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Cybersecurity: Best Practices

The recent attacks on some of our largest international corporations have left a meteoric hole in our beliefs about the safety of the internet. The supine response of these corporations has left a bad taste in our mouths and have beleaguered our sense of security. Considering this, we are now collectively understanding the importance of cybersecurity. It is an issue that affects individuals and businesses alike with potential ramifications that can be the life or death of anyone or anything.

Therefore, it is incredibly important to stay diligent and informed about all hacks and breaches wherever they might occur. Even with the congressional action taken, it is by no means a resolved issue. In 2014 there were 14 million small businesses hacked alone which is an absurd number. This is primarily due to their inability to prevent a cyber threat or deal with digital breach. Hackers are known to bug ads on small business websites and use them as portals to individual’s personal networks. The small businesses are also easily breached, and, with minimal pen testing, they can be exposed to malicious actors who want credit card details and the like.

This is simply because most business owners and individuals do not know how to adequately protect themselves digitally. Some, unsurprisingly, still do not find that they need to secure themselves because they have purchased a well-known antivirus software package. This, again unfortunately, is not enough to stop a targeted attack although they can root out existing pups and can screen webpages. No, in fact, it is up to all of us to become better educated on how to prevent targeted attacks from being so effective and to better prepare to dissuade malicious actors in the first place.

Passwords Are The Front Line

One thing that is known to be true in the world of cybersecurity is that the password can make or break your security altogether. This is not to say that a good password is all you need, but, it can dramatically reduce your targeting and can make life hard on those who want to infiltrate your systems. A proper, strong password consists of a few variables like a length of at least 8 characters, alphanumeric characters with mixed cases and special characters.

These properties combine to make a serious roadblock for anyone who wishes to access your information without permission. It is, unfortunately, oftentimes overlooked and scoffed at as a useless annoyance. Truthfully, it is an invaluable tool that can make your critical systems impervious to physical attacks. Just always be sure to store the password(s) in a safe location either physical or digital.

Protect Everything with Encryption

Using encryption is key to having a robust self implemented security system for your digital information and data. It is not as difficult as it sounds and can grant you a certain peace of mind as your data is behind multiple walls. Essentially you are password protecting every file in your computer including very important architecture that your system relies on to operate. This type of file protection is key to mitigating damage in the event of a successful hack and dissuading certain hackers from going any further.

For a business, it can slow down the event of a hack and allow for a quick and measured response. Adopting incredible and cutting-edge tech is sometimes a great option. There are simpler, cheaper fixes as well. There is also the matter of encrypting your physical ports so that your systems do not allow access to any unknown devices. This can nullify any physical attempts on your computer that use a USB or Disk of any kind. The initialization of this type of security can be the defining line between good security and horrible loopholes.

Defend Yourself with VPN

VPNs, or virtual private networks, are secure networks that essentially hide your data online and prevent Wi-Fi scanners from detecting your computer on public networks. They basically simulate a private environment wherever you go. This prevents hackers from compromising your connection and using it to transfer malware or other vicious software to your computer.

It can also obscure your location and details to make sure that any information that is intercepted without permission will be, at the very least, incorrect. There are a few services that are both free and premium that provide VPN services, choosing one is matter of need.

Conclusion

We all are too aware of the great need for cybersecurity in our lives. As we now know, if we do not implement our own system then we will be left high and dry, sometimes even compromised by our most trusted sites. By using strong passwords, encrypting files and using VPNs we can assure that our information will be safe as it can be under the regime of our own volition. Time will hopefully mend the mistrust between people and businesses, but in the meantime, it is imperative that you implement the best system you can.

 

May 29, 2018

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