October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and yes, it’s important to celebrate this month and make sure we are in check with cyber security, education and best practices. We also want to be clear that this education isn’t just for October, its 24 hours a day/7 days a week /365 days a year or 24/7/365 that we are putting the best practices in place.
With technology becoming more and more important in our lives and with cybercrime increasing exponentially, it is more important than ever to stay secure. The frequent innovative technology changes make it difficult to keep up with security advice but the following fundamental steps are key.
- YOU: Always understand that technology alone won’t fully protect you. If an email doesn’t seem right or you receive a call asking for your password or access to your computer in order to help you, it is very likely a scam. Don’t be tricked into providing personal information or into visiting malicious sites. Be diligent and suspicious to protect yourself.
- PASSWORDS: Use strong, unique passwords for each of your devices and online accounts. If you find it difficult to remember a complex password consider using a passphrase instead. Use a series of words that are easy to remember, such as “where is my coffee” and the longer your passphrase is, the stronger it is.
- UPDATING: Make sure your computers, mobile devices, apps and anything else connected to the Internet are running the latest software versions. Cyber criminals are constantly looking for new vulnerabilities in the software your devices use. When they discover vulnerabilities, they use special programs to exploit them and hack into the devices you are using.
- BACKUPS: Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you may be hacked. If that is the case, often your only option to ensure your computer or mobile device is free of malware is to fully wipe it and rebuild it from scratch. The attacker might even prevent you from accessing your personal files, photos and other information stored on the hacked system. Often the only way to restore all of your personal information is from backup. Make sure you are doing regular backups of any important information and verify that you can restore from them. Most operating systems and mobile devices support automatic backups.
Are you putting your best practices in place to stay safe 24/7/365?
This blog was authored by CBE’s Security Team.