Are You Cyber Strong?

Welcome to the last week of Cyber Security Awareness Month! As we wrap up this month, we will be discussing the Human Disadvantage and Security. Today we’re breaking down what it means to be cyber strong and staying secure.

If you’ve been following along on the blog this month, you should be well versed in many basic security measures you can take (even if you’re not a security expert!) to ensure you are staying safe online. We know that continually cyber threats impacting businesses and individuals alike continue   to increase and become harder to prevent, detect and recover from. For the sake of your own security, and that of the organization you may represent, it’s more important than ever to be aware of what those threats look like and what to do to make sure you don’t fall victim to a cyber crime. Continue reading below to better understand what it means to be Cyber Strong.

Some Considerations on the Path to Cyber Strength

Think before you click

As we’ve mentioned in a few of our blogs this month, phishing has become more prevalent than ever before- disguising as trusted sources like your bank, or a popular brand like Netflix. Anybody can be a victim of a phishing scam and requires you to be aware of what a scam looks like and what can happen if you get caught off-guard by a scammer. Always be wary when you receive an email from an unknown sender, or from a familiar address, that contains links or attachments that you weren’t expecting. Many times, these attackers disguise themselves as a known source, expecting you to trust the link or attachment within the email. Never click a link or download the attachment without safely investigating the source. Learn more from the blog about phishing and how to avoid being a victim of a scam here.

Don’t share important information online

Many phishing scams ask you to share personal information such as address, bank information, social security numbers, and more. Organizations should never ask you to verify such sensitive information like banking or SIN via e-mail, consider that a major red flag and think hard about why they would be requesting this information in this manner.

So, not only should you not share this information with anyone via email, you should be very careful where you use this kind of information on websites and any accounts you may have. For example, if you are purchasing something online, always make sure the website is secure and trusted before giving your financial information.

Your accounts should have unique passwords

Any account you have created online, whether its an email account or a personal account on a website, you should always have a unique, strong password. A great way to keep track of your passwords is to use a password manager that can safely store your passwords for you. A few tips for a strong password:  have 10-12 characters, use upper-case and lower-case letters, use at least one symbol and one number. This week, we will be going in depth on the criteria on creating a strong password and having good password hygiene, so be sure to keep an eye on the blog!

Connect to secure Wi-Fi

It is recommended to never connect to a public Wi-Fi unless you absolutely have to. You should always be very careful in doing so as public Wi-Fi connections are never as secure as a private connection and your data will be vulnerable. Try to always connect to a private Wi-Fi or VPN, especially when you’re working remotely. In the event you have to connect to a public Wi-Fi, do not use any apps with private information and never share this sensitive data over public networks.

Steps you can take to keep yourself safe

Always keep your devices updated

Patching your software is very important to minimize your devices actively exploitable vulnerabilities. Although it may be frustrating when your computer decides to update in the middle of your workday, it’s in your best interest to ensure everything is up to date to avoid being vulnerable. Many times, your computer will let you know when it’s time for an update on your system or any applications you are using.

Enable antivirus software and Firewalls

In addition to keeping your operating software and apps updated, you should install and regularly update an antivirus software. If you are using a company computer, they will likely install an antivirus software for you. If you are using a personal device, make sure to install a reputable antivirus or anti-malware protection to help keep malicious actors at bay.

Your organization may have a firewall installed to your organizations network, however, if you’re working remotely you may want to consider installing a firewall on your home network as well.

Back up your data

In the event that something does happen and your computer is compromised, it’s always best to have a current back up of your data, either on the cloud or a physical backup, so that you don’t lose anything important if your device needs to be re-imaged or you encounter dreaded ransomware.

Stay informed and keep in touch with your IT team

Keeping up with cyber security training and staying up to date on new scams is a great way to stay cyber strong. In the event that you click something you shouldn’t have or just want to know more about cyber security best practices, don’t be afraid to reach out to your organization’s IT team. If you see something that doesn’t seem quite right (such as a phishing email) or unexpected behaviour from your software, make sure to let your IT team know.

In honour of Cyber Security Awareness Month, we will be sharing insight on the latest cybersecurity news, tips from Secure Sense experts and general security knowledge geared towards keeping you out of the headlines and focused on what matters most, your business. Don’t miss a beat by following along on our TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn Pages.

Secure Sense is the security provider that cares. We are a team of experts with a passion for IT and protecting your organization is what motivates us daily. If you have questions or want to learn more about how we can improve your organization’s security, our services or just want to chat security please give us a shout.