8 Essential Cybersecurity Best Practices
With new cybersecurity threats continuously emerging in our digital world, it’s imperative for all of us to stay current on security practices so we can safeguard our sensitive information. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert to begin fortifying your digital defenses. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a rundown of essential cybersecurity best practices you can implement today.
Keep Your Devices Updated
When you receive a notification to update your device or one of your apps, do not ignore it. You should install it as soon as possible. Updates are not just about adding features. They also add security patches that fix vulnerabilities to make it harder for hackers to gain access. If your device cannot be updated, it’s time to get an upgrade. Older systems are more susceptible because hackers have had more time to identify vulnerabilities.
Never Leave Devices Unattended
These days, we keep virtually everything on our phones and computers. Leaving devices unattended can lead to theft. When that happens, you don’t just lose access to the device and its information. You’ll also worry about your information getting accessed by unfriendly parties. If you do need to temporarily move away from a device, make sure it’s locked to prevent easy access for outsiders.
Back Up Your Data
Backing up data on your devices by copying it to a separate location is one of the most important things you can do. If you’re successfully targeted by a cyberattack, you may not be able to access or use your device. But if you’ve backed up your data, you won’t lose any of it regardless of what happens to your device.
Use Strong Passwords
Password strength is essential for securing your devices and preventing them from being compromised. Using the name of your pet or the numbers of your birthday won’t suffice these days so be sure give proper attention to password selection.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication protects your accounts from being hacked by requiring more than just a password. When entering your login information, you can choose to receive a code on your phone to authenticate who you are. Even if someone has your password, they won’t be able to access the account without the authentication code.
Implement Antivirus Software
Antivirus software can help you detect and remove viruses from your computer system. If you don’t have an antivirus program installed already, consider investing in one. If you’re using Microsoft Windows 10 or a newer version, you can get free antivirus called Windows Defender. Otherwise, attain a legitimate antivirus program from a well-known and trusted company like McAfee or Avast. Don’t just download any free antivirus software you find online because many of them are fake. They could even download viruses onto your computer instead of helping you detect and remove them.
Be Wary of Communications You Receive
Watch out for emails that ask for personal information, money, or “immediate action.” Attackers often conduct “phishing” by impersonating a legitimate individual to try and convince recipients to disclose sensitive information. Before providing information, double-check the sender’s address. You may notice a misspelling in the sender’s email address which indicates the message is illegitimate.
Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks may not be secure and hackers can take advantage of this vulnerability to prey on participating users and devices. In a recent Forbes survey, almost half of the respondents stated their information had been compromised when using public Wi-Fi. If you do need to use a public network, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) when connected to encrypt the data being sent between your device and the public network’s router.
Get Help Implementing Cybersecurity Best Practices
If you’re interested in learning more or need assistance deploying some of these strategies, contact the Abstract Technology Group team. We’re happy to help with strengthening your digital security.