There are plenty of reasons for going green. Some of us do it to be healthier. Some of us want to save energy and money. Then there are many of us who just want to be good to the Earth! This Friday, April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day; so if you’re thinking about going green now is your chance to start. There are plenty of little, and big, steps you can take to start the process. So, in honor of Earth Day 2017, we wanted to know which of these steps might require a little extra cyber security!
With new technologies come new ways cyber criminals can our devices against us. But going green doesn’t have to mean that you are in more danger of cyber attacks. In some ways you may end up more protected!
1. Use IoT devices to conserve energyMany IoT devices are making it easier to conserve energy because you can manage and shut off functions remotely! Let’s take programmable thermostats for example. On the go, from your smartphone, you can adjust your home or office temperatures, turn lights off, or even do laundry. It’s a dream come true and can save you a whole lot of money, but because these devices are connected to the internet there are risks involved. Stay safe by always updating your devices and using strong passwords!
2. Turn off your computer when you’re awayEven if you step away from your desk to get a drink from the water cooler or visit the break room for a snack, be sure to lock your computer so that no one can access your information! When you’re going to be away from your computer for more than an hour, make it a habit to shut it off completely. Now you have just saved energy and you know that no one else will be able to get into your account.
3. Carpool with your friendsDoes your friend Jim from accounting drive a hybrid car and live on the same side of town as you and Mary? Perfect! Begin a carpool. Save on gas money, help reduce traffic, and conserve energy all at the same time. Plus, spend more quality time with your coworkers outside of work. If you’re driving, make sure you trust everyone you bring into your car! It is possible for smart cars to be hacked, and you wouldn’t want to bring anyone onto your work campus who doesn’t belong.
4. Used cloud-based serviceCloud computing already saves you time and money while also being a secure way to backup your files. Not surprisingly, using cloud-based services is very environmentally friendly. If you’re looking to reduce your corporate carbon footprint, setting up cloud computing for your employees should be your first step.
5. Work from homeLast minute Jim bails on carpooling today and you have no other way to get to work – or maybe you’re already encouraged to work from home if you like! Since you’re already using a cloud-based service for all your work, it’s no problem to keep your pajamas on and turn your couch into a work station. But keep in mind, your home may not be as secure as your office. And, if you decide to run down to your local coffee shop to grab a bagel and get some work done, be sure you use a VPN!
6. Install Solar PanelsWith solar power being the cheapest it’s ever been now is a great time to start thinking about installing those solar panels on the sunny side of your roof! Like other IoT devices, your solar array will be hooked up to the internet, which inevitably makes it vulnerable to being hacked.
7. Recycle old devicesSo you’ve been buying new energy saving devices. What should you do with your old electronics? Well be sure to dispose of responsibly. Most of our gadgets can’t just be tossed in the garbage to be sent off to a landfill. If your device had any PII or other important files saved to it, you should use extra caution before throwing or giving it away. Watch the video below to learn exactly how to get rid of an outdated, or broken, hard drive.
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