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! Here are a few steps you can take which might require a little extra cyber security!

With new technologies come new ways cybercriminals can use our devices against us. But going green doesn’t have to mean that you will be in more danger of cyber-attacks. In some ways, you may end up more protected!

1. Use IoT devices to conserve energy

Many 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 away

Even 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 friends

Does 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. Use cloud-based services

Cloud 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 home

At the last minute, Jim bails on carpooling today and you have no other way to get to work – or maybe you’ve been encouraged to work from home if you like! Since you’re already using a cloud-based service for all your work, you can just 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 Panels

With 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. Repair devices before they become E-waste

How often do you replace your computer? What about your smartphone? While most of us love a brand new, shiny electronic, it’s more responsible to get aging technology repaired than replaced. In 2016 the UN found that 44.7 million tons of e-waste was created and only 20% of it properly eliminated. Electronic waste is quickly becoming a prominent pollutant. While manufacturers make it near impossible to repair your devices, it’s still worth a shot to troubleshoot your issues before buying an entirely new product. If you end up purchasing new tech, make sure the old tech is recycled properly so as to lower your e-waste footprint!

8. Recycle unusable devices

So you’ve been buying new energy saving devices. What should you do with your old electronics? Well be sure to dispose of them responsibly. Most of our gadgets can’t (or shouldn’t) just be tossed in the garbage to be sent off to a landfill. If your device has 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.

Meg Krafft

Digital Marketing Assistant at The Security Awareness Company
After starting out creating digital and print marketing for a real estate company, Meg now assists in keeping up the marketing needs for SAC. When not working she's probably watching a good movie or indulging in local art and music.

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