How to Maintain Good Cyber Hygiene
Just like you engage in personal hygiene practices, it is also necessary to maintain cyber hygiene. Personal hygiene practices ensure your well-being while cyber hygiene practices keep your data and device safe. Over the years, cybersecurity has become the biggest concern of people all around the globe. With the increasing incidences of cyber-attacks, the need for maintaining cyber hygiene is more than ever. But what is cyber hygiene and how you can practice it?
What is Cyber Hygiene?
Cyber hygiene can be defined as a practice to properly protect and maintain IT systems and devices to ensure the safety of data. In the present digital era, the use of the Internet and storage devices has increased drastically. With this increasing digitization, threats have also increased.
You might have heard a lot about “WannaCry” and “Ransomware” attacks. Every other day cybercriminals and hackers are attacking organizations, financial institutions, as well as individuals. These cybercriminals use several different types of malware-based attacks on their victims to gain access to their sensitive data. These attacks are escalating across the data-driven, mobile, Internet and cloud-based services. So to avoid such malicious attacks and achieve security within the domain, it’s essential to adapt a good cyber hygiene strategy.
Cyber hygiene refers to the practices and steps that the users take to maintain system health and improve online security. Without practicing cyber hygiene, your data and sensitive information become vulnerable to hacks, advanced viruses, and intelligent malware attacks.
Good Cyber Hygiene Practices
If you want to prevent data loss scenarios and stay safe online, here are the best cyber hygiene practices to follow.
- Install & Keep Updating Reputable Antivirus Software
The first step in cyber hygiene is installing reliable antivirus software. The latest malware and antivirus software are designed to scan and remove viruses and other malicious malware from the devices. Once installed, make a habit of updating it to ensure the best possible protection against security breaches and other threats.
- Create Strong Passwords
This one is pretty obvious- always create a strong password and never share it with anyone. You should not be using the same password for multiple devices and sites. Also, you need to create a unique password with at least 12 characters. Try to include numbers, symbols, and capital and lowercase letters in your password. Besides setting a strong password, maintain a habit of changing your passwords regularly. It is also recommended to set a password on your hardware to prevent others from using your computer.
- Use Network Firewalls
For Internet users, it’s good to use a network firewall. Using a firewall is an important step in cyber hygiene because it prevents unauthorized users from accessing your websites, mail servers, and other sources of information.
- Regularly Update Software
To ensure the best possible protection, you should keep updating your apps, web browsers, and operating systems. The software developers keep improving the system and make sure to eliminate or patch existing glitches. When you use the latest software, it gets hard for hackers to attack your system.
- Maintain a Back-Up
If somehow your device gets infected by a virus or malware, you may lose your important documents and sensitive data. This problematic situation can be avoided if you keep a copy of your data. So make sure to safeguard your data by backing it up to an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage system.