Crucial Back-To-Work Insight: #TwTim

I’m Tim Guim.

I’m the President and CEO of PCH Technologies, but to be honest, I’m not fond of titles.

Last week, I posted an article sharing some thoughts on business. I received so many nice messages from people asking me to share more, so I thought that I would do it as regularly as I can. One of our team members loves alliteration and said it would be fun to brand my musings as “Tuesday with Tim”. I’m not sure, but for now…that feels good. So, here I am, typing my first “Tuesday w/ Tim” (I went with the ‘w/’ because it looks cooler to me).

If you like it, let me know. If you want me to cover a specific topic, please, do the same.

As a company, we spend time every day talking to clients, dealing with their concerns, and chatting about their business aspirations. Many of our customers ask for advice or insight, and that got me thinking that it might be a good thing to share some thoughts on LinkedIn within my area of expertise, which is IT, Cybersecurity, and Tech (yes, I love tech!).

I think the topic that most business owners are currently concerned with is how to open my business following the quarantine. I know some states have been open for a little bit, and others aren’t quite ready yet. We’re based in NJ, and luckily we were able to securely transition our team to work-from-home setups when this all started. This week, we’re beginning to bring our team back to a more traditional work-from-work structure. 🙂

I wanted to share some tips about this process along with insight regarding IT and Cyber Security during this transition that may not have even crossed your mind.

First off, the CDC has really covered the “how to stay safe” protocols for social distancing, masks, cleaning, etc. – you can find most of that here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/return-to-work.html

There are many issues for our staff that are important to consider, and I think should be at the forefront of our return-to-work strategies.

  1. Managing Stress: Many people already have a lot of stress and anxiety during this time; being back in the workplace may add to those feelings. Allowing time for the use of stress-reduction apps, self-care that calms breathing and nerves, and making a staff-centric plan with a bit of flexibility can go a long way toward building resilience and helping your staff feel better about returning.
  2. Wellness: Make changes that help boost the immune system and fight off illnesses. A high percentage of chronic conditions are preventable by engaging in a few lifestyle behavior changes, such as regular physical activity, eating at least five fruits and vegetables per day, not smoking, and limiting alcohol. So allow times for your team to take a walk, consider treating them with healthy snack options, and point them in the direction of smoking cessation programs if the opportunity arises. Small changes can make a significant difference in fighting the virus.
  3. Consider Everyone’s Health: Encourage your staff to stay home if they don’t feel well. As workplaces begin to re-open, many are monitoring employee health with measures such as daily temperature checks. Be the employer that takes precautions, your proactive choices will set a precedent of your expectations from your team.

Now that you’ve considered the CDC’s recommendations and some potential employee issues, let’s talk about your company’s health. The fact is that after a few months of working-from-home, on mostly unsecured networks, some of your staff’s devices are probably compromised with some sort of malware or virus.

So, how do you protect your data now that they’re back on your network?

  1. Workspaces: Many workers have shut off their login passwords while working from a safe space, like home. Make sure they are back on, remind your team to take precautions to protect data from visitors or others who are not authorized to see that information.
  2.  2. Be Aware of Phishing Schemes: Phishing emails are fake email messages that can be used by criminals and hackers to target your credit and identity, gain control of your computer and network or steal your password and access company information. They often appear as if coming from a trusted source, such as your credit card company or another vendor, and can often include links or attachments that they ask your employees to download. Make sure your team knows to delete suspicious emails without opening them, and if they did mistakenly open something suspicious, they should let their manager know.

3. “Password” is not a Password: Encourage the use of strong passwords, and once your team is back, we recommend that one of the first things you consider is a complete mandatory password update across all devices. Changing passwords makes it harder for thieves to access information. Choose something cryptic, so it is difficult to guess.

Best practices for strong passwords include the following:

  • Passwords should not contain all or part of your name or ID.
  • Passwords should be at least seven characters long.
  • Passwords should contain characters from at least two of the following four categories: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols (e.g., &, %, $, #).

I just wanted to share some thoughts and tips for my first Tuesday w/ Tim post. I hope you found it helpful. You can find out more information at: https://pchtechnologies.com/

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out.

Tim Guim

#PCHtech

#TwTim