Worried about cyberthreats such as cyber attacks, ransomware, and digital pirates? Don’t worry – by following some simple tips, you’ll find that your devices can be made as secure as possible.
Wondering what these tips are? Keep reading for a how-to on ensuring that you, your home, your business, and your devices can be protected from cyberthreats.
1. Train Your Staff
No matter how well-versed you may be on Internet security, if your staff isn’t as security-conscious, your business is just as vulnerable as ever. It’s essential to work with your employees to ensure they know the value of cyber security and what steps they need to take to protect themselves and your company.
One of the most important parts of training your employees is ensuring they are well informed about email security. This includes ensuring that they know how to:
- Check links before clicking on them.
- Not open emails from unknown senders if possible and avoid emails with unusual characters and spellings.
- Check the subject line to ensure that they don’t accidentally open an email with malware.
- Make sure not to open linked information when your email service has flagged a security concern.
Given the number of emails that businesses deal with daily, ensuring your email accounts are protected is key in avoiding cyberthreats.
2. Use Strong Passwords
Choosing the right passwords is one of the first pieces of advice you’ll get when you ask experts how you can avoid cyber attacks, and for good reason. When you hear of incidents like businesses having their Gmail account hacked or social media accounts being stolen, it’s likely because they used weak passwords. Weak passwords can be guessed easily, giving other people complete access to crucial accounts and, often, private data.
Easy passwords include:
- Your name
- An easily guessed string of numbers or letters, like “1234,” “1111,” “aaaa, ”or “abcd”
- Easily discoverable personal information, such as the name of sibling or parent
- Short passwords that use only either letters or numbers
- Common words, such as “email,” “password,” “smile,” and so on
Instead, you should use a password that is:
- At least 10 characters long
- A combination of letters, numbers, and symbols (if allowed)
- A combination of uppercase and lowercase letters
- Something that is challenging to memorize
Additionally, you should consider changing passwords frequently (at least once a month) for sensitive accounts like bank accounts and email accounts that store proprietary data.
3. Update Your Software
Older software technologies have a number of weaknesses that hackers can easily exploit. Hackers start honing their skills by breaking into older systems, and if your computer has one of these systems, you are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than if you have the newest software on the market.
New software technologies include up-to-date encryption and protection to help keep your data safe. Updating all software is important, but it is especially essential when it comes to operating systems and Internet security software. If either of these is vulnerable, much of your business data and information is vulnerable as well.
If you don’t want to completely overhaul your software, consider investing in a patch management system. This will allow you to manage all software and system upgrades without having to change up the design, preferences, and so on.
4. Take Steps to Reduce the Chance of Losing Your Data
All businesses rely on having steady access to relevant data items. In order to protect your data, it’s essential to store your information in various places. By ensuring there are multiple versions of your work available, you can be confident that even if something happens to one version, there are still other versions that you can access.
Aside from backing up your data, it’s also important to take other steps to protect it. These include:
- Ensuring you have access to all your systems, including physical access.
- Ensuring your WiFi is secure.
- Making sure that employees do not access personal accounts when they are in the office or when they use company WiFi.
- Keeping up to date on major security breaches, so you can research the patterns you need to look for and avoid.
- Using a VPN to access the Internet as much as possible.
- Install anti-virus software on your devices.
- Set passwords where necessary, including a password that must be entered before you can install a new application on a device, and a password before you unlock your device.
As the world becomes more digitized, cyber security is becoming all the more important. Luckily, protecting yourself from cyberattacks does not need to be complicated – a few simple steps can significantly reduce the risk of you and your business being targeted.