Why Does Online Security Matter?
Online security matters to you because everyone is a target, and hackers know that most users have limited or no experience with online security. Here are a few steps you can take to better protect yourself.
Computer (PC) Security
PC security consists of having different usernames and complex passwords, which means you have alpha, numeric, and special characters with a minimum length of eight characters long. These passwords should be changed every 90 days. You should have anti-virus protection with updated definitions checked periodically. It will do you no good to have virus protection if updates are not being done. Make sure you do software updates and security patches to operating systems and different software you have loaded on your PC. Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities to exploit your system. Limit who has access to your PC. Makes sure you have password protected screen savers to come on after 10 minutes of inactivity. If you are using a laptop, make sure your hard drive is encrypted in case you lose it or someone steals it. If your hard drive is encrypted, personal information cannot be accessed.
Mobile devices—such as tablets, iPads, and smartphones—should have password protection enabled on them, especially if business is being conducted on them. Like PCs, you want to make sure all software is up to date, as it poses a vulnerability that the hacker can exploit if updates are not being done. You also want to make sure you have the capability to do a remote wipe of your mobile device in the event you misplace it or it is stolen. This will erase all the information from the device.
Internet and Email Security
Limit where you are going on the internet. Turn on your pop blocker, and know the company and website you are visiting.
Best practice security habits for email is knowing who is sending you emails. Never click on a link or an attachment from someone you do not know or if the email looks or seems funny. A good way to get a virus is through an email. Hackers have done such a great job of making the emails look legitimate—they fool the best of us. These are called phishing emails. Education and awareness is key here. Once a virus/malware is loaded on the machine, they can use it to steal information. Worse, they can use the infected machine to act like the dummy machine and send out attacks to other areas of the network. Use extreme caution when surfing the internet. We are touching so many areas that we are not even aware of.
We hope you have a better understanding of what online security is, what it includes, and some best practices. The last thing that we all want is a breach of our data, knowing we could have prevented it had we taken the proper steps to secure our data.