A New Year should mean a new you when it comes to ensuring you keep your devices secure.
Below are some simple cybersecurity resolutions for 2022.
Always check emails for scams
Scams come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter how they’re dressed up, they always want something valuable, URGENTLY. So don’t be rushed—take your time in 2022.
Even if you're expecting an email from someone urgently, make sure it is that person who has actually sent the email to you. Just because it has their name or email address on the email preview doesn't mean it is actually from them. You can check if it is from who you think it is by simply looking at the top of the email and see if the email address is correct. For example if it looks something like this Heath Computers
Never click on any links in an email even it looks genuine! Before you click on a link hover your mouse over the link and where it actually goes should pop up. Make sure where it actually goes and what you see in the email are the same and most importantly go to the correct website!
Always use strong passwords
Strong passwords keep your data safe, so don’t let yourself choose feeble passwords in 2022, and if somebody shares a password with you, or asks for yours, just say “no.”
Never use the same password more than once, yes it can be a pain remembering different passwords all the time so maybe use a password manager such as LastPass or Dashlane they can also randomly generate passwords for you ensuring they are always different!
Don’t use significant dates, words or names for a password. If someone knows you well enough they will try things like your birthday, anniversary, place of birth or a combination of these to crack your password so avoid using them!
Use spurious characters like exclmation marks, @ and dollar signs etc in your password. N.B. the pound sign is not valid for passwords, but the dollar sign is.
Always install updates
Installing updates promptly is one of the best ways to be more cybersecure. Next time an app offers you an update, click “yes” instead of “no”, “cancel” or “remind me later”.
Don't just do the Microsoft updates for your operating system, make sure you update all your applications as vulnerabilities in these programs can also lead to hackers gaining access to your device or data. You could consider using a software updater program for your operating system which will scan your device and inform you of out of date applications.
Always use Antivirus
Antivirus software helps keep your device clear of unwanted viruses.
Always ensure you have some kind of antivirus software installed, even if it's just Windows Defender!
However having it installed isn't all you have to do.
You should regularly make sure the definitions and the program are up to date and you should also regularly run scans of your device.
Better still, if your AV program allows it, then schedule a scan at least once a month to ensure your device is clean and healthy!
Consider Malware as well
As well as having antivirus software installed, you should also consider installing a good anti-malware program for additional protection that antivirus programs may not guard you against.
For more information see my What is Malware blog.
Good Cyber Security begins and ends with you!
Cyber security changes rapidly with new technology and solutions emerging all the time. To help combat it you should always think of the following:
- If you’re not sure of an emails origins then delete it, don’t open any links in it!
- Never give out your passwords
- Don’t use significant dates, words or names for a password
- Always make sure your software is up to date
- Use Antivirus and Malware programs, and run regular scans