When was the last time you reviewed your online cybersecurity? Many can’t think of when, and when this happens, you automatically put yourself at risk for falling victim to cybercriminals schemes. As nearly 4 billion people are reportedly using the internet, and information is stored online through social media and online shopping, you need to take the time not only at the office, but at home to keep yourself and your accounts secure.
Why Your Online Cybersecurity Important
Choosing not to upgrade or stay on top of your online cybersecurity will leave you vulnerable to cybercrime. If you have no advanced technology or connection to the internet, the stress of focusing on your cybersecurity is low since there are very few ways a cybercriminal could actually access your data. But, since much of the world is in tune with technology, either personally through the devices they use, the websites they visit, applications they install, or professionally through their workplace duties, cybersecurity should be everyone’s concern.
As technology changes and the ways cybercriminals gather your data continues to evolve, here are some up-to-date tips to keeping your cybersecurity maintained and your data safe.
Update Your Devices
How often do your devices notify you that there’s a system update available? How often do you allow the update to occur right away? As many software updates help to keep yourself and your device safe from advancing schemes such as phishing, malware, hacking, or viruses, you need to update your device whenever you are prompted to. No matter how often, or much of a nuisance it may seem. Ensuring that all of your devices are up-to-date can ensure that you’re allowing the applications and software that you use to advance and protect you against threats.
Be Aware Of What Information Is Online
How public are your social media accounts? If you’re unsure of what users may be able to see, or if you were uncertain that there is a way to change what people can see, you need to update your privacy settings on all of the social media platforms you are on. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, you should be aware that it provides information to users who aren’t always your friends. Meaning cybercriminals could go onto your accounts to learn useful information about you such as the name of your high school, your mothers maiden name, or even the name of your pet. All of these common online security questions. So with this being said, ensure that your profiles are private or, only provide limited information to these sites.
Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that when you no longer use a website, you should delete your account on it. This is important because even though you may no longer use a website, your personal information may still be visible on it, and the websites privacy settings may change over time, leaving you exposed. This doesn’t only include old social media accounts you’ve created such as MySpace, but websites that have your credit card information.
Use Strong Passwords
You’ve probably heard this before, but good online cybersecurity stems from strong passwords! Meaning you need to periodically change your passwords, not reuse past passwords, and create hard to guess passwords that include both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and characters. A great tip is to use a phrase that many may not know when creating your password such as ‘The Cambridge dog ran fast for the ball?’, and shorten it down to simply the beginning letter of each word such as ‘TCdrf4tb?’. Or, you could use applications such as LastPass that not only generates hard to guess passwords, but stores them so you can easily keep track of them.
Lock Your Devices
It’s not uncommon to lose your phone or have them stolen, but as technology has advanced, and more users are now downloading personal data applications such as online banking or social media apps onto their phones, it poses new risks. Specifically, the risk of your personal information physically falling into the wrong hands if your device is lost or stolen. So be sure to create a hard to guess password to not only unlock your phone, but access any personal apps that could put you at risk if your phone is misplaced.