How to browse the Internet safely at an OPE dealership

Pivotal in improving a dealership’s cyber-security approach is increasing the awareness of any team member who has access to a business machine with Internet access. Being the first line of defence, it is only logical to educate every team member about cybersecurity best practices, as well as the latest threats and trends. In addition, by providing a set of standards to adhere to, a dealership can instantly create a culture of security with minimal time and effort. This can be as simple as sharing with every member of their team this article, which covers how to safely browse the Internet at work, whether it be via a desktop, laptop computer or mobile phone.

  1. Make sure that the browser(s) installed on your work machine/device are up to date.
    The number one rule when browsing the Internet is to make sure that your browser is up to date. Threats such as malicious websites, malvertising, and exploit kits can find their way through vulnerabilities that out-of-date browsers leave behind. In addition, updating other software on your work devices (even media players) keeps browser-based threats from finding other ways into your system.
  2. If you have software programs you no longer use or need, uninstall them. 
    It is likely that since you are not using that software, it is incredibly outdated, making it an easy avenue for the bad guys to exploit. 
  3. Modern-day browsers like Microsoft Edge are engineered a bit differently than their predecessors. 
    Other than appealing customisation schemes, they also boast being secure (or private) by default. By contrast, browsers that have been around for a long time, continue to improve on these aspects, as well as their versatility and performance. Regardless of which browser you use, make it a point to review its settings and configure them with security and privacy in mind. 
  4. Although this may sound obvious, refrain from visiting sites that your colleagues or boss would frown upon if they look over your shoulder.
    Most employees should know that visiting and navigating to sites that are not safe for work is a no-go-zone, but some still do it. Trouble is, not only does this invite malware and other threats that target visitors of such sites, but it could also result in being—rightfully or not—accused of sexual harassment. Always err on the side of caution.
  5. Use a password manager.
    Password managers do not just store a multitude of passwords and keep them safe; they can also stop your browser from pre-filling fields on seemingly legitimate, but ultimately malicious sites. So the next time you receive an email from your “bank” telling you there is a breach and you have to update your password, and your password manager refuses to pre-fill that information, scrutinise the URL in the address bar carefully. You might be on a site you do not want to be on.
  6. Assume you are a target. 
    Many businesses, for example, would like to think that they cannot be targets of cyber-attacks because criminals would not go after a smaller business – instead targeting big corporate companies; however, numerous surveys, intelligence, and research tell a different story. As such, employees of a Dealership of any size need to change their thinking. Each time we go online at work, whether for valid reasons or not, we are putting our dealership at risk. With that, we must take the initiative to browse safely and adopt cybersecurity best practices. 

When it comes to preventing online threats and keeping sensitive company and client data secure, it should be every team member’s concern—from a family member helping out on a Saturday morning, all the way to a full-time employee and Dealer Principal.

If every team member can adhere to the simple points above, any business would in a better security position than they were before. 

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