REVIEW THESE 10 STEPS TO IMPROVE SECURITY
The ubiquity of technology creates an abundance of convenience, efficiency, and enjoyment in our lives. However, our digitally connected world offers unbound opportunities for cybercriminals and identity thieves. Recently, the rise of remote work has only increased such vulnerabilities where even tech-savvy and vigilant people can encounter cybersecurity headaches regularly.
The good news is there are many practical and relatively easy steps you can take to help mitigate risk both at home and in the workplace. Here are 10 cybersecurity strategies worth implementing:
- Click with caution. Including phishing links in emails is a common way hackers trick individuals into giving up their information. This often occurs with banking statements, flight reservations, password recovery emails, and more. Be careful about clicking on any link or attachment from unknown senders.
- Set up multi-factor authentication. Without multi-factor authentication (MFA), users can access their accounts with only a username and password. MFA adds another layer of protection. It requires more than one authentication method to verify a user’s identity for login. Many major websites allow you to opt-in to MFA within settings or under your user profile. There are also a range of “authenticator apps” available for download.
- Clear browsing history and stored cookies regularly. If you do not clean out your cache and cookies from your device, you are leaving a virtual history of which sites you have been using all over the web. This could possibly give criminals an advantage in targeting you and accessing your data.
- Report suspicious emails at your workplace. Hackers may attempt to contact you through your work email. Don’t just delete a suspicious email – report it to your IT department.
- Back up your data. Daily backups are required to recover from data corruption or loss resulting from security breaches. Several methods are available to set up automatic backup, including setting up an external hard drive, using cloud storage providers (Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft One Drive), or using online backup services (IDrive, Acronis True Image). For a discussion about data backup with tips about what to store, check out this article from PC Mag.
- Keep software up to date. Unpatched or out-of-date software can allow threats to breach your security. Cybercriminals exploit software vulnerabilities using a variety of tactics to gain access to computers and data.
- Use strong passwords. Many hackers will sell the data they hack. This will include information on thousands, if not millions, of people and their passwords. Using the same password for every account can offer hackers easier access to more of your information.
- At work: Schedule regular training sessions about security and run phishing simulation tests. This tip is for business owners. Anti-phishing and security training solutions educate employees about online threats and how to prevent them. As part of training, phishing simulation tests and other mock attacks test and reinforce good employee behavior. Conducting periodic training helps keep your staff alert.
- Use a firewall and antivirus software. A firewall acts as a digital shield, preventing malicious software or traffic from reaching your network. Firewall and antivirus software are mandatory tools in your information security portfolio.
- Use encrypted email and a secure file-sharing solution. Email encryption involves encrypting the content of email messages to protect potentially sensitive information from being read by anyone other than the intended recipients. Adopt a secure file-sharing solution to encrypt your files to prevent unauthorized access and keep your information safe.
While cyber threats abound, consistently implementing practical prevention steps can help protect your
information and help you sleep better at night. Please stay vigilant and let us know if you have any questions about this important topic.