Everyday people have a huge role to play in cybersecurity threat prevention, detection, and remediation.
With that, here are a few key best practices that everyday people can implement today to enhance their own cybersecurity and create a more secure world for everyone.
Phishing – when a cybercriminal poses as a legitimate party in hopes of getting individuals to engage with malicious content or links – remains one of the most popular tactics among cybercriminals today. In fact, 80% of cybersecurity incidents stem from a phishing attempt. However, while phishing has gotten more sophisticated, keeping an eye out for typos, poor graphics and other suspicious characteristics can be a telltale sign that the content is potentially coming from a “phish.” In addition, if you think you have spotted a phishing attempt be sure to report the incident so that internal IT teams and service providers can remediate the situation and prevent others from possibly becoming victims.
Having unique, long, and complex passwords is one of the best ways to immediately boost your cybersecurity. Yet, only 43% of the public say that they “always” or “very often” use strong passwords. Password cracking is one of the go-to tactics that cybercriminals turn to to access sensitive information. And if you are a “password repeater,” once a cybercriminal has hacked one of your accounts, they can easily do the same across all your accounts.
One of the biggest reasons that individuals repeat passwords is that it can be tough to remember all the passwords you have. Fortunately, by using a password manager, individuals can securely store all their unique passwords in one place. Meaning, people only must remember one password. In addition, password managers are incredibly easy to use and can automatically plug-in stored passwords when you visit a site.
Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) – which prompts a user to input a second set of verifying information such as a secure code sent to a mobile device or to sign-in via an authenticator app – is a hugely effective measure that anyone can use to drastically reduce the chances of a cybersecurity breach. In fact, according to Microsoft, MFA is 99.9 percent effective in preventing breaches. Therefore, it is necessary for any individual that is looking to secure their devices and accounts.
Making sure devices are always up to date with the most recent versions is essential to preventing cybersecurity issues from cropping up. Cybersecurity is an ongoing effort, and updates are hugely important in helping to address vulnerabilities that have been uncovered as well as in providing ongoing maintenance. Therefore, instead of trying to remember to check for updates or closing out of update notifications, enable automatic update installations whenever possible.
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