This past year, the line between our online and offline lives has blurred even more. Many of us have converted our homes into offices and, in some cases, schools. The sheer number of devices your customers and employees use to “virtually interact” — and the amount of time they spend on them — can make thinking about security daunting. – computer that is connected to the internet has the potential to be hacked, so it is important to secure each one separately.
In keeping with the theme of this year’s Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM), “If You Link It, Secure It,” we’re offering three basic tips for you to share with your customers and employees this week. These are good reminders for all – companies and consumers alike – to take responsibility for cybersecurity and reduce our personal and collective danger. Visit Nextdoorsec for more cybersecurity tips and guides.
Set up Multi-Factor Authentication and create unique, strong passwords.
All IoT devices should be password protected, with a unique password that is creative, long, and contains a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, depending on the settings. Although it may be tempting to “recycle” such unique passwords in order to remember them all, doing so significantly increases our risk. Cyber criminals use advanced methods to track down and change old passwords used on other sites or computers in order to guess new ones. Take the time to create a method to help you remember your passwords, whether it’s a password manager, notes in a secure location, or good old-fashioned mnemonic devices to help you remember phrases.
Another important step in ensuring that you — and only you — have access to your devices is to allow multi-factor authentication (MFA). You can reduce the success of malicious attempts to gain unwitting access to your devices by establishing two types of authentication information. If you get a notification on a secondary computer that another device has been accessed, make sure you obey the instructions to report the nefarious behaviour as soon as possible. 2FA is usually available on IoT devices and can be allowed during setup. You can also find the feature in your device’s Settings or Security tabs and set it up to send you the unique code/number via text, email, or phone. If your personally identifying information is compromised, two steps in the short term save you several steps in the long run.
Remember, your home router is the mother of all devices! You can (and should!) change the password on your phone even though you rent it from a telecommunications company. It’s also a good idea to give your network a nondescript name that doesn’t contain any personally identifying information (for example, Matt’s Place or The Taylor’s House), so that cybercriminals can’t easily recognise your home and/or personal information.
Allow online data security
All connected devices require cyber security services such as antivirus, anti-ransomware, and anti-keylogging apps. Traditional antivirus software, unfortunately, does not defend against ever-evolving strategies such as keylogging (the tracking and recording of keystrokes on a keyboard) or limiting the victim’s access to personal data before a ransom is paid (ransomware). When downloading online data security tools, do your homework to ensure that your data and devices are fully protected.
It’s also crucial to note that simply installing the app isn’t enough. Make sure you’re staying on top of things by checking for and installing updates as soon as they’re available. You leave yourself vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and the theft of your identity and/or personally identifiable information if you don’t update your IoT devices on a regular basis. As tempting as it might be to ignore or “remind me later” alerts on our IoT devices, the company is often pushing out updates to fix a discovered security problem that needs urgent attention. What can be covered now should not be put off until tomorrow.
Pay Attention to Your Apps
What is the Importance of Cybersecurity?
If you keep up with tech news, you’ve probably noticed a recent focus on privacy and cybersecurity. The privacy policies of major corporations such as Google and Facebook have made headlines. The way businesses manage data is crucial. Unfortunately, there have been a slew of data breaches in the last 12 months.
If your personal data is compromised as a result of a data breach, private information is no longer private. Hackers may be able to gain access to personal information such as your Social Security number or banking information. Identity theft is one of the most common consequences of data breaches.
There are additional ramifications for a company that has suffered a data breach. Businesses can lose sales or incur increased legal, public relations, or insurance costs. It’s possible that intellectual property would be harmed. A data breach can also damage a company’s credibility.
You must protect your data whether you are a person or a business leader. Small, individual initiatives will help to improve cybersecurity practises. So, how do you keep your information safe and out of the wrong hands?
12 Cybersecurity Pointers
Here are 12 simple cybersecurity tips to help you keep your personal data secure. Don’t forget to pass along these suggestions to your coworkers. As a result, you’ll be able to assist in the protection of your company as well.
12 More cybersecurity tips in an infographic
- Be wary of hyperlinks
Hackers also use links in emails to trick people into giving up their personal information. Banking statements, travel reservations, password recovery emails, and other documents are common examples.
