By Nine Mile Security Group
The top three cyber risks to your personal information are hacking, scamming and identity theft.
That said, here are five ways to immediately respond in a proven and powerful way.
Update Your Software
We all at some point or another have hit “Ignore”, or “schedule later” on one or more of those pesky “Update and Restart” notifications. Whether the update was for an operating system, web browser, or application is merely but part of the point; the point however, is that this (delayed or non-action) is perhaps the worst one of all to take.
Here are three reasons why:
Outdated software is easier for cyber criminals to break into.
Up-to-date software protects the best against the latest threats.
Most malware are built to exploit common vulnerabilities found in outdated software.
Protect Your Passwords and Other Identifiers
We know, just like IoT devices you probably have more passwords than actual accounts at this point – but—until we’ve attained digital nirvana thereby transcending how we currently log in and out of our accounts, we will need to create, implement, and (at least periodically) review our personal password hygiene.
Here are three more reasons (and ways) why:
Never ever supply your social security, credit card, bank or utility account numbers to anyone – no matter how harmless-seeming the request. Period.
Protect your passwords by using at least 10 – 12 is optimal, non related and uncommon – characters. If you write down your password, keep it locked up AND out of plain sight.
Please do not (with all the cherries on top) use the same password for more than one account.
Utilize 2FA or MFA
Trust - you’ll thank us later.
Here is why:
Two- or Multiple factor authentication requires both your password and additional pieces of information to log in to your account. The additional pieces can be sent to your phone, email, and/or generated by an app. This is what protects your account even if you’re password compromised.
Browse Anonymously or Encrypted
Whether you’re randomly browsing, shopping, or Insta-stalking your ex, social media crush, or kids to see what they’ve been up to, companies (your Internet Service Provider included) always want to know about it.
Sad – we know – but this currently is our state of zero-to-a-mild-minimum amount of privacy affairs.
So, if privacy matters to you, here are (you guessed it) three tips to include in your online cyber hygiene:
Stick with sites that use encryption to protect your information as it travels from your computer to another site’s server. In order to determine if a website is encrypted, look for “https” at the beginning of the web address.
Use search engines like Brave or DuckDuck Go instead of Google for searches you’d rather not see fiftyleven Facebook ads for.
Purchase a reputable VPN provider. And by reputable we mean one who at a minimum does not collect or log your data; and has a “kill-switch” function in the event your network connection drops then all internet traffic stops.
Backup Your Stuff
Below are a few end-to-end encrypted platforms with which you may secure your personal files and other digital assets.
*NMSG does not promote any of the above platforms in particular or one over the other. We instead urge our readers to explore the one that best aligns with their own values and due diligence*