Your employees are instrumental when it comes to protecting your business from cyberthreats. But they can also become targets for hackers and cybercriminals, and they might not know it. Here are four ways your employees might be endangering your business and themselves — and what you can do about it.

1. They’re Not Practicing Safe And Secure Web Browsing. One of the most basic rules of Internet safety is to not click on anything that looks suspicious. These days, however, it can be harder to tell what’s safe and what isn’t.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid websites that do not have “https” in front of their web address. The “s” tells you it’s secure – https stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. If all you see is “http” – no “s” – then you should not trust that website, as you don’t know where your data might end up.

Another way to practice safe web browsing is to avoid clicking on ads, which hackers commonly use to install malware on a user’s computer and network.

2. They’re Not Using Strong Passwords. This is one of the worst IT security habits out there. It’s too easy for employees to use simple passwords or reuse the same password over and over again. Or, worse yet, all of the above.

Cybercriminals love it when people get lazy with their passwords. If you use the same password continuously, and that password is stolen in a data breach (unbeknownst to you), it becomes super easy for cybercriminals to access virtually any app or account tied to that

To avoid this, your employees must use strong passwords, change passwords every 60 to 90 days, and not reuse old passwords. This might sound tedious, but when it comes to the IT security of your business, the inconvenience is well worth it. One more thing: the “tedious” argument really doesn’t hold much water either, thanks to password managers like 1Password and LastPass that make it easy to create new passwords and manage them across all apps and accounts.

3. They’re Not Using Secure Connections. This is especially relevant for remote workers, but it’s something every employee should be aware of. You can find WiFi virtually everywhere, and it makes connecting to unsecured networks all too easy. Generally speaking, Public WiFi should always be avoided, but especially when working with company data.

And unless your employee is using company-issued hardware, you have no idea what their endpoint security situation is. It’s one risk after another, and it’s all unnecessary. The best policy is to prohibit employees from connecting to unsecured networks (like public WiFi) with company property.

Instead, they should stick to secure networks that then connect via VPN. This is on top of the endpoint security that should be installed on every device that connects to your company’s network: malware protection, antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-ransomware, firewalls, you name it! You want to put up as many gates between your business interests and the outside digital world as you can.

4. They’re Not Aware Of Current Threats. How educated is your team about today’s cyber security threats? If you don’t know, or you already know their knowledge is dismal, it’s time for a change. One of the biggest threats to your business is a workforce that cannot recognize a phishing e-mail or doesn’t know who to call when they suspect a hack or data breach.

If an employee opens an email they shouldn’t or clicks a “bad” link, it can compromise your entire business. You could end up the victim of data breach. Or a hacker might decide to hold your data hostage until you pay up. This happens every day to businesses around the world – and hackers are relentless. They will use your own employees against you, if given the chance.

Your best move is to get your team trained up and educated about current threats facing your business. Working with a managed service provider or partnering with an IT services firm is an excellent way to accomplish this and to avoid everything we’ve talked about in this article. Education is a powerful tool and, when used correctly, it can protect your business and your employees.