Have you heard of something called cybersecurity hygiene? It may sound like an unusual metaphor but it’s imperative that you strongly have it.
Taking showers and brushing teeth isn’t something traditionally associated with technology. However, the term “cybersecurity hygiene” emphasizes the need for making smart decisions about your smart devices.
Good hygiene has three basic principles:
- Using tools and products that fit your hygiene needs
- Performing these hygienic tasks correctly
- Establishing a routine
How is this relevant with technology?
What Is Cybersecurity Hygiene?
This means thinking proactively with data security as much as you with your daily personal hygiene. However, most people don’t take it seriously unlike cavities and root canals. In fact, some people take cybersecurity for granted.
Doing so will inevitably result in drastic results. Why? Cyberthreats continue to evolve both in complexity and number. Yet, you don’t have to be an IT professional to protect your data. All you need is to apply the practices listed below and make them a routine.
Best Cybersecurity Hygiene Practices
Use the right tools
Maintaining personal hygiene is very difficult, if not impossible, without the right tools. Tried brushing your teeth without a toothbrush?
Likewise, having the right products and tools is a must for cybersecurity hygiene. Start by installing reputable antivirus and malware software. Moreover, install a network firewall and ensure that your device is password-protected.
Having all of these tools may help you feel confident about data security. Furthermore, ensure that the security brand is reputable before installing anything on your devices.
Be thorough and accurate
Dentists recommend everyone to floss to remove thorough food particles that may cause tooth decay and gum disease. Your computer’s deleted or presumably irretrievable field also requires “flossing”.
For instance, regularly emptying the recycle bin does not actually remove personal or sensitive data from the hard drive. You must use data-wiping software to achieve so.
Meanwhile, you’re at risk of losing personal data every time you install hardware or software on your computer. This is also the case when you modify your system files. Clear out your unnecessary data on a regular basis. Additionally, make sure to wipe it clean from the hard drive.
Make it a part of your routine
Cybersecurity hygiene requires routine and repetition to protect your data. Set an alarm or mark a calendar to remind yourself of accomplishing simple yet critical tasks. Some of these tasks are:
- Scanning for viruses with antivirus software
- Updating the operating systems of all your devices
- Wiping the hard drive
- Changing your passwords
- Checking for security patches
Use multi-factor authentication
This provides an additional layer of protection. It usually sends a code to your phone when someone attempts to log in to your account. This ensures that only you have access to your data even if the hacker gets your login credentials correct. Another example of multi-factor authentication is biometrics.
Secure your router
This is a step you must not forget. Update the default name and password that came with the manufacturer. Additionally, make sure that your router comes with a WPA2 or WPA encryption. Enabling either of these options ensures that the information sent via your network is kept private.