Nowadays, humans pose an even higher risk to an organization’s cybersecurity defense than software flaws and vulnerabilities. Luckily, common sense thinking can be more effective against cyber criminals than sophisticated tools. Here are 10 cybersecurity tips to help protect yourself and your organization from security threats.
1. Be cautious with links and attachments in emails.
Instead of clicking on a link in an email, open your browser and visit the website directly to view the notification. Most of the time, anything that comes in an email can be viewed by going to the website directly. If the email was not expected, suggests urgency, and requires you to act – err on the side of caution and forward to IT before clicking a link or opening an attachment.
2. Check website addresses.
When visiting a website, look for “HTTPS:” in front of the URL in the web address bar. The ‘S’ indicates the web address has been encrypted and secured with an SSL certificate. But don’t stop there – assess the content on the website. Are there spelling mistakes? Low-resolution images? Lack of a “contact-us” section? These are all red flags.
3. Don’t email or text sensitive information.
Never send sensitive information such as user credentials, social security numbers, or banking information over unencrypted email or text. If this information is requested through an email you received, verify the phone number online and provide this information over the phone.
4. Be careful what you share on social media.
Malicious hackers follow company and employee accounts to gather information to better impersonate a victim’s colleagues. Only follow people you know or have been recommended to follow, and don’t accept follower requests from people you don’t know. Furthermore, set your accounts to private to prevent search engines from gathering information that is freely available online.
5. Change your passwords.
We suggest changing your passwords every 90 days. If your password happens to fall in the wrong hands, adhering to a frequent cadence of password changes reduces the window of time a hacker has access to your account(s).
6. Use good passwords.
The recommend length for a good password is 15 characters long with a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers, and characters. Additionally, we recommend enabling multi-factor authentication whenever it’s available.
7. Enable challenge questions for your passwords – but don’t use real data in your answers.
Most of the time, the answers to challenge questions can be found online and on social media accounts (e.g., your mother’s birthdate).
8. Don’t use the “save password” option in your web browsers.
This is a treasure trove of information for hackers.
9. Avoid ads and sponsored links.
Automatic downloads via digital ads are a popular delivery method for malware.
10. Restart your computer every evening and leave it powered on.
Restarting allows updates to install, increasing security.
Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from JNBA Financial Advisors, Inc.
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