Cyber Hygiene: Keeping your Devices Clean and Safe
Laptops, phones and tablets – they all store lots of personal information about us; information that cyber criminals find valuable. It’s important we secure our devices correctly applying simple cyber hygiene tips to avoid our personal information falling into the wrong hands.
Consider the following tips:
- Install anti-virus and anti-spyware protection – this is a great first level of defense to thwart off cyber criminals
- Turn on automatic updates – software updates can be scheduled to automatically download and be installed overnight
- Check privacy settings often and minimize the information that can be viewed by others
- Ensure devices are locked and protected by a fingerprint, PIN or password
- Review web browser settings – make sure they are up-to-date with the latest version and clear your cache and browsing history often
Be Cyber Aware
Back to school can be an exciting time for everyone. Unfortunately, it’s also an exciting time for cyber criminals as they seek to exploit kids unfamiliar with online risks.
Consider the following topics to discuss with kids and encourage questions and dialogue:
- Cyber criminals – who are they and what do they want?
- What do cyber criminals do with our personal information?
- How can kids stay safe?
Protection with Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication
Back to school is a good time to re-visit the question: what makes a powerful password? By following a few simple tips, you can help ensure your accounts and devices are not compromised.
- Longer is stronger when it comes to passwords. Use passwords that are 15 characters or more in length.
- UPPERCASE, lowercase, $ymbo!s and numb3rs – use a combination to ensure strong passwords
- Use a passphrase to create meaningful and memorable passwords. A passphrase is a string of words like “MycuteGerbilWesley” or “BasketBallCamprOcks”
In addition to a password, Multi-factor authentication (MFA) can be enabled to to help keep your accounts secure. Applying MFA strengthens security by requiring more than one type of factor to log in.
A factor can be either:
- Something you know – like a password/ passphrase/ combination
- Something you have– like your phone or a token
- Something that is part of you – like your fingerprints