Best Cyber Hygiene Practices to Help Stay Safe Online
Do you practice cyber hygiene meticulously? If you’re unaware of the importance of cyber hygiene or ignore practicing it, you’re jeopardizing the safety of your precious data. Cyber hygiene is much like personal hygiene which includes practices to maintain your good health by using certain products, performing hygienic tasks, and establishing a routine. In the same way, cyber hygiene practices mean performing certain steps to keep your data safe and digital identity secure. The purpose of practicing cyber hygiene is to protect your devices from outside attacks such as hacks and malware. It includes a few easy steps but before we look at the cyber hygiene checklist, let’s first understand it a bit more.
What is Cyber Hygiene?
If you use a computer or any other device that you connect to the internet, your data is at risk of theft, corruption, and/or outside attacks. Increasingly, organizations, as well as individuals are targeted by hackers, identity thieves, advanced viruses, and intelligent malware to get access to their sensitive data. To prevent such cybersecurity threats and maintain system health, it’s necessary to take some steps which are known cyber hygiene. A routine cyber hygiene procedure not only prevents online threats but also ensures proper maintenance of computers, websites, and software to run at their best.
BEST PRACTICES: Steps for good cyber hygiene
Practicing cyber hygiene is quite simple and with a few steps, you can significantly improve the security of any system. Cyber hygiene practices typically involve setting strong passwords and using multi-factor authentication to make it harder for hackers to gain access to your device and personal information.
Besides regularly backing up your data, there are several practices to ensure your cyber safety. Here are the best cyber hygiene practices to keep you safe and secure online.
- Install Commercial Antivirus and Malware Software
One of the most important steps in practicing cyber hygiene is installing anti-virus software across all your devices and networks. Commercial-grade anti-malware software protects against phishing scams and other unknown threats. Reliable antivirus software programs are designed to scans threats and remove viruses and other malware. Once installed, antivirus software performs automatic scans to detect virus-infected files and eradicate malicious codes and software to keep your device safe.
- Regularly Update Your Software
Do you know organizations and users could have prevented WannaCry attack if they administered updates and patches to their devices? Outdated devices and applications are more at the risk of cyberattacks. So, to keep your system safe, you should regularly update your apps, web browsers, and operating systems. This step is useful because the latest programs include software patches. The flaws of old software versions are known to hackers which software developers improve in the latest versions. You may also set up an auto-update feature to achieving strong cyber hygiene.
- Use Secure Access Points & Network Firewalls
If you need to connect your device over public Wi-Fi, it’s better to use a virtual private network (VPN) to minimize risks. Besides this, for your home routers, create multiple networks, such as a home and a guest connection to make sure that your corporate data is not sharing the same connection as your gaming systems and children’s smart devices. Moreover, use a network firewall to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your websites, mail servers, and other information.