Resolutions to Keep – Data Security
January is almost over, and if you’re anything like us, most of your New Year’s resolutions are already in the rear-view mirror. Go jogging every morning? It didn’t happen. Eat better? Well, mostly. Hey, we’re only human.
But if there’s one resolution you absolutely should keep in 2018, it’s the one about better protecting your data. Cyber attacks can happen to anyone—and they can quickly turn your world upside down. To help you out, here’s a quick list of tasks you can check off to ensure your data is secure this year.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
A new year means new threats to your system that you’ve probably never even heard of (cybercriminals don’t a break for the holidays, unfortunately). Enabling software updates on your operating systems (OS) and programs is a must if you want to stay ahead of the game.
Turn on Automatic Updates for your OS and be sure to check that your browser plugins (like Java and Flash) are up to date. And to make sure you’re prepared for the latest cyber scares, only use web browsers like Firefox or Google Chrome that receive constant automatic security updates.
Practice Proper Password Management
Remembering all your different passwords can feel like a workout. But that doesn’t mean you get a cheat day. Don’t get lazy and reuse passwords, and avoid the temptation to make them shorter so that they’re easier to remember. And no, “12345” or “password” are not especially secure.
It’s best to create unique, long (20 characters or more) passwords with a mix of characters and numbers. Ideally, these should be changed at least once every six months.
Rather than writing passwords down or sharing them in an email to keep track of them, you can use an encrypted password management tool, meaning you only need to memorize one—the one that lets you access the others. And if your recovery information is up to date in all your accounts, it’s easy to regain access if you ever lose a password completely.
Use Your Mobile Devices Safely
Maybe your New Year’s Resolution was to unglue your smartphone from your hand—but that doesn’t mean you can leave it unprotected. Mobile devices are extremely susceptible to attacks, so simple steps like locking your phone with a PIN and only installing apps from easily verified and trusted sources are a must.
Do the Two-Step
If you don’t have two-step verification enabled on all your sensitive accounts, waltz back over to your workstation and correct that ASAP.
Two-step verification adds an extra layer of security to your accounts, requiring every sign-in to include something you have to remember (say, your password) and something you physically have (like your fingerprint or a code sent to your phone). Learn how to enable two-step verification for your Google accounts by clicking here.
Get Some Backup
In addition to regularly backing up your files, why not find another kind of backup you can rely on for your security needs?