Six Security Tips for Network Administrators

Network administration jobs are hugely important careers in information technology, especially now that we rely more than ever on digital technology in every aspect of our daily lives. Whether you've worked your way up from the help desk to a position as a network administrator or are looking for ways to improve your job performance, use these security tips to protect your network against intruders:

1. Only download files from trusted sites
Although as an IT professional you will likely see this advice as common sense, people using the network that you manage may not fully understand the importance of only downloading files from trusted websites. Teach your users how to download files safely, and consider restricting the ability to download to a few select users who must do so as a part of their daily work responsibilities.

2. Control network connections
Because computers sometimes adopt to the security settings of networks they connect to, you can help to keep your network secure by restricting users to connecting to approved domains and networks. If users only connect to the main corporate network that you have set up, then this shouldn't be an issue.

3. Test new software on a virtual network
To avoid causing any unintentional problems when installing new software, first test it on a virtual network to work out the kinks and make sure it will be compatible with your configuration and setup.

4. Educate others
As a network administrator, it's your job to not only set up and maintain network operating systems and equipment, but also to educate users on ways to keep their computers, and the network, secure. The more they know, the less crisis control you'll have to do in the future.

5. Do regular network security checks
After you have completed your IT project, be sure to test the security of the IT system before allowing users to access it. This will help you avoid costly data breaches in the future. You should also regularly audit the entry points into your network.

6. Continue learning
Having an IT degree and continuing to look for ways to gather information are the best ways to maintain network security. The more current your knowledge, the better network administrator you'll be.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online bachelor's and master's degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit our website at www.wgu.edu.

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