Chances are you are familiar with basic safety steps to keep yourself and your belongings safe: Always lock your car at night and do not leave valuables where people can see them. Keep your house closed and burn well. Be aware of your surroundings while walking or running alone. the list goes on…
But these days, it seems that half of your life goes online. Between automated bill payment, online banking, and even virtual doctors appointments, you have a lot of valuable information available in the digital world. Are you taking the same precautions that you do in real life?
Cyber security is important, but many people don’t even know where to start. If you are following the best methods of cyber security easily, then we have you covered. We asked information security professionals to share their best advice for keeping data safe and secure.
6 Cybersecurity Best Practices Almost Anyone Can Follow
Cyber attacks occur at an alarming rate – and many of these attacks are aimed at high-profile targets, so don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re not at risk . Cyber attacks can affect anyone using the Internet. These days, which includes almost all of them.
Keep these expert cyber security best practices to work to protect you and your sensitive information from hackers.
1. Don’t be lazy with passwords
Most people know that choosing a strong password is important – but you need a password for everything! While it may be tempting to cut corners when it comes to passwords, this is what cyber criminals are hoping to take advantage of.
“Weak or stolen passwords are the cause of many of today’s breaches and security incidents,” says Kendall Blelock, director of cyber intelligence for Horn Cyber.
Many of those password managers will have the option to auto-fill new passwords with random strings of numbers, letters, and symbols. But if you create a password then you have a chance to remember, there is another option. “Instead of setting a secret password that you need to write somewhere to remember,” says Rema Dev, managing director of 24By7Security, “Mymomtaughtmetosave2fearago!” For example.
2. Make your online shopping safe
Online shopping is a feature that many people use regularly. But when we become very comfortable in online shopping, we can forget to take basic precautions. “Some sites are supported by cybercriminals with the sole intention of collecting personal and financial information from victims,” Blaycock says.
“To avoid malicious sites, we only suggest purchasing online from retailers that you trust and that are verified,” says Blaycock. The easiest way to do this is to see “https” and a padlock icon at the top of your browser. This indicates that the site is running SSL certificate and is safe for online purchase.
You can protect your credit card even more using an online wallet system or app such as Venmo® or Apple Pay®. You give your payment information to your wallet app, then use the app to make purchases on other websites. “Instead of displaying your credit card information, the digital wallet populates a bar code for every transaction,” says Blaylock.
3. Beware of Email
You probably think you are too clever to fall for the infamous Nigerian prince scam, but phishing scams are becoming more sophisticated and harder to detect with each passing day. These email scams are designed to give users personal information or click unsecured links. Although many email providers are caught by spam filters, you need to be alert for any slip through your inbox.
“Beware of emails that request personal information or account confirmation,” Blaycock says. Many phishing scams will pretend to be from a legitimate company, like you do business with Netflix. But if they tell you that they need your password to verify your account, or you need to send them your credit card number because your payment has failed, it is a big red flag.
“As a rule of thumb, don’t share your personal or financial information via email with anyone and avoid suspicious links,” says Blaycock. Legitimate businesses did not ask these types of questions via email. If you are concerned about the validity of an email, contact the company directly on their customer service line.