Cyber Hygiene Best Practices: Strategies You Need To Know To Keep Your Data Secure

Cyber hygiene best practices preserve the health of your organization’s network and information assets, much as personal hygiene habits help you maintain your health. Have you been the target of data theft and online piracy lately? Here’s what you need to know about cyber hygiene to prevent challenges like this!

In today’s fast-moving digital world, cyber hygiene techniques have to take utmost precedence to keep data safe and well-protected on both individual and organizational levels. These basic practices support the maintenance of the working equipment by safeguarding systems from outside attacks such as ransomware, phishing attacks, etc. Besides, for the organizations initiating remote working for the first time, it’s even more critical to maintain proper cyber hygiene. Employees have to have the tools that would make their remote working safe and ensure internet safety. In this article, we discuss what this cyber hygiene is all about.

What Is Cyber Hygiene?

Cyber hygiene comprises the basic cybersecurity practices that can help you keep your information assets from falling into the hands of cyber adversaries, such as your PII (Personally Identifiable Information), credit card details, etc. In other words, users’ routines and procedures for retaining sensitive information organized, safe, and protected from theft and outside threats are referred to as cyber hygiene practices. Practicing good cyber hygiene must be as regular as any other important aspect of life.

Here is a cyber hygiene checklist that will help you understand how to be safe on the internet and keep malicious actors at bay.

Cyber Hygiene Checklist: Steps To Ensure How To Be Safe On Internet

1.    Install Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware

Managing your cyber hygiene without proper tools can result in some spillage and chances of getting attacked by cyber adversaries. Anti-virus and anti-malware software with add-ons such as encryption tools must be deployed to secure information saved on PCs, laptops, and other devices.

2.    Use Network Firewalls To Protect Your Network

A firewall acts as a barrier between your networks and cyber threats. It restricts who can transmit your data and can block any unsolicited incoming traffic. Every piece of data entering or leaving your network must travel through the firewall, which might be denied based on security criteria. A firewall can protect your network from illegal access, regulate communication across your networks and the rest of the network and notify you of unwanted network connections.

3.    Update Software Regularly

An outdated piece of software can have vulnerabilities that threat actors can exploit to infiltrate the entire database or network system. Malicious actors are constantly upping their strategies and looking for these bugs and vulnerabilities to get access to just one endpoint. Therefore, keeping your network systems and endpoint devices updated with the latest versions of software is crucial.

4.    Use Strong Passwords

One can use the best, up-to-date cybersecurity strategies and take the most stringent security precautions in the world, but it will all be in vain if the passwords are not strong enough. Keeping strong password habits is one of the simplest ways to secure your system and bring internet safety to networks to keep the information assets secure. Long, complex passwords with random combinations are ideal. And memorable dates, facts, and names should be avoided since cybercriminals may quickly locate these types of hints by searching through one’s social media.

5.    Encrypt Your Devices & Communication

Encrypting devices become necessary when organizations move to a more remote, scattered workforce, and you may begin working from home for the first time. Public networks such as WiFi must be avoided while handling sensitive information. In a case of utmost urgency they have to be used, all the information transmitted must be secured by VPNs. Besides, organizations must put policies into place for employees to communicate only via secured channels and avoid using regular applications and email channels that do not provide the requisite encryption and security.

6.    Make Regular Backups

Cyber threats such as ransomware are becoming rampant by the day. It seizes control of a computer or network, disables or encrypt access to files, data, and information, and only allows access when a ransom has been paid. Ransomware attacks are challenging to prevent; hence, one way to tackle them is to regularly backing up data. If one has their data backed up, a ransomware attack will only result in a system reset before normal operations can resume.

The Final Word

As an employee, you must not be hesitant in approaching your IT support team if you receive an email attachment from an unknown sender or an email from someone claiming to be from some governmental organization asking for information, or if you have noticed unusual activity in your official device. Following simple practices such as keeping your passwords updated every few months goes a long way in ensuring safety from cyber threats such as social engineering. While this can be inconvenient, several password management programs can make this part of cyber hygiene much more effortless.

Cyber adversaries can easily exploit your information assets if you are not careful enough. Although public WiFi networks may appear convenient, especially if you’re traveling for work, they can pose a significant security risk. Your home WiFi is secure; however, the café where you choose to work while catching the train or flight isn’t. If you work for an organization, you may even have a legal obligation to keep your online activities private. All this makes it is crucial to follow cyber hygiene best practices.

About Author

Muskaan is a Content Writer & Copywriter with an expertise of over two years. She has majorly been writing in the technical niche. Ever since her very first internship, she’s been keen to explore more on cybersecurity. Additionally, her technology reporting interests include information security, artificial intelligence, AI-ML, etc. Now working as a full-time freelancer, she looks forward to simplifying technology for others through her writing works.

           

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