Cyber Smarts for Daily Online Life.
So, your credit union has a cyber plan, but do you have a personal one? Consistently adopting a cyber smart mindset will help you stay secure all year long. The following cyber security activities are recommended by the Department of Homeland Security and lay the groundwork for a personal cyber plan. Take the time now to set up the proper controls in your online life—whether at home, work, or school—to keep you, your family, and your information safe and secure.
"Cyber self-defense basics can go a long way to keep your data out of the hands of bad actors,” Gene Fredriksen, Pure IT Principal Cybersecurity Consultant.
Do these nine things immediately before a cyberattack occurs:
- Use strong passwords that are 12 characters or longer.
- Mix upper and lower cases, letters, numbers, and special characters. Using a password manager is a best practice.
- Use a stronger authentication such as a pin or password that only you would know.
- Consider using a separate device that can receive a code or uses a biometric scan (e.g. fingerprint scanner).
- Watch for suspicious activity.
- Look for these red flags: being asked to do something right away, an offer that sounds too good to be true, or needing your personal information.
Pro tip: Think before you click.
- Check your account statements and credit reports regularly.
- Use secure internet communications with HTTPS sites.
- Do not use sites with invalid certificates. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that creates a secure connection, especially when you are granting access or providing personal information.
- Combine antivirus solutions, malware, and firewalls. Block Threats with a Secure Trifecta:
- Regularly back up your files.
- Use an encrypted file or encrypted file storage device.
- Limit the personal information you share online.
- Change privacy settings and do not use location features. Rule of thumb: less is more when it comes to sharing info online.
- Protect your home network by changing the administrative and Wi-Fi passwords regularly.
- When configuring your router, choose the Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) setting, which is the strongest encryption option.
Remember, it is up to you to secure your information from those who want to steal it. Being cyber smart does not have to be complicated. These steps will not make you hack-proof, but they will strengthen your digital world. Help criminals find easier targets elsewhere by making it hard for them to attack your environment. Just think of the old joke; When confronted by a bear in the woods, you don’t have to run faster than the bear, you just have to run faster than those you are with.
You are the CISO of your online life. Following these tips to plant your personal cyber plan!