Anyone ever wonder what the weakest point of any kind of security solution is, including cyber security? It’s us. HUMANS. We mess it up all the time. How do you we mess it up?

  • horrible passwords
  • leaving our devices unlocked and unsupervised
  • clicking on all the wrong links
  • never backing anything up
  • shopping and banking on public WiFi
  • never looking at our accounts for suspicious activity
  • ignoring software updates

Cyber Security Tips - laptop and glasses

Cyber Security tips

As humans, many of us think terrible things will never happen to us. We tend to live our lives a little faster and looser than we should, because we’re confident no one is going to be able to steal our identity because we quickly paid a bill whilst at the local neighborhood coffee shop. Don’t be that person. Always remember it can happen to anyone, at anytime, on any given day. If you follow these cyber security tips, you’re a little safer than the next guy still living in the dark about just how important cyber security is.

Update software

Many hackers look for outdated software as a way to get into your computer, or smartphone. Updates usually also create stronger security for your devices. When you choose to ignore the update, you open doors for easier access to your devices. Hackers love that, and thrive on it. Once you back up your stuff, do the updates. It’s a must-do. The longer you wait, the longer you’re vulnerable.

Good Password Management

Short version: 8 characters isn’t truly enough. Long version:

use more than 8 characters

make sure to mix up your characters - numbers, letters, caps, lowercase, symbols

never share your passwords with other people

don’t write your passwords on a post-it and then leave that stuck to your computer monitor (yup, people do it)

update passwords regularly - good rule is change them quarterly, but if that’s too much for you, do it at least every six months

consider using LastPass… - it’s a password management tool that remembers all your passwords for you

Keep your devices locked up

If you have to leave your device unattended, lock it. External drives can also be locked. Live with roommates, and never know who is coming in and out of your home, make sure to lock your devices up. Work in an office and have your personal-use smartphone out? Set it up so a password is needed to open it up. In this world, it’s unfortunate, but don’t trust anyone. Always play on the side of caution.

Safe clicking

How often do you receive emails from people you don’t know, and you obviously don’t click on any of the links and just delete it? Probably more times than you care to count. What gets us into trouble is when the email looks like it’s from a friend, but something just doesn’t look right. Best bet? Give them a call, or text them, to find out if the email is legit and the link is safe. Play it safe! Hackers are smart, and go to great lengths to steal your information and identity.

Trusted Networks

All too often people use their credit card online on unsafe networks. Staying at a hotel whilst on vacation, or for a business trip? Never use their free WiFi to access your banking, or truly anything personal. Unless you have a secure network, just save shopping and banking for your trusted home network. Never use free WiFi at your local coffee shop, or fast food restaurant, either. People are out there with the sole purpose of stealing your information, and using it for their own benefit. It happens. I can happen to anyone. Stop making it easy for them.

Monitor Your Accounts

Keep an eye on all of your online accounts, and your bank statements. If you’re a credit card user, like many of us, review your statements often. Don’t wait for the billing period to end. Check the charges throughout the month, and set up text alerts on your accounts to make sure all charges are sent to you. It’s a great way to monitor everything and handle issues before they become a nightmare.

Back Up your stuff

Always back-up your stuff. Set up an automatic back-up system, or set up a schedule to do manual backups. If anyone hacks your computer, or anything like your website, you’ll have backups to make yourself whole again.

We live in a digital world, and we all need to make it as difficult as we can for hackers. Obviously there are never guarantees, even if you follow all precautions, but why not follow the tips to help protect yourself? It just makes sense. And if you own a business, make sure to give us a call to discuss Cyber Liability Insurance with our knowledgeable staff. 

Posted 1:00 PM

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