It seems as though online threats continue to grow each year and the risk of becoming a cyberattack victim gets larger. In 2020, both cloud account breaches and ransomware attacks increased, and in May 2021 alone, phishing incidents increased by 440%.
Whether you’re worried about your own online safety or have a small business that you’re trying to keep protected, education is an important defense against cybercrime.
You definitely want to put managed IT care and safeguards in place, like DNS filtering, antivirus, and a firewall. But being aware of best practices for password security, phishing email identification, and home network security also go a long way towards keeping you protected.
Luckily, it’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month when we put additional emphasis on IT security and online safety. Since 2004, October has been designated as a month to educate yourself, your family, or your team on IT security. This year’s theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
We’re sharing several tips below for cybersecurity from CISA.gov, and we’ll provide links to the full tip sheets for each safety category too! Use these sheets to share and spread a culture of cyber safety at home and work.
Cyber Secure at Work
Well-trained employees can reduce a company’s risk of becoming a cyberattack victim by as much as 70%. These tips focus on data and device security at the office.
- Treat business information as personal information: Some employees wouldn’t think twice about sending a spreadsheet of payroll data via unencrypted email but take extreme precautions when it comes to protecting their credit card details. You should treat business data just as you do your own info and protect it properly.
- Stay vigilant. It only takes one lapse to cause a breach: Just because no one has mentioned IT security lately, doesn’t mean it’s no longer important. Stay vigilant in your data security practices. It only takes one lapse and wrong click to cause a major technology meltdown.
- Secure your online meetings: With so many meetings being held online due to the pandemic, there is a lot of confidential data being shared in this forum. Make sure you properly secure your meetings to keep out unwanted guests.
We share more information online than we realize, and use the internet for everything from banking to reviewing our medical records. There is a lot of personally identifiable information (PII) in the cloud that you need to keep protected.
- Double your login protection: The best way to protect your online accounts from being breached is to add multi-factor authentication to your logins. The use of this additional authentication protocol can increase your account security significantly.
- Stay protected while connected to public Wi-Fi: Any public hot spot you connect to can mean a potential compromise of your personal data if you’re not properly protected. Use either a VPN to secure your connection or use your mobile carrier connection instead of connecting to free Wi-Fi.
- Understand what your apps are sharing: Mobile apps are notorious for oversharing your data. Make sure to be aware of apps running in the background on your mobile device and turn off as many sharing options as possible to reduce the risk of data leakage.
Protecting Your Digital Home
With so many smart gadgets, PCs, and mobile devices connected to your home network, hackers have multiple points of entry. Keeping your home network safe takes diligence and understanding best practices.
- Secure your Wi-Fi network: Hackers often get into a network through unprotected Wi-Fi. Make sure you do not keep your router at the default name and password. Create a strong password and turn off any unnecessary connection features.
- Keep all devices properly updated: Security patches are issued on a regular basis for software and firmware. Make sure you update all devices in your home regularly to keep them patched. This includes IoT devices like routers and smart gadgets.
- Turn off unnecessary file sharing: Don’t keep file sharing on by default on your devices. Instead, turn it off when not actively in use. File sharing is one way that criminals can get into a home network to steal data or launch attacks.
CISA has several other great tip sheets for free, including ones for password security, multi-factor authentication, social media safety, and more. You can find them all here.
Get Peace of Mind With Ongoing Monitoring & PC Management
Quantum PC Services can help you protect your Sturgeon Bay home or business from online attacks with our worry-free managed device services.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.