Obligatory Cyber Hygiene Habits to Stay Safe Online

Technology

As the world adopts greater use of the internet due to the current COVID-19 pandemic,
threats to cybersecurity have increased exponentially. Working from home has also
added a new dimension to these threats with the interchangeable use of personal and
work devices.
Attackers can penetrate your cybersecurity measures through your smartphone and
easily hack your work computers through email access, for example.
Organizations need to be proactive against these attacks by putting in place safety
measures that include a rapid response system for cybersecurity to mitigate unforeseen
situations. Sustain these measures through obligatory cyber hygiene habits to stay safe
online.
Install antivirus and malware software
These are like the doors and windows on your house, the first line of defense. Good
antivirus software will scan your computer for threats and clean these from your system
to keep your data safe. Installing antivirus and malware software from recognized
companies should be your first and obligatory cyber hygiene habit.
Good antivirus software will perform automatic and scheduled system scan even when
you forget to launch it manually. This ensures protection at all times against
unintentional lapses in security checks.
He says that the software will run a scan through your entire file and system registry,
isolating any file with malicious software and codes for eradication. Make a habit of
using your onboard antivirus software to scan any device, including flash drives that you
connect to your computer.
Police your network with firewall
When using home Wi-Fi networks, you are vulnerable to hacks from online attackers
that can easily penetrate your computer. Firewalls work with antivirus software to keep
your computer free from malware and unauthorized access.
A two-way firewall will monitor both incoming and exiting traffic to your computer,
scanning for any malware and preventing the same from reaching your data.
Firewalls will also give you good protection against a host of other cybersecurity threats
that you could be vulnerable to but oblivious to their presence. Trojans are some of the
most common and undetected threats that can be used against you.

Hackers taking advantage of an open network to access your computer, or keylogger
spyware sent to your computer to monitor keystrokes that can be used later to identify
passwords, are some of the threats firewall blocks.
Use strong and unique passwords
Make it an obligatory cyber hygiene habit to use strong and unique passwords for
access to both home and work devices.
This habit is your best defense and protection of your website as well as online
accounts that carry crucial personal and work-related information. Simple passwords
can be easy to guess by a smart cybercriminal who can use this to access sensitive
information, including bank accounts and private data.
According to Jeremy Clarke, an editor at research paper writing service, for a password
to be strong and unique, it is recommended to make it at least 10 characters long. A
combination of alphanumerical characters and symbols in mixed upper and lower case
will give you a unique password that can withstand brute-forcing. Avoid using phrases
that can be easily linked to you and apply one password to one account.
Multifactor authentication
Multifactor authentication requires more than one simple credential to access protected
data or private systems. MFA uses three layers of authentication in any combination to
enhance security against breach by malicious actors.
These three include the Knowledge Factor that uses information known to the user like
PIN codes, user names, and passwords. Possession Factor uses items such as smart
cards while Inherence Factor uses what is particular to the individual like fingerprints or
retina scans.
Multifactor authentication makes logins simple and secure and allows for easier access
to multiple systems with a single login. Biometric authentication may prove to be one
cyber hygiene habit that is most reliable against cybercrime.
Habitually update software
Cybercrime tactics are continuously evolving, it pays to stay ahead with the latest
software updates to counter the threat of cyber-attack.
Software updates help improve your system or device security by adding new features,
removing the dated ones, fixing computer bugs, and repairing security holes. Updated
versions come with patches to cover these security holes and flaws that hackers
leverage to compromise your data security.

Using newer versions of the program guarantees protection against cyber threats and
enhances efficiency while enabling compatibility with other systems.
Minnie Root, IT assignment helper, suggests that the updates will also protect those you
share data with from falling victim to malware that may have come in through your dated
software. Therefore, continuously update your software whenever that reminder pops
up on your screen prompting you to do so.
Encrypt your data
Data encryption is another excellent cyber hygiene habit that could keep you safe
online. Encryption protects your data as only authorized people with the appropriate key
can decode and read, making it unusable to anyone else. The beauty of encryption as
broad cybersecurity protection is its use across most electronic devices that carry data.
With many people currently working remotely, there is a need to protect data as it is
shared frequently between colleagues. Data from remote workers has always been at
risk of interception by hackers and encryption is one way of safeguarding against this
happening.
Besides enhanced data integrity and trust on the digital platform, encryption also
provides privacy for personal data online. If you are in an industry that requires data
confidentiality, encryption will help you observe the legal provisions.
Frequently clean hard drives
Holding unnecessary clutter on your computer drives compromises security and creates
weak links through which hacks can gain access. Avoid retaining unused programs on
your devices because their continued obsolescence weakens their defense against
emerging malware and they become an entry point for attacks.
Form the habit of backing up your files elsewhere while deleting unnecessary programs
to enhance the efficiency of your computer.
Just like the traditional spring cleaning, your devices also need regular cleanouts to
keep them working optimally and safely. Organize your hard disk’s storage space to
help you keep track of your data and spot easily anything that may pose a threat.
Proper organization of files and folders also makes it easy when backing up your data
externally as it provides a registry list for reference.
Keep your router safe
When using a Wi-Fi router, you need to protect yourself from cyber-attacks that include
data theft, man-in-the-middle access, and network sniffing.

It is not enough to create some password upon installation and think that the router is
secure from attacks. Security measures begin with a change of router name (SSID) and
the use of a strong and unique password to deter unauthorized access.
Make sure you activate network encryption for added security of your Wi-Fi router using
the most current WPA3 protocol that is now available in the market.
For better signal distribution, and to contain the same from spilling out through windows
for capture by malicious actors, place your set in the middle of the house. To reduce
malicious access, you may also change the default IP address and the Dynamic Host
Configuration Protocol function on your router.
Dispose of aging infrastructure
Continued use of dated hardware and technology will pose a security risk to your data
and devices. Windows XP is a good example when talking about technology at the end
of life (EOL) stage. At this age, the technology suffers from non-compliance, which
creates problems with regulatory standards in the event of a breach.
Increased vulnerability due to cessation of product support through patches and
updates will expose you to cyber-attacks and compromise your data security. The use
of dated hardware leads to poor reliability and increased maintenance costs besides
reduced efficiency.
The financial implications are enormous both from maintenance costs and from possible
losses due to data security breach. A better cyber hygiene habit that could save you
tons of dollars is to outsource your IT needs from external providers.
Always backup data
Internet viruses evolve continuously and there is always a chance they will outsmart
even the best of antivirus software you may have. When this happens, you could lose
your data in a matter of hours and suffer costly disruption.
Online viruses are a real danger to computers and you must protect your data from
unforeseen attacks through regular backups.
Besides the security of your data, backups on the global cloud allow you unlimited
storage capacity and access from anywhere other than your offices.
Backup can also give room for the deletion of files that are not immediately needed to
provide more space and enhance your computer's efficiency. Cloud storage also
provides encryption lending further security to your valuable data.
Conclusion

Cyber threats are continuously mutating in form and method, requiring a heightened
sense of preparedness against them. Develop a dynamic cybersecurity strategy that
allows your team to plan well for emerging threats through curated intelligence to
preempt attacks. Cover all possible weak links in your infrastructure and software for
enhanced cyber hygiene and your data protection.
Author Bio:
James Murphy is an essay writer working for custom essay help in the academic writing
field. He has been working with professional writer service for over five years. Other
than writing, his other interests are having fun with his two lovely toddlers and catch up
all New York Yankees games.