Here are 18 helpful cyber security tips for 2018 to keep your electronic data and devices safe.
- You are an attractive target to hackers. Don’t think, “It won’t happen to me.”
- Lock your computer when you are away from it. Even a few minutes is enough time for someone else to destroy or corrupt your information.
- Avoid unintentionally installing spyware on your electronic devices; never click on links within pop-up windows.
- Be wary of free downloadable software; you may be exposing your computer to spyware programs by downloading programs from questionable websites.
- Install both anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer, and make sure they are compatible.
- Take a little time to review, understand and use the privacy settings on social networking sites.
- Turn off the option to automatically download attachments in emails.
- Be wary of unsolicited attachments in email, even from people you know. Many viruses can “spoof” the return address, making it look like the message came from someone else.
- Use different passwords on different systems and accounts.
- Don’t use passwords with personal information that can be accessed or guessed; use capital and lowercase letters, numbers and characters.
- Report spam email messages.
- Never click on a link in an email from someone you do not know.
- Stay safe when shopping online. Only do business with reputable vendors. Some cyber attackers create malicious websites that appear to be legitimate; always verify the site before supplying any personal or financial information.
- Never plug an unknown USB drive into your computer to try to identify or locate the owner.
- Monitor your accounts (email, social media, banking, etc.) for any suspicious activity. If you see something unfamiliar, it could be a sign that you’ve been compromised.
- Disable Bluetooth when you’re not using it, to help prevent hacking.
- Hackers have strategies for attacking devices through public Wi-Fi. Keep firewalls enabled at all times; turn off file sharing when using public Wi-Fi.
- Remember you can be a victim of cyber crime offline, too. If someone calls asking for sensitive information, say no. Call the company directly to verify before giving out information.
Sources: Department of Homeland Security; Heimdal Security; Cisco