‘Don’t Be Stupid’ the First Rule of Cybersecurity

‘Don’t Be Stupid’ the First Rule of Cybersecurity

We’ve all done stupid things in our lives, but you must be smart when it comes to the security ofyour electronic devices. Do you keep credit card details on your phone or in the checkout features of a website where youfrequently buy things? Chances are that you do, so it’s imperative that you up your securitygame. A recent breach analysis found more than 23 million victims who were hacked used“123456” as a password. That’s not smart in anyone’s book. That’s an obvious example of what not to do, but keep these five things in mind at work and inyour own life to safeguard electronic privacy. 1. Use strong passwords (longer is better!) and change them regularly. It seems like everysite where you shop, read or interact wants to have a relationship that starts with a username and password. It can be exhausting to try and keep up with so many user names andso many passwords. But it’s critical.Overwatch Technology recently performed a security assessment for a client and 30users. Of those 30 users, 19 were found to have passwords that we’re sufficientlysophisticated.2. Keep your sensitive login credentials private. This strongly correlates with the firstreason, and the solution is the same—use a password manager to keep track of saved usernames and passwords. All you have to remember is a single password that unlockseverything else. Even then, be sure to change that password once every four months or soto be extra-safe.3. Be wary of opening emails and attachments from sources that you don’t recognize. TheNigerian prince email scam has been around nearly as long as the internet has, but itnetted fraudsters $700K in the U.S. alone in 2019! That’s nearly impossible to believe.People are being more cautious about emails and attachments, but the fraudsters havebeen upping their game, too, improving the quality of their emails.If you’re not expecting an email from FedEx, Amazon or your bank, tread cautiously.Same goes for an email from anyone you don’t know. At the same time, check your junkor spam folders occasionally, because legitimate emails can get incorrectly logged.4. Don’t install software or connect hardware to your company’s network withoutpermission. If you’re using a company device, hopefully it’s been partitioned for businessuse, with restrictions about what can be downloaded or accessed from the device. Yourbusiness device isn’t yours, so imagine that every website you visit or file you downloadis visible to IT staff—because it could be.

5. When working from home, make sure your internet connection is secure. If you are

accessing company servers through the cloud, hopefully your company has provided asecure VPN connection to access those resources. At the very least, your computingdevice should have a strong, top-rated firewall to prevent unwanted intrusions. Have questions about the privacy and security of your devices? Overwatch Technology’sVulnerability Management services can put your mind at ease, evaluating the security of yournetwork, devices, internet traffic, passwords and more. Specific services include PatchManagement, Firewall Checker, Virus Checker and Traffic Monitoring, with easy-to-readdashboards to show where you stand. The smartest approach is to not do anything stupid to begin with.