Five Cybersecurity Tips
The following are five cybersecurity tips:
Practicing good password management can help secure your information. Password requirements have evolved over time with routine password changes and increasingly complicated rules to achieve “strong password” status. In June 2017, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released new guidelines signaling a deviation in the approach to password management. Digital Identity Guidelines, Special Publication 800-63-3 eliminates the periodic password changes and complex configurations of numbers, letter, and characters. The guidelines call for passwords to be a “memorized secret”, which would be a sentence with a minimum of 64 characters describing a memory that only the user would know. This change will make it easier for legitimate users to remember and much harder for hackers to re-create.
Caution with Attachments of Links in Email
Take caution when clicking on attachments or links in every email. Phishing scams are a regular occurrence and can be crippling to businesses as well as individuals. If an email is unexpected or suspicious for any reason, do not click the link or open the attachment. Double check the URL of the website link; hackers will often take advantage of misspellings to direct you to a harmful domain. There are indicators to quickly spot these bad emails such as spelling errors, suspicious links, and incorrect email addresses from senders. If you encounter these bad emails, report them immediately according to your company’s security procedures.
Use Public WiFI Sparingly
Limit use of free public WiFi. Sensitive browsing, such as banking or shopping, should only be done on a device that belongs to you, on a network that you trust, and one that has security features. Avoid logging in on your email and social media on unsecured networks as those passwords can be accessed easily by those hackers looking for that information. If you are using a friend’s phone, a public computer, or free public WiFi, your data could be copied or stolen while transmitting information on an unsecured network.
Back Up Your Data
Be sure to back up your data regularly, and make sure your anti-virus software is always up-to-date. Cloud technology has made it very easy to set an automatic backup for your system, so check with your carrier and/or company to make sure that your information is backed up on a regular basis. For those that are not backing up in a cloud, it is recommended to do regular backups onto an external hard drive to save those important documents from being lost forever.
Your anti-virus software should prompt you to install new updates as they come available. The internet moves quickly and is constantly evolving. Good anti-virus software should detect newly developed viruses and provide updates to combat them. Check the settings on your software to ensure that your anti-virus software is providing optimal protection.
Monitor Accounts for Suspicious Activity
Monitor all of your accounts for any suspicious activity on a regular basis. If you see something unfamiliar, it could be a sign that you’ve been compromised. Keeping receipts and tracking your account activity will help you to see a charge that is out of the ordinary, and will help you assist the company in tracking that suspicious activity; plan to partner with that company in the investigation by providing them as much information as possible. Quick reactions can save time, money, and effort for everyone involved.