Basic Security Reminders

Cybersecurity and I.T. security are all over the news, easy to discuss, and even easier to dismiss. We all agree that I.T. security is important; many of us have been victims of data hacks and data breaches. Yet, we’re so quick to break basic security policies to secure our most important data.

Expecting all of us to be security experts is unrealistic. However a quick review of some easy-to-remember I.T. security policies that are easy for you, the end-user, to implement is always in-order!

Passwords are like underwear! Change them often! Four important password rules:

Change your passwords often.

Never share your password with anyone or anything. Anything? Yes, use a separate password for your email, your banking, your computer etc.

Complex passwords are best. Use a lyric from your favorite band! “Singing in the sunshine.” is very difficult to crack, but easy to remember.

Don’t write your passwords down. Memorize your passwords! (back to song lyrics – easy to remember, tough to crack!)

Apply software patches regularly. Your I.T. provider likely does this for you on your business PCs (if not, ask why not!). Keeping Windows, OSX, iPhones, Android, Java, Adobe etc. up-to-date is critical to protecting your data.

Public WiFi is NOT secure. Public/Shared WiFi can be convenient, however do not do anything important over public WiFi unless you know how to properly encrypt the data. No banking! It is EASY for a user with very limited knowledge to see everything you’re doing on a public hot spot.

Encrypt your devices. Encrypting your smartphone and your laptop is easy. If you need help, ask your I.T. provider (it’s literally a 5 minute job and goes a loooong way towards protecting your data in the case of loss of theft).

Admittedly, there’s a lot more to data security than the four items listed above. However, many of the viruses, malware and hacks that you read about on the news take advantage of a disregard of one or more of the basic, easy-to-follow security policies above.