At a time of increased connectedness, being cyber smart is of utmost importance. This year has had a fair share of cyberattacks and breaches, including high-profile attacks on the Colonial Pipeline and other critical infrastructure.
Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated, with more bad actors cropping up each day. Mitigate risks and stay one step ahead of malefactors with these quick tips.
Enable Multifactor Authentication
Multifactor authentication adds a second check to verify your identity when logging in to an online account. By requiring multiple authentication methods, your account is better protected from being compromised, even if a bad actor hijacks your password. This makes it more difficult for password-cracking tools to enable attackers to break into accounts.
Use Strong Passphrases/Password Manager
All too often, securing strong passphrases/password managers is overlooked. People spending more time online during the pandemic contributed to more bad actors prowling for accounts to attack. Using long, complex, and unique passwords is a good way to stop your account from being hacked. An easy way to keep track and remember passwords is by using a password manager.
Perform Software Updates
When a device prompts that it is time to update software, it may be tempting to click postpone and ignore the message. However, having the latest security software, web browser and operating system on devices is one of the best defenses against online threats. Don’t wait. Update.
Do Your Research
Common sense is crucial to maintaining good online hygiene. An intuitive step to stay safe is to do research before adding anything new to your device. Before downloading an app, check who created it, what user reviews say, and if there are any articles about the app’s privacy and security features.
Check Your Settings
Be diligent and double-check your privacy and security settings. Be aware of who can access your documents. This extends from Google docs to Zoom calls and beyond. For meetings on Zoom, create passwords so only those invited to the session can attend. Restrict who can share their screen or files with the rest of the attendees.
Being cyber smart and maintaining stellar online hygiene is the best way to protect yourself and others from cyberattacks. No single tip is foolproof but taken together they can make a real difference. Following these recommendations is easy and free.
Take preventive measures and make a habit of practicing online safety to decrease your odds of being hacked and preventing lost time, lost money, and annoyance.