Updated: Aug 21
Everyone has been through a lot over the past 5-6 months. The ongoing pandemic, working and learning from home, and adjusting to a different way of life. Many of our lives have been confined to our homes. School, work, and how we interact with each other has been completely disrupted. A result of this change is a lot of questions and concerns around security and protecting you, your kids, and your organization.
In this article, you will learn 7 simple yet essential tips to protect you, your kids, and your organization from falling victim to data theft.
1. Keep all computers, phones, tablets, and applications updated:
Updates contain important changes to improve the performance, stability, and security of the applications that run on your computer. Installing them ensures that your software continues to run safely and efficiently. Keep in mind that many web exploits look for weaknesses like outdated software with unpatched security flaws. So, keep all your devices up to date to reduce your security risk!
2. Use strong passwords and use a password management tool:
As the graphic to the right suggests, it is extremely important to have a password that utilizes a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters.
The BBB recommends you change your passwords every 30 days. This can make it hard to remember your passwords, so we recommend a password management tool,
Additionally, make sure to have a password for your computer and always lock it when not in use. This makes it much harder for a Graph courtesy of "The Cyber Security Hub."
hacker to get your information if you lose your
3. Firewall protection:
It's important to use at least one type of a firewall, There are two types. Hardware firewall (such as a router) or a software firewall (downloadable program). If you already have a router, in addition, we recommend that you download a software firewall as well. There are great security benefits having both hardware and software firewalls with no real performance cost. Therefore, it's a good idea to run both.
4. Do not share personal information on social media:
The more information you share, the odds of being hacked increase. For example, if a thief manages to get a hold of your financial info, they can easily look at your social media to find other information needed to forge your identity. With the advancements in social media in recent years it has made hackers jobs much easier, sharing less information about yourself makes it much harder on them!
5. Install antivirus and anti-malware:
It is important to have antivirus and anti-malware installed on your computer. Antivirus programs are more efficient and effective on the classic types of online threats, while anti-malware can detect and remove new and sophisticated malware strains and strengthen security. We recommend running both on all of your devices.
6. Learn about Phishing scams:
There are multiple ways cybercriminals can get you! Appealing emails trying to get you to sign up for free things in return for usernames and passwords. Simply clicking on a phishing email can put you in danger. A few things to look out for: grammatical errors, low-resolution logo, and odd URL's. Phishing scams are only going to rise with remote school and work. Recently cybercriminals are taking advantage of people by developing COVID-19 phishing scams. Keep your eyes open for these types of attacks. Also, talk to your children and educate them to be careful when clicking!
7. Backup your data regularly:
This is the rule that organizations should be following for school/work data. Hopefully!
The 3-2-1 backup rule is always a good idea with any important personal data tas well, which you don’t have a paper copy of.
Applying these 7 simple and effective tips will help you, your kids, and your organization stay safe and remain productive while learning and working from home. We hope you found these tips useful. Stay safe!
If you need help executing any of the 7 tips please reach out HERE and we can walk you through how to be better protected as we start the school year and continue to work from home.
Parents - Check out our podcast "Back to School Minnesota" where we talk with a current K-12 teacher and what to expect with the 2020 school year starting shortly!