When it comes to keeping secure against the rapidly growing world of cyber threats, there is no shortage of areas where you and your organization need to remain vigilant. At MBC, we understand that these sinister threats can not only damage an organization’s data but bring operations to a grinding halt. People also need to remain alert when not in the office, as personal data is often sought after and sold on the black market by hackers.
Below, our cyber security experts have complied a list of tips to help keep you secure when using email, managing passwords and personal data, device best practices as well as some pointers for web surfing. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Practice Safe Clicking – Train staff to always exercise caution when clicking on links or attachments. If it is suspicious for any reason, don’t click! Always double-check the URL of the website or link provided to stay safe.
Beware of Suspicious Emails – Never forward emails that you think could possibly be malware. Even if it comes from a source you trust, you risk infecting other machines within your organization.
Be Careful What You Click – Never visit unknown websites or download software from an untrusted source. These sites often host malware which can automatically install and compromise your computer.
Awareness is Key – Ensuring that your staff is aware of the latest cyber threats and how they can detect suspicious activity can help shield your business from malicious attacks.
Educate Your Employees – According to a recent Verizon report, one-fifth of data breaches are caused by human error. Make sure your staff is trained on how to recognize cyber threats.
Beware of COVID-19 Themed Phishing Emails – Cybercriminals are exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to send fake emails pretending to be reputable sources with dangerous links or attachments.
Goodbye Passwords, Hello Passphrases – Strengthen your security by creating strong passwords that are simple to remember by using a passphrase that includes numbers and special characters like hello7dan$ingAlligat0rs.
Keep Passwords Secure – No matter how strong your password is, it can’t keep you secure unless you keep it a secret. Never share access tokens, challenge question responses, or passwords.
Enforce Strong Passwords – Many employees still use passwords that are easy to hack. Improving your organizational password strength can help avoid brute-force attacks.
Protect Your Credit Card – Protect your credit card from data breaches by never storing the information on e-commerce websites.
Never Email Personal Information – Never send an email with your credit card details, SIN number, passwords, or other personal information. The destination computer may not be secure and could expose your sensitive data to criminals.
Monitor Your Accounts – Make sure that you monitor your accounts regularly and perform an occasional credit check. If something seems unfamiliar or wrong, you may have been compromised.
Stay Secure Using Hotel Wi-Fi – Hotel Wi-Fi hotspots are not always secure, even with a password. Unless you have a VPN to help protect your personal information, logging in to any sensitive online accounts.
It CAN Happen to You – You are an attractive target for cybercriminals no matter who you are, where you work, or how much sensitive data you have on your device. Most cybercriminals automate many of their attacks.
Update Your Device – When prompted for system upgrades, click ‘install now’ not ‘later.’ The longer your devices remain without security patches, the higher the chance it will be compromised.
Turn off Bluetooth When Not Needed – Always turn off Bluetooth when not in use. Hackers can open a Bluetooth connection to compromise your device and steal personal information.
Protect Browsing by Updating Plugins – Always keep your browser’s plugins up to date to protect yourself from cyber threats. The latest software versions close security holes and support safer browsing.
Practice Mobile Safety – Always lock your mobile device with a PIN or password and never leave it unattended in public. Avoid transmitting personal data when using public WIFI.
Use Your Own Charger – When traveling, avoid using charging stations. These can secretly install software on your device without your knowledge. Use your own charger plugged directly into a power outlet.
Use Two-Factor Authentication – Two-factor authentication adds additional layers of security to standard online password identification. Typically, a personal identification code, another password, or fingerprint will also be required to access your device.
Stay Safe, Physically – Always be careful where you plug in your computer. Many forms of malware can spread through infected external hard drives, smartphones, or flash drives.
Patch Your Vulnerabilities – Software updates are important to your digital safety and cybersecurity. Updates help patch security flaws, which hackers can take advantage of to infect your computer with malware.
Use Caution with USBs – Be careful with what you plug into your computer and never use a USB whose source you don’t know as it can be infected with malware.
Stay Current on Software Updates – While working from home make sure you continue to update your software to help patch security flaws and help protect your data.
Keep Your VPN On – Protect the data you send and receive while you work from home. A VPN can provide a secure link by encrypting data and scanning devices for malicious software.
Develop a Secure Routine – Working from home requires changing your routine. Make sure that cybersecurity is a part of it and use multi-factor authentication, antivirus software, and a VPN.
Maintain Browser Security – Keep your browser secure by always updating plugins to help protect from cyber threats. Updates close security holes and support safer browsing.
Use Secure Websites – When browsing online or shopping, only use secure websites that start with HTTPS as they have stronger security measures than ones that begin with HTTP.
Avoid Spam – Spam campaigns are a way for cybercriminals to attack. Stay secure by reducing the number of spam emails you receive by being cautious where you submit your email address.
Be Aware of .exe Files – Malware is often contained in .exe files and once clicked will immediately start running code and install malware on your computer. Only open .exe files from trusted sources.
To learn more about how MBC can keep your business secure with cutting edge cyber security protection, get a free assessment today.