Anyone in any corner of the world can be a target of cyber-attack as long as they are using a digital device connected to the internet. It does not matter which apps they use, or they don’t. It all comes down to the simple fact; the next one could be you or your organization. Therefore, it’s very crucial that all of us understand the importance of a cyber security breach and how we can prevent it. This information is for every individual even remotely connected to technology, unless you’re living in the stone age (you can go back to lighting fires in that case). It is not only the IT department, but it also has to start with each one of us.
Here are some simple steps that cannot guarantee security, but following these will keep you out of any cyber trouble.
- Avoid personal phone charging from computers
It’s effortless for each one of us to carry the charging cable and not the plug as it’s difficult to find a switchboard all the time and it’s easier to plug into the SUB port of the computer. However, this should be avoided at all cost as sometimes malware is attached to the phones and gets auto installed on any connected computers and vice versa.
- Cleanse computers meticulously
It should become a habit to remove all cache and cookies now and then even if it speeds up web browsing as you end up freeing hard disk space and computing power as well.
- Update your Operating System
The operating system is like the central command of your desktop, laptop, or smartphone. It’s a prime target from where hackers can obtain information which helps them to download, install and exploit workstations.
- Abstain from clicking suspicious links
If a link looks suspicious, then it surely is and controlling the urge to click and see what it has to be practised. It includes emails, online ads, messages, unknown attachments etc., have to be carefully monitored.
- Lock devices when not in use
It has to be made a habit that each one of us should lock our devices every time we are not using them or are not present at our desk. Leaving it unattended can lead to any number of security breaches.
- Stay away from open wi-fi connections
It’s usually considered lucky when someone finds an open wifi connection, but people often don’t realize that any and every information that they will be sending over this open network is going to be visible to all the other users of the network as well. Hence, it’s best to avoid connecting work devices to such connections until you don’t know the source.
- Generate strong passwords
A strong password protects your data from identity thieves and data hackers. Ensure that all your passwords are unpredictable as well as a combination of alphabets, numbers and symbols as this helps to keep them secure. Also, get into a habit of practising two-factor authorization as it makes it difficult to get through two layers of security.
- Report suspicious activity
If you ever notice any suspicious activity like a pop-up that won’t go or something harmful that you downloaded by mistake, it’s better to report to the concerned authorities. It’s better to be on the safe side than be sorry because if the virus is inside your firewall, then proper steps need to be taken.
- Get antivirus software and firewall protection
The IT security can only protect your data up until a certain point. It’s better to get a good anti-virus software for safe browsing. Also, remember to complete the update of your firewalls in time so that you have the latest version.
- Be careful with sensitive information
Especially at the workplace, one should be very careful with what is being shared over emails as they are the easiest to breach. For any confidential information that has to be shared, it’s much safer to use a secure file transfer system to encrypt the data as well as restrict the access.
- Systematic back-up of data
Every day, cyber criminals hack into computers, encrypt the data inside, and hold it for ransom. This costs organizations millions every year. If you keep a backup and update it regularly, then it takes away the profit benefit for the hackers.
- Regular malware scan
You can run a malware scan 2-3 times in a week or every day depending on your internet usage. These scans run in the background smoothly without affecting your work in any way and keeping the system secure as well.
Similar to a work project, cyber security is a team effort that needs everyone to contribute. It has to be done at a personal level to ensure the security of the entire organization. All employees should be trained to practice the steps mentioned above to reduce the scope of any cyber security threats and attacks.