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Drop These Bad Cybersecurity Habits ASAP

Did you know that astute cybersecurity defense is not a matter of expertise? Good security posture is a matter of habit. Good ones, that is. But bad habits are worse because even simple human error can lead to serious breach events. Time and time again we emphasize the biggest threat to personal data and business information is phishing. Social engineering remains effective, and that’s in part due to bad habits.

Unsafe practices can ruin us, so it pays to be careful. It’s all part of a proactive mindset. Just like any healthy habit, you want to incorporate strong strategies in your tech-facing routine. In other words, adopt practices when interacting with computers, internet connections, and data management.

The bad habits you want to drop 

Let’s dig into the bad habits you want to work on now, if not already. Don’t worry, you don’t need an extensive education or background in IT to make it work.

For example:

Eliminate simple passwords

A password is like a key and your first line of free defense against potential intrusions. While modern changes to the world of the internet and cybersecurity have made it essential to deploy multiple security methods, a good password is still essential and part of strong cybersecurity habits.

Your password should never be easily guessable, use simple phrases, or word combinations that teeter on the basics. While it can be a hassle to remember a variety of complex logins, it’s worth it for the level of free security it offers. Additionally, password managers can help if you need to rotate between various logins, whether personal or professional.

Not updating your apps, software, and business applications

It’s a fatal error to keep your software running on old versions. These days, most updates for essential software, programs, and apps are automatic, like your operating system or different apps on your smartphone. But more complex software and apps or personalized business software do not always update automatically. Even still, you shouldn’t rely on automatic updates to keep you secure.

Bad “hygiene” is ignoring old versions of apps and not routinely checking for software updates. Updates are critical because they patch out zero-day exploits, bugs, and security risks.

Sharing too much information on social media

Oversharing online is a dangerous cybersecurity habit for a variety of reasons. With the emphasis on social media, we’re conditioned to talk about our daily lives and routines frequently. Unfortunately, sharing too much information is what puts us at risk.

Recall how phishing and social engineering remain prominent threats in the online world. That’s because threat actors rely on that exposed data to create their phishing campaigns. By simply browsing social media profiles or other available information, they can create artificial messages, emails, and even phone calls in an attempt to deceive a target. Depending on how much you’ve posted online in publicly available spaces, the easier it is for attackers to form falsified messages.

Ensure that any info you share online is viewable by trusted family and friends. Or, limit what you discuss online in social media spaces.

Lack of anti-malware security across devices

Anti-malware solutions remain an important “must-have” when navigating today’s digital spaces. They constantly update their virus libraries and provide automated protection against dangerous threats, and, a majority of anti-malware tools are free. For organizations with stronger security requirements, they can invest in paid versions as well.

But the principle is still the same: having anti-malware installed on all devices you use for browsing, work, and personal needs. While smart devices and tablets have their own form of security, any computer device will need anti-malware software.

Never backing up or preserving data

It is very important to always have your data backed up whether through cloud storage or external media. Personal media, business files, pictures, and programs can all be lost if your system goes down. From virus attacks to hardware failure, it’s never safe to assume your devices are safe from failure or intrusion.

This goes double for enterprise data that are at risk of losing critical information. Whether disaster, ransomware attack, or even human error, it’s a bad cybersecurity habit to have no data backups at all.

Giving up info to unsecured sources

Finally, a bad cybersecurity habit to avoid at all costs is giving away info over unsecured sources, like email, text, or phone. Unless you can absolutely verify the person on the other end is a trustworthy source, details like passwords and personal data should never be revealed. Official sources will never ask for confidential information like passwords over text or phone. Again, unless you’ve verified the other end is a legitimate contact, never give away sensitive data.

Kick the bad habits to the curb

As you practice good cybersecurity hygiene, your habits will get better and become routine. Kicking bad habits will keep you safer, and the best part is, it doesn’t cost anything.

If you want to improve cybersecurity hygiene or learn more about safe IT practices, contact Bytagig today for more information.

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