Many, if not all, of us are more than ready to leave 2020 behind us. When we hop into 2021, it will surely have issues of its own, but if you follow these tips, you can help to make it so that cybersecurity is not one of these challenges you face.
- Password Best Practices— It can be tempting to just use the same or similar passwords for each of your logins, however, this can be a detrimental practice for your personal cybersecurity. Creating unique and complex passwords for each site is important for you to maintain privacy as much as possible in the event of a breach of one company. Say your data is compromised in one breach and a malicious actor gains access to your login information, if you have repeated this password, they now have access to your login information for a multitude of other sites. It can be even more beneficial to adopt the use of passphrases over passwords — this can help you to remember your passwords as well as make them harder for the cybercriminals to guess. Lastly, when it comes to password safety, the use of a password-protected password database can help to keep you organized and safe when it comes to keeping track of these logins.
- Multi-factor Authentication — To piggyback off of the importance of password security, it is equally important to utilize multi-factor authentication for all websites who offer it. This is an added protection to your login information where you not only use a password, but a one-time use code is sent to your phone or email address in real time to ensure it is really you who is trying to access your account and not a malicious actor. This is as simple as checking a box that asks you to participate in multi-factor authentication and using it when prompted to login in the future.
- Keep devices and systems updated — As threats are identified by the manufacturers of your devices, they often implement security patches for existing issues with each update. It may seem like a nuisance when you get the OS update notification, but doing this simple task can help you to make your device work for you when it comes to security. This is one of the basic cyber tips that should be followed year-round.
- Invest in ID Protection — Identity theft protection is an incredibly useful tool as it monitors your personally identifiable information for you. While you have the option to review your own free credit report regularly (and you should do so), the use of a Identity Theft Protection program will monitor your credit and the use of your Social Security number by a person who is not you. This is usually a free or affordable option to protect your data and is as simple as signing up and forgetting about it.
- Beware phishing scams — Phishing scams are malicious attempts by cybercriminals to dupe you into providing them information or access to networks by sending you a seemingly legitimate email or text message and getting you to reply to them. Once you fall for a phishing attack, these criminals will have access to your networks, data bases, and other sensitive information. Be on the lookout for such attempts by paying attention to emails that seem suspicious, those from senders you do not recognize accompanied by urgent requests or even threats. If you receive such a message to work email, be sure to forward along to your IT department so that they can be on the lookout for similar emails.
- Practice safe physical security — When you have a device not in use, you should lock it to ensure it cannot be used by another, unauthorized person. If you have passwords or personal information saved on a device, you are leaving this information wide open for the taking if you do not protect your devices by use of a login or pin to use the device and if you do not lock it.
- Stay in the know when it comes to cyber trends — Keep up-to-date on existing and emerging cyber threats and security trends so that you can take the necessary action to protect yourself. Pay attention to cyber updates on social media, the news, and directly from cyber companies such as Tego Cyber!
Follow these tips in order to prepare yourself for 2021 to be a safe and happy new year.