Cybersecurity has never been more important than it is now. As we spend more time online, we’re often creating and sharing more of our personal data. And if this data falls into the wrong hands, private and financial information could be at risk. So, for businesses and individuals alike, protecting sensitive data is critical.
1. Use Anti-Virus Protection & Firewall
Anti-virus (AV) protection software has been the most prevalent solution to fight malicious attacks. AV software blocks malware and other malicious viruses from entering your device and compromising your data. Using a firewall is also important when defending your data against malicious attacks. A firewall helps screen out hackers, viruses, and other malicious activity that occurs over the Internet and determines what traffic is allowed to enter your device.
2. Use Strong Passwords & Use a Password Management Tool
You’ve probably heard that strong passwords are critical to online security. The truth is passwords are important in keeping hackers out of your data! You should consider:
- Create a password with at least eight characters and a maximum length of 64 characters.
- Don’t use the same password twice.
- The password should contain at least one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number, and four symbols but not the following &%#@_.
- Choose something that is easy to remember and never leave a password hint out in the open or make it publicly available for hackers to see. If you want to make it easier to manage your passwords, try using a password management tool or password account vault.
- Reset your password when you forget it. But, change it once per year as a general refresh.
3. Use Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication
Without two-factor authentication, you would normally enter a username and password. But, with two-factor, you would be prompted to enter one additional authentication method such as a Personal Identification Code, another password or even fingerprint.
4. Learn about Phishing Scams – be very suspicious of emails, phone calls, and flyers
In a phishing scheme attempt, the attacker poses as someone or something the sender is not to trick the recipient into divulging credentials, clicking a malicious link, or opening an attachment that infects the user’s system with malware. A few important cyber security tips to remember about phishing schemes include: don’t open email from people you don’t know, know which links are safe and which are not – hover over a link to discover where it directs to, and be suspicious of the emails sent to you in general – look and see where it came from and if there are grammatical errors. Malicious links can come from friends who have been infected too. So, be extra careful!
5. Be Careful on Social Media
In the new “always-on” world of social media, you should be very cautious about the information you include online. It is recommended that you only show the very minimum about yourself on social media. Consider reviewing your privacy settings across all your social media accounts, particularly Facebook. Adding your home address, birthdate, or any other personal information will dramatically increase your risk of a security breach. Hackers use this information to their advantage!
6. Backup Your Data Regularly
Backing up your data regularly is an overlooked step in personal online security. The top IT and security managers follow a simple rule called the 3-2-1 backup rule. Essentially, you will keep three copies of your data on two different types of media (local and external hard drive) and one copy in an off-site location (cloud storage). If you become a victim of ransomware or malware, the only way to restore your data is to erase your systems and restore with a recently performed backup.
7. Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi
Don’t use a public Wi-Fi without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). By using a VPN, the traffic between your device and the VPN server is encrypted. This means it’s much more difficult for a cybercriminal to obtain access to your data on your device. Use your cell network if you don’t have a VPN when security is important.
With these tips in mind, you can browse, shop, and enjoy the web while feeling safe about your personal digital security. If you want even more information on protecting your personal data or protecting your business from threats, call us or visit our website.