We are in a new year and it’s a good time to review of your online security practices and the measures you have in place to protect your data and privacy. It’s like giving your online life a bit of a checkup to identify any vulnerabilities and areas for improvement. It’s always good to have good cyber hygiene. So what is cyber hygiene? It’s all about forming good habits around cybersecurity so that you can stay ahead of cyber threats and online security issues.
Make sure all your devices, including your computers, phones, and tablets, are running the latest software updates. This includes your operating system, applications, and firmware. It is always recommended to have auto updates on unless there is a good reason not to in which case regularly do it manually.
Only install apps from the official stores and also take the time to delete old unused apps. Why only use apps from official stores well short answer is Official app stores have vetting processes in place to ensure that apps are safe and free of malware, viruses, and other harmful software. It’s not foolproof but reduces the chances of malicious apps.
Review your social media settings -check the privacy settings on all your social media accounts and make sure you’re comfortable with the level of information you’re sharing with the world. This is also a good time to close and delete any accounts you no longer need. Consider limiting the amount of personal information you share publicly and be mindful of who you connect with. Be careful about what information you share online, especially on social media. Don’t share personal details like your address, phone number, or date of birth.
Passwords are a necessary evil and a good way to manage them is a password manager. The best password manager for you depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the platforms you use.
Enable multi-factor authentication for services that have that capability. Multi-factor adds an additional layer of protection on top of your passwords making it harder for attackers to gain access to your account.
Back up your important files. I usually like to automate this so that it happens regularly so if my laptop or devices stop working I still have access to my files.
Is your router secure?
- Change the network name, this is also known as the SSID – Ditch the generic name your router comes with. Choose something unique and avoid revealing personal information. Change the default WIFI password. Avoid using dictionary words, birthdays, or other easily guessable information.
- Change the default username and password for your router’s admin panel. Use strong credentials different from your Wi-Fi password.
- Guest network: Set up a separate guest network with a different password for visitors. This prevents them from accessing your main network and connected devices.
- Disable remote access: Unless you need to manage your network remotely, disable remote access to your router’s admin panel. This reduces the attack surface for hackers.
If you got new devices before selling or gifting away old devices make sure you have removed all personal information from them and restored them to factory defaults.