We are protective of many important things that hold value to us. There are different reasons for different people. For a typical sales executive like myself, there are numerous such things. Whenever we discuss security, a sales executive thinks of it as the job of a technical person to protect their data. We almost forget that there are several small steps which can be taken to stay digitally secured. The intention of writing these cybersecurity tips for sales executives is to take another step to stay ahead of the security curve.
Here Are My Top 6 Cybersecurity Tips For Sales Executives
1) It is your laptop which holds most of your information
Proposals for different clients, invoice copy, marketing collaterals, non-disclosures agreements, tenders information and many such documents which if your competitors get access to, can land you in big trouble. Encryption of your drive is the best possible way to protect those data. For Windows, you can rely on BitLocker, while for Mac, you can use FileVault. Unlike in Windows and Mac OS X, you can only encrypt your disk when you first install Linux. If you already have Linux installed without disk encryption, you’re going to need to backup your data and reinstall Linux. Also, use a password and make sure the computer screen gets locked each time you are not on your desk. Change your password regularly.
2) Your browser holds enough sensitive information and it is your playfield
Whether you search your leads or manage CRM or write emails, you always do it from your browser unless you have specific tools for each of these functions. Your browser stores your passwords locally and can display it to anyone with a click of few buttons and by anyone who knows the password to open your computer. You might be trying the new extensions. Make sure you install them from trusted sources and uninstall the unused ones. Update your browser regularly and use incognito or a different browser for non-official works.
3) Encrypt data on your external drive
We all are fond of transferring files and storing them using external storage devices. Again encryption is quite useful for such devices. Windows users can use BitLocker while Mac users need to select Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) while they format the drive.
4) Your mobile phone is one device which is at the highest risk
You travel everywhere with your mobile device, and you use it for your personal and official work. The data in your mobile device has security threat when it's lost, has malicious apps or when there is a security vulnerability hidden inside the apps which are being misused by a hacker. You need to protect your device with a secure password and avoid using fingerprint options as it can give access even when you are asleep. Always look carefully to the permissions being granted to the app that you are installing. For example - a flash app should not ask access to the phonebook. Keeping your OS update also helps in staying secured.
5) Be extra cautious while using a public WiFi network
Connectivity is essential and we always want to stay connected either using mobile network or WiFi. Sales executives need to travel to different seminars and conference. They have to connect on public WiFi at places like these - be it airports and hotels. It's better if a secured VPN is used every time. A VPN client on one computer connects to a VPN server on another computer and by using encryption and other security measures, no one can see what information is being exchanged. I prefer using Express VPN but you can find many other trusted ones on the internet.
6) Don't use a public computer to log into your email account
Most of the time you use your email on your personal devices, but sometimes you may end up using a public computer to access your emails. In either case, use double authentication to stay secured. Gmail gives you some pre-approved OTPs in case if your phone is not accessible. I prefer memorizing few of them in case I lose mine.
I've shared with you, my personal experiences of cybersecurity tips for sales executives. Here's what one of my colleagues Vaishali Garg (Security Researcher, Appknox) had to say about security from a developer's perspective.