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 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.
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.
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.
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