And just like that, Cybersecurity Awareness Month comes to an end.
I hope you learned something new over the past few weeks.
With a better understanding of threats, we can stay a step ahead of every cyber bandit in the Wild, Wild Net. However, practicing healthy cybersecurity habits shouldn’t stop at the end of October.
We have to be vigilant every single day.
Unfortunately, that is no exaggeration. With technology being a part of everyday lives, it is now more essential than ever to protect ourselves from these threats.
So, for our last week in the Wild, Wild Net, we aren’t going to highlight a new cybercriminal. Instead, we’re giving you our top 10 cybersecurity tips that everyone should know.
These tips are for everybody. They are easy steps that anyone can take to better their cybersecurity hygiene. So, with that in mind, let’s dive in.
1. Update Everything.
Yes, a tale as old as time (or at least Internet-time). Unpatched or non-updated software is a frequent cause of malware infections. Why? Because updates help protect against the latest threat. And by not updating, you’re leaving the door wide open to malware.
So, make sure you keep your web browser, antivirus, operating system, and all your software up to date.
2. Use Strong Passwords.
At this point, you know that is it’s not a good idea to use “password” as a password. Instead, your passwords should be unique, long, and be a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
3. Use a Password Manager
Did you know that the worst thing you can do is to reuse the same ones across many sites?
If you’re a password recycler, don’t worry, you are not alone. According to a recent Virginia Tech study, about 50% of people reuse the same password across platforms.
I get it – it is difficult to come up with (and remember) passwords.
And there’s where a password manager comes into play.
So, what exactly is a password manager? They are an easy-to-use program that saves all your usernames and passwords in one central, secure location.
They make it easy to create long, impenetrable passwords for all your accounts. So, you don’t need to write them down anywhere – a password manager like a secure “vault” for all your passwords. To use it, all you have to do is remember one master password that unlocks your account.
To learn more about password managers, check out this beginner’s guide.
4. Use Multi-Factor Authentication whenever possible
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a form of security authentication that requires a user to present two or more authentication factors. For the authentication to be complete, the user must confirm each factor.
MFA can be a lot of things. But a common one is when a user first enters a password followed by an SMS code they receive on their phone. For more information on setting up MFA for business accounts, check out this blog.
5. Backup your Data
Data loss can happen in several different ways. This may include human error, physical damage to hardware, or a cyberattack. For instance, malware can wipe entire systems without you having a chance to spot it.
So, make sure you back up your data. Don’t save files to your desktop.
And if you are unsure how you should back up your data, reach out to your support desk.
6. Lock your device
Leaving a computer running unattended is a bad habit. We recommend that you lock it when you leave your desk for a meeting or lunch.
Unlike logging out, a locked computer doesn’t shut down everything. Once locked, no one can access it unless they have the computer’s login information. To lock your computer, follow these steps:
1. Press the Win+L key combination on the computer keyboard (Win is the Windows key)
1. Click on the Apple Icon in the upper left corner.
2. Click on “Lock Screen”
Remember, at the end of the day, you must log completely off your computer.
7. Check a Website’s Security before Entering Information
Don’t send sensitive information over the Internet before checking a website’s security. Pay attention to the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of a website. Look for URLs that begin with “https” a sign that sites are secure—rather than “http.”
And a padlock icon in the URL bar is a sign that your information will be encrypted. That’s a good thing.
8. Watch out for Phishing Emails
The best defense against phishing attacks is a spam filter. But sometimes, phishing emails will make it to the inbox even with protection.
Phishing attacks are becoming more difficult to spot, so you must be vigilant. Here is everything you need to know about phishing emails.
9. Be Suspicious
Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from individuals. If the unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify their identity. You can do this by looking them up on LinkedIn or through the company’s directory.
10. Continue to Education Yourself
Cybercriminals are never idle. Their attacks are getting more sophisticated every day.
More often than not, a healthy cybersecurity posture is based on human behavior. So, the more you educate yourself on staying safe online, the better off you will be.
Plus, you already made a great first step towards bettering your security education. You read this article! I would recommend that you continue poking around our blog. We have many helpful articles to get you started.
And if your company offers security awareness training, make sure you take it seriously. And take your time learning the content.
If your company doesn’t offer training, that’s not great news. I recommend you bring that up at your next staff meeting.
And there you have it – 10 easy ways to keep yourself more secure online.
If you have any questions about the topics covered during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We live and breathe cybersecurity over here at MRW Systems.