Keeping good cyber hygiene: Why and how?

Just like personal hygiene, cyber hygiene is just as important to do.

 

Cyber hygiene refers to how to protect your data online. Whether your actions are unsafe and making yourself vulnerable to potential threats.

 

A study from the BBC in 2018 revealed that more than 52% of Britons ages 18-25 were using the same password for lots of online services. This is a prime example of having bad cyber hygiene.

 

Some other alarming statistics from the report were…

– About 79% of the respondents said they had sent their bank details via online messaging systems

 

– Younger people were more likely to use their email password for other accounts

 

– Some respondents were actively logged into as many as 21 different services

 

 

As we are champions of cyber security and continue to raise awareness about how to keep yourself and sensitive information secure, we thought we would explain a few ways you can keep yourself hygienic in the digital world.

 

Step 1: Backup, backup, and back up your backups!

 

Backing up data always seems to be a sticking point for a lot of individuals. Some are unsure of what types of backups are useful, where others simply don’t remember to undertake it regularly.

 

 

Backing up your files, data and systems are vitally important in 2019. More and more companies are held to ransom or simply being threatened with their entire