Over the past couple years, we’ve seen some significant data breaches that have caused havoc for both businesses and consumers alike. Equifax, Target, and Sony, to name a few, have shown just how vulnerable our systems can be if we don’t take the adequate steps to protect ourselves and our valuable data.
To help businesses and consumers better protect themselves from this growing cyber threat, Cisco Umbrella devised a list of 10 important tips to ensure that your web operations remain safe and secure.
1) Don’t ever think, “It won’t happen to me.” Anyone can be a target at any time.
2) Create strong passwords. Use a mix of characters and create a different password for every website that you work on. Do not share these passwords with anyone, and do not write them down.
3) Never leave your computer, phone, or tablet unattended. If you must step away for a minute, lock them down. In addition, lock down your flash-drives and/or external hard-drives as well.
4) Be cautious when clicking on attachments or links within an email – if it’s suspicious, don’t click on it. Hackers will often take advantage of spelling mistakes within a link’s URL, which direct you to harmful websites. So, always double check a link’s URL before taking any action.
5) Online banking or shopping should only be done on personal devices and on networks you trust. Public networks, and even a friend’s smartphone or computer, could be easily compromised – leaving your data vulnerable.
6) Make sure your anti-virus software is always up-to-date, and back up your data regularly.
7) Be cautious with what you connect to your computer. Flash-drives, external hard-drives, and smartphones can sometimes be infected with harmful malware.
8) Be mindful of what you’re sharing on your social networks. Hackers thrive on befriending unsuspecting individuals so they can gain access to their basic information (address, email, phone number, where they work, etc.), which helps lead them to more valuable data.
9) If someone unfamiliar calls or emails you asking for sensitive information, either ignore them or say no. You can always call their company directly to verify its credentials before sharing any needed information.
10) Always monitor your online accounts for any suspicious activity. If something looks unfamiliar, that’s typically a sign that your account has been hacked.
Cisco Umbrella – umbrella.cisco.com