‘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 of
your electronic devices.
 
Do you keep credit card details on your phone or in the checkout features of a website where you
frequently buy things? Chances are that you do, so it’s imperative that you up your security
game. 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 in
your own life to safeguard electronic privacy.
 
1. Use strong passwords (longer is better!) and change them regularly. It seems like every
site where you shop, read or interact wants to have a relationship that starts with a user
name and password. It can be exhausting to try and keep up with so many user names and
so many passwords. But it’s critical.
Overwatch Technology recently performed a security assessment for a client and 30
users. Of those 30 users, 19 were found to have passwords that we’re sufficiently
sophisticated.
2. Keep your sensitive login credentials private. This strongly correlates with the first
reason, and the solution is the same—use a password manager to keep track of saved user
names and passwords. All you have to remember is a single password that unlocks
everything else. Even then, be sure to change that password once every four months or so
to be extra-safe.
3. Be wary of opening emails and attachments from sources that you don’t recognize. The
Nigerian prince email scam has been around nearly as long as the internet has, but it
netted 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 have
been 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 junk
or spam folders occasionally, because legitimate emails can get incorrectly logged.
4. Don’t install software or connect hardware to your company’s network without
permission. If you’re using a company device, hopefully it’s been partitioned for business
use, with restrictions about what can be downloaded or accessed from the device. Your
business device isn’t yours, so imagine that every website you visit or file you download
is 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 a
secure VPN connection to access those resources. At the very least, your computing
device should have a strong, top-rated firewall to prevent unwanted intrusions.
 
Have questions about the privacy and security of your devices? Overwatch Technology’s
Vulnerability Management services can put your mind at ease, evaluating the security of your
network, devices, internet traffic, passwords and more. Specific services include Patch
Management, Firewall Checker, Virus Checker and Traffic Monitoring, with easy-to-read
dashboards to show where you stand.
 
The smartest approach is to not do anything stupid to begin with.