Ensuring your computer is secure is an important part of keeping it in good working condition. It will also make sure your information is safe and only shared with those to whom you’ve given permission. Cybersecurity actually comes down to creating good habits that will prevent viruses, malware, and nefarious parties from gaining control of your system. If you’re wondering what are some good cybersecurity habits to get into, we’ve put together this list.
Quite often computer users are tricked into clicking on links or files that will introduce some sort of malware into their system. Be very wary of any unsolicited links, programs, and files that are sent to you – even if they’re from someone you know. Rather than click on a link, go to the desired website directly using your web browser’s address bar or a search engine. Be especially aware of executable files (those that end in .exe, .bat. .vbs, and many more) that are sent to you via email or downloaded from an untrustworthy website. Confirm with the sender that the files or links are legitimate before using them.
If you’re asked for private information, ensure you know who you are giving it to. If someone asks for passwords, birthdates, addresses, or information related to security questions (such as your mother’s maiden name) verify who you’re giving that information to and why. It’s extremely rare that any legitimate entity will ask you for secret or sensitive information.
Weak passwords can be hacked using the brute force of a powerful computer. Passwords should be more than six characters long and a mixture of numbers and letters in both upper and lower case. If possible, include special characters. Try to avoid using words, dates, or numbers that can be easily associated with you, such as your name, birthdate, or phone number. Do not use the same password for every account. Enable multi-factor authentication where possible.
It can be incredibly inconvenient to have to wait if your computer or phone takes a long time to execute its updates. But updates are essential for installing security patches and providing extra protection against cyber threats. If you’re being prompted to update your system, don’t put it off too long.
Similar to updates, it can be aggravating to wait for your computer or phone to restart after a complete shutdown. But a restart allows your system to update itself and remain protected against cyber threats. Even if you regularly keep your computer running for days or weeks at a time, shut it down and restart it every so often.
If you have critical files – even if they’re only your favorite photographs, back them up if you don’t want to lose them permanently. Your backups should be on a physically distinct device -whether a thumbdrive, external hard drive, or some other method of data storage. Test your backups on a regular basis to ensure they haven’t been corrupted.
You should refrain from using sensitive information or accessing financial accounts over public networks. It’s possible for hackers to access unsecured public networks and view any information being transferred on them. If you need to use or access sensitive information on a public network, protect yourself by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network.)
To gain an understanding of what cybersecurity habits can be improved within your organization, get a free assessment today.
MBC Security Tip: Goodbye Passwords, Hello Passphrases. Strengthen your security with strong passwords that are simple to remember by using a passphrase that includes numbers and special characters like hello7dan$ingAlligat0rs. mbccs.com/it-business-so… #cybersecurity #infosec pic.twitter.com/ExdjFov1DR