It's time to strengthen your digital defenses and ensure that your online presence remains safe and secure. In an era dominated by digital interactions and remote work, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated.
So, what concrete things can you do to improve your security? Here are 7 tips to make sure you’re protected and secured!
Use strong, unique passwordsPasswords remain your first line of defense. Create strong passwords that are difficult for hackers to guess. Avoid using common words or phrases, and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. If you have trouble remembering complex passwords, try a passphrase like “Tw1nkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are”. Longer passwords or passphrases are more difficult to hack and don’t need to be as complex as shorter passwords.
You should use unique passwords for every website as hackers will try to compromise less secure websites to obtain the passwords stored there, they will then try to use the passwords and usernames stored there on more secure websites. If you have trouble remembering a different password, consider using a password manager to generate and store unique complex passwords securely.
Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)Two or multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a second verification step, such as a text message or app-generated code, in addition to your password. This ensures that your account is secure even if your password is compromised. You should always enable 2FA wherever possible, especially for email, social media, and financial accounts.
Keep software updatedRegularly update your operating system, applications, and antivirus software. Outdated applications and operating systems often contain security vulnerabilities that hackers can abuse to hack your device or accounts. Most updates contain patches for these known vulnerabilities, making it harder for cybercriminals to exploit them to gain access to your devices.
Beware of phishing attacksPhishing emails and websites are designed to trick you into entering your password, banking details, or other sensitive information. Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from emails or text messages that look suspicious or are unexpected.
Make sure to verify the sender email addresses and all the links included before responding or opening them.
Protect your devicesAlways lock your smartphone, tablet, and computer with a PIN, password, or biometric authentication (e.g., fingerprint or face recognition) when not in use. This ensures that even if your device is lost or stolen, your device and data are not accessible.
Back up your dataRegularly back up your important files and data to an external storage device or secure cloud service. Accidents happen and in the event of a cyberattack, hardware failure, or device loss you can easily recover your data without worry or paying a ransom.
Be careful on social mediaLimit the amount of personal information you share on social media platforms. Cybercriminals often use the information found on social media to guess your password and recovery questions or use this information to craft convincing phishing attempts impersonating your family members, or coworkers.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month was a reminder that anyone can be a target and cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility. By taking these concrete things into account, you can enhance your security posture and reduce the risk of falling victim to a cyberattack.