If a user clicks on one of these links, they will be directed to a fake website that looks eerily similar to the real one. They will be asked to login or enter personal information on the website. Once a hacker has this information, he or she has access to the user’s account.
As a result, keep an eye on the ties in your emails. Don’t click on something that looks suspicious. In reality, visiting a provider’s website directly rather than using an email connection is the safest bet.
- Use Different Passwords
It’s easier to remember a single password for all of your accounts, but it’s not the most safe choice. The best practise is to use a different password for each platform and account you use. When a business you use is hacked, the compromised passwords won’t work on any other websites. You’re not alone if you’re wondering how you’ll remember all those passwords. But that takes us to the third point.
- Organize your passwords with a password manager
A password manager is a piece of software or a programme that collects and stores all of your passwords in one location. To gain access to these passwords, you only need one “master key” password. You won’t have to recall each of your passwords if you use a password manager. It also eliminates the need to write down passwords (which you should never do!).
LastPass, KeePass, Dashlane, 1Password, and Roboform are all excellent password management applications. Many of them have free versions, and some of them are completely free. If you use Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, or another cloud storage service, you can save the password database there and access it from anywhere.
- Configure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
A user can access their account with only a username and password if multi-factor authentication (MFA) is not enabled. MFA, on the other hand, provides an extra layer of protection. To verify a user’s identity for login, more than one method of authentication is required.
When a user logs in to a website, they are required to enter an additional one-time password. This one-time password is usually sent to the user’s email address or phone number. MFA adds another layer of security to your account, making it more difficult for an unauthorised party to access your information.
- Don’t Use Debit Cards While Shopping Online
Making online payments is yet another crucial cybersecurity tip. Avoid using debit cards when making online payments. In reality, everything that is directly linked to your bank account.
Using solutions that provide an extra layer of security between hackers and your bank accounts instead. This may be a credit card with insurance or an online payment service such as PayPal.
- Don’t keep payment information on your computer.
Many websites allow you to save your credit card details for future purchases to make them quicker and easier. It’s not a good idea. Breach of security occurs on a regular basis. If your credit card isn’t saved on the web, there’s nothing to steal. It may seem inconvenient, but we assure you that it is nothing compared to having your personal information stolen.
- Ensure that the systems are up to date.
Always keep your applications, operating system, and browser up to date. If your company uses a firewall, make sure the software and firmware are up to date. The longer a device has been in use, the more time hackers have had to look for flaws. By keeping your systems up to date, you can keep malware and hackers from exploiting security flaws.
So, the next time you see a device update notification, don’t dismiss it!
- Avoid Visiting Unknown Websites
It’s easy to share a connection on the internet in this day and age of social media. When visiting new websites, however, be cautious. It’s likely that these sites are carrying “drive-by download attacks” that could put your data at risk.
In a drive-by download attack, a user’s device is compromised without them having to click on something. Malicious code can be spread simply by visiting a website. As a result, it’s best to stick to well-known and trusted websites. These pages may also be compromised, but it’s less likely.
- Use Social Media With Caution
Keeping in contact with friends and family through social media is a great way to do so. However, be cautious about what you post online. By looking at your public profile, criminals and hackers will learn a lot about you. And, just as you wouldn’t give out all of your personal details to a stranger, you shouldn’t do so online.
Install anti-virus software on your computer.
Viruses, spyware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and other threats are all on the rise. Your information can be hacked in a variety of ways. Anti-virus software installed on your laptop can aid in the fight against these attacks. As long as the programme is active and up to date, it should be able to avoid digital security threats from occurring.
- Don’t Download Anything That Isn’t Important
Hackers commonly use downloads to gain access to your network. Limit your downloads to protect your device and data. Avoid installing any unwanted apps or browser plugins. Employees should also require permission from their bosses before accessing something from the internet.
If you think a download is secure, do a custom instal and keep an eye on it. Accept any add-ons or extensions that appear during the automated installation process.
- Excessive Suspicion
Despite the fact that many items on the internet are encrypted, it’s safer to be safe than sorry. Keep an eye on the links you click, the apps you download, and the websites you visit. Maintaining a healthy paranoia about email, social media, and the internet will assist you in catching things that might otherwise go unnoticed.