How to Protect Yourself From Cyber Threats
As millions around the globe continue to work from home, it’s important to remain vigilant when it comes to staying safe online. Here are five cybersecurity tips that you can start utilizing today.
Tip #1: Use Public Wi-Fi With Caution
While most of us have been keeping our distance, there’s a chance that coffee shops and co-working spaces will be opening up again soon. If you decide to relocate your virtual office to a public space, it’s crucial that you still utilize a secure internet connection. Public Wi-Fi, especially when it’s not password protected, is not secure and can easily be infiltrated.
Some options when using wi-fi outside of your home or office include:
- Activating a personal hotspot from your phone or personal computer.
- Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which provides a secure connection to different services (web pages, email, a SQL server, etc.).
- Establish encrypted remote connections to a remote desktop or other individual servers.
Tip #2: Keep Work Data on Your Work Computer
It may not seem like a big deal if you do some work on your personal computer, but in some cases, it can be. If your company has a dedicated IT person or team, it’s likely they’re sending important updates to your work computer, regularly running antivirus scans and blocking malicious sites. In other words, your work computer may have preventative work and maintenance done on it to help keep your information safe and protected online. Unless you’re diligently doing the same at home, your personal computer may not be as well protected.
Tip #3: Avoid Email Scams and Phishing
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, remain vigilant of potential scam emails, either by unknown addresses or by scammers posing as people/businesses you know. Once a scammer gains your trust or injects an undetected virus, they may try to steal important information such as passwords, account numbers or your Social Security number. Don’t click on unknown links!
Tip #4: Be Selective When Using USB Flash Drives
You may have various thumb drives sitting around the house that you’ve acquired over the years. If you can’t remember where it came from, think twice before using it.
Tip #5: Keep your Passwords Safe
Make sure that you keep your computer, email and important passwords safe and secure. In order to do so, you may want to consider using a password-managing tool, such as LastPass. These third-party tools allow you to safely store passwords you typically use online, saving you the headache of having to remember multiple passwords across various sites.
In regards to password creation and maintenance, here are a few tips you can follow to help keep your accounts secure:
- Don’t use real words
- Don’t use personal information
- Create long passwords (add numbers at the end to “pad” your password)
- Change passwords regularly
- Don’t type them on public devices
Do you have questions? Would you like additional information about our services? Please connect with us.
Karen L. Asbra, CFP®
Karen is a Senior Financial Advisor and Chief Operating Officer at Rappaport Reiches Capital Management. Karen is a strategic partner to her clients, bringing discipline and clarity to achieving their goals. Please connect with Karen below. She loves to talk about investing, financial planning, and Broadway musicals.