In today’s world, nearly everything is interconnected. While this provides many great conveniences it does increase the risk of sensitive information landing in unwanted hands. It seems every other week there is news about a new security breach and, while these may be out of your hands, there are things you can start doing right now to minimize having your sensitive info or data hacked.
- Never write passwords down, especially on a sticky note around your desk.
- Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
- Never share your passwords with anyone.
- Use strong passwords with upper case, lower case, numbers, special characters, and at least 8 characters, overall.
- Avoid common passwords like “Password1”, “abc123”, “123456”, etc.
- Do not open emails, attachments, or click links in emails from people you don’t know or are not expecting.
- Do not click on links in emails that ask you to type in your credentials. Always visit the desired site by typing it into your web browser. A common trick called “phishing” is where you are routed to a look-alike site and have to put your info in.
- One common method is someone gets hacked and email is sent out to people in their address book. If the sender is familiar but not the content of what they sent, use caution.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is (free games, easy money, you’ll never believe this one secret, etc).
- Never login into an unsecure website. Depending on your browser, a secure site is usually indicated by a lock icon.
- Avoid clicking on advertisements or pop-up ads. This is a good way to get unwanted cookies or malware on your computer.
- Make sure all your mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, etc) have a lock screen with a password, pin, or other form of security.
- Lock your computer whenever you walk away by pressing “Windows Key + L.”
- Reboot once a week. Some Windows updates cannot apply until your PC is rebooted, which can prevent other updates from applying. This may also help with general performance of your PC as well.
This list only scratches the surface, but hopefully it has provided some good ideas about what you can do. Ultimately, if you are ever in doubt, get a second opinion from your IT department (if that’s Everon, call us at 888-244-1748) before clicking that link or opening that email!