VSCybersecurity is becoming a major concern for individuals and organizations around the world. To remedy this, Microsoft recently urged companies to organize cybersecurity awareness training programs. He also launched a cybersecurity awareness kit which provided user training based on simulation against cyber attacks. It is therefore imperative in these times that a user follows Cyber Hygiene. Cyber hygiene refers to the steps taken by a computer user to secure their device and keep it running at optimal levels.
How to maintain good cyber hygiene
Ransomware attacks which were rare a decade ago have become commonplace today. In addition, as computers and the computer industry evolve, new viruses and malware are created. The real challenge always lies elsewhere. In a post-corona world, where living with the pandemic and working remotely is the new norm, cybersecurity is becoming a major concern for individuals and organizations around the world. Unlike corporate office systems managed by a common secure network and maintained by efficient security teams, homework systems are much more precarious.
- Trust reputable brands for antivirus and malware
- Include a network firewall in your first line of defense
- Switching from password protection to strong passwords
- Make it more difficult for hackers with multi-factor authentication
- Use device encryption
- Protect your wireless network. Secure your router
- Clear and complete data
- Take data backups regularly
- Prioritize regular operating system and software updates
- Limit the number of users with administrative privileges
- Set reminders for infrastructure well-being checks
In this environment, it becomes essential for individuals and organizations to maintain good cyber hygiene. By that, I mean that every user must take certain basic measures to protect the health of their computers, devices and data. I believe these are the 10 basic rules for ensuring cyber hygiene. Let’s see what it is.
The 11 rules of Cyber Hygiene are as follows:
Just like in the real world, cyber hygiene also involves using the tools to maintain the well-being of devices and data, by scrupulously following the right procedures and maintaining a routine. In the case of cyber hygiene, it all comes together, in the simple guidelines listed below:
1]Trust reputable brands for antivirus and malware
With antivirus software only showing a 25% success rate in detecting malware, it is imperative to always select a trusted brand. It is the first and most basic step to ensure cyber hygiene. Also remember to be careful when downloading free software.
2]Include a network firewall in your first line of defense
Just like a physical firewall, a network firewall stands between you and the digital world. This could be the best way to prevent unauthorized access to your websites, email sites and other sources of information.
3]Switching from password protection to strong passwords
It is no longer enough to have a password. It is indeed more important to have a strong password. The expected standard is now a unique and complex password that contains at least 12 characters, which combine numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters. You can use these password management tools for this purpose.
4]Make it more difficult for hackers with multi-factor authentication
Yet a strong password alone is no longer the last line of defense. Cyber hygiene now requires a second line of defense that includes two or more factor authentication features, such as biometrics or fingerprint recognition.
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5]Use device encryption
Even if your computer or device is compromised, data encryption could still protect your data, becoming your last line of defense. This means that even if you lose your device, you do not lose your data.
6]Protect your wireless network. Secure your router
There are several simple steps you can take to make your wireless network more secure: adopt a complex password, change the administration information and the router’s network name, use encryption.
7]Clear and complete data
If you thought that emptying your recycle bin regularly deleted sensitive information from your hard drive, think again. Now, regular use of data erasure software is the expected standard for maintaining cyber hygiene. This is the only way to ensure that the data erased from your hard drive remains permanently deleted.
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8]Take data backups regularly
While many of the best cyber hygiene practices protect the integrity of your data, it is the disciplined routine of regular system backups to the cloud or an external drive that ensures your information is always at your disposal, even if your device is compromised. It is this necessary routine that adds value to any other guarantees you may have instituted.
9]Prioritize regular software updates
Outdated applications offer potential security vulnerabilities that are easy for hackers. Yet studies indicate that at least 55% of PC software worldwide is obsolete. In fact, setting up such a feature for automatic updating ensures that your devices and data are constantly updated, transparently.
ten]Limit the number of users with administrative privileges
You should have most users set to standard users and only the bare minimum as administrators.
11]Set reminders for infrastructure well-being checks
It’s not just backups and software updates that need to be prioritized regularly. This is why it becomes essential to also plan other tasks which must be integrated into your cyber hygiene routine. This includes scanning viruses with antivirus software, updating operating systems on all devices, checking security patches, erasing the hard drive, and changing your passwords. Together, this establishes a routine, which ensures that cyber hygiene really becomes second nature to you.
We live in a connected digital world where a single widespread computer virus could cause billions of damages in a few days. At that point, these 10 simple steps offer organizations and individuals a simple guide on how to protect devices and data in a secure, cost-effective and effortless manner. As in daily hygiene, which protects the well-being of an individual, it is certainly better to prevent than to cure.
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