Whether you engage with an IT service provider like MicroAge or you have an internal IT team, there are some basic security practices that should be followed. Since October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we thought we would provide 31 tips, one for each day, that can help your people and your business be cybersafe.
1. Patch Software
Keeping operating systems, security software and web browsers updated help minimize threats to your business’s network.
2.Regularly Back Up Data
Use cloud backups and external hard drives to backup data to ensure there are additional copies of your data in secure places.
3. Verify the Privacy and Security Settings
Default settings may not always be the right settings to minimize security risks. Make sure that the settings are properly set for all installed software.
4. Ensure That Data and Devices Are Encrypted
Encryption allows for the scrambling of data into code that can only be read with a specific key that unencrypts the data. In other words, encryption helps protect your data.
5. Use 2-factor or Multi-factor Authentication to Protect Accounts
This is an extra layer of security that requires two or more credentials to log into an account and should be enabled whenever available.
6. Protect the Endpoints
Use next generation (non-signature based) anti-virus, anti-malware, and email protection software
7. Have a Strong Password Policy
Require complex passwords. This may mean stringing together different words, adding spaces, punctuation, capital letters, numbers and symbols to create strong passwords.
8. Use Password Management Software
Remembering passwords for the multitude of applications, devices and web services can be daunting. Rather than engaging in risky cybersecurity behaviour such as having the same password for everything or sticky notes, password management software keeps track of all the passwords so only one master password needs to be remembered.
9. Protect Mobile Devices
Update the software, use strong passcodes, turn off Bluetooth when it is not in use, be extra vigilant when using public wi-fis and always check that the whatever is being downloaded is from a legitimate source.
10. Verify Financial Transactions
When transacting online always check that the recipient is indeed who they say they are before providing any information or making any payment.
11. Regularly Review Online Accounts and Credit Reports
Check for any changes that were not made by you or and unfamiliar charges.
12. Store Sensitive Information in a Secure Place
Know where your sensitive digital and physical data is being stored.
13. Verify the Legitimacy of Email
Before actioning an email verify the sender, the links, the attachments and the message to ensure it is legitimate.
14. Don’t Share Too Much Personal Information
In today’s “social” world, personal information is freely shared. Your birthday, where you live, the names of your children or pets, their birthdays. This information can be used by cybercriminals to your detriment.
15. Beware of Social Engineering
Speaking of social, cybercriminals use the personal information they find online to create scams that trick people into providing sensitive data that can be used against them. Be careful about what information you put out there.
16. Think Before You Click
Check links before clicking them. They are easily disguised. Hovering your mouse over the link may give you information as to where the link is taking you.
17. Monitor the Dark Web
Compromised credentials or data usually lives on the dark web. It’s important to monitor the dark web to determine whether any of your data has been compromised.
18. Invest in Cybersecurity Training Program
Cyberthreats are always changing and evolving. Cybersecurity training programs help keep people up-to-date on the latest scams. They also provide good reminders of what red flags to look for when it comes to scams.
19. Do the Homework
Whether shopping online, browsing online or downloading a new application, make sure you understand the website’s security and privacy policies and read trusted third-party reviews to ensure the legitimacy before moving forward with a purchase or download.
20. Do Not Leave Devices Unattended
Lock devices when not in use and keep mobile phones within your reach.
21. Delete Unused Accounts
Do not just delete unused social media or other internet services apps, delete your account as well to be safer.
22. Dispose of Electronic Media Properly
Ensure data is properly wiped from old devices before disposing of them to ensure no sensitive data is left on them.
23. Do Not Plug Unknown Devices into Your Computer
Resist the temptation of plugging in an unfamiliar device into your computer such as a USB key that was randomly found without knowing where or from whom it came from.
24. Do Not Use Public Wi-Fi to Log In to Accounts
Hackers use public wi-fi networks to deliver malware or steal data. They are not secure.
25. Culture of Cybersecurity
Encourage your team or co-workers to employ strong cybersecurity practices to reduce cyber risks for everyone.
26. Security is Never Enough
Cybercriminals are continuously evolving and coming up with new ways to breach your environment. Security is not a set it and forget it proposition.
27. Keep UpToDate With New Cybersecurity Trends
Cybersecurity is ever-changing. Make sure to stay aware of the new trends and what their impact can be.
28. Cybersecurity First
Continuously remind people of the dangers of cyber threats and importance of digital safety.
29. Don’t Forget IoT Devices
In this Internet of Things (IoT) world, anything that can connect to the internet can be attacked. Things as mundane as Smart TVs or thermostats. Make sure they are protected and that the software on the devices is updated regularly.
30. Always Stay Vigilant
If something doesn’t look quite right, it probably isn’t. Trust that feeling. Trust your gut.
31. Expect the Unexpected
We have said this before, there is no way to 100% guarantee that a breach doesn’t happen. It is important to have a disaster recovery plan in place.
MicroAge can help with solutions and services to help mitigate cybersecurity risks. Contact us today.
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