Much has been written about proper cybersecurity safeguards for those working from remote locations.
While remote workers need to be aware and educated regarding precautions to guard against a data breach to their corporate business network, the same holds true for those using their devices for mostly leisure activities.
Taking some necessary precautions need not be complicated. In fact there are many simple measures anyone can utilize at home to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of a cybercrime. These include…
1. Utilizing longer passwords.
Most individuals utilize short, easy to remember passwords. While seemingly harmless, simple and insecure passwords are one of the most common ways you can leave yourself susceptible to a cyberattack.
Passwords that are easy to remember are also easy to hack.
A basic rule is to use passwords that always contain a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers. A symbol or two can be added for extra security. Also avoid the temptation to write all your passwords down on paper.
2. Creating different passwords for different accounts.
Many of us are guilty of using the same password on multiple accounts. Utilization of different passwords adds a high degree of difficulty for any cyber thief attempting to penetrate one or more of your accounts.
Passwords should also be changed regularly. This again helps to mitigate the damage if a password is stolen, because the hacker won't have access to all of your other accounts.
3. Avoiding the placement of sensitive information on social media.
Many individuals unknowingly reveal private or sensitive information on their public social channels.
Something as simple as posting a photo that you are on vacation could provide the impetus for someone to break into your home.
Social media accounts should be kept private so only trusted friends and family can view your posts.
Never accept friend requests from people you don't know, and be wary of those with duplicate accounts.
Also be wary of friends direct-messaging with strange links or requests for money. If their behavior seems out of the ordinary, or their manner of communicating seems different, a hacker could have obtained access to their account.
4. Becoming more deliberate about accepting app privileges.
When a new app is installed on your phone, it often requests access to certain privileges like your location.
This collection of data may be necessary for the app to function, but some apps could be less trustworthy. Take special care with smaller, less common apps.
Before automatically granting privileges, consider if the request makes sense. If it doesn't, don't grant access. Location-sharing privileges are especially risky, as they can reveal where you are to anyone online.
5. Taking a proactive approach with antivirus software.
Trusted antivirus software should be installed on all devices. Viruses can reach your computer in a variety of ways, and good antivirus software will guard against them. The goal is to keep them from wreaking havoc on your system as they remain undetected.
Software should be kept up-to-date to guard against all the latest digital threats. This includes the avoidance of leaving devices on standby for long periods of time.
Instead computers should be restarted and updated on a regular basis. This enables software providers to upgrade any potential flaw in their system and add the highest level of protection to maintain the optimal cybersecurity available.
Creating a number of cybersecurity precautions will protect you and your family, as well as your coworkers, and your employer. Cyberattacks can come at any time, and all it takes is one unknowing error to be in serious trouble.