

By keeping his machine up to date and removing unauthorized software, Enrique has improved the security of his computer.


Follow the steps in this lesson to minimize data security risks for your organization. In fact, right now, spend a minute adjusting your settings so that updates install automatically.

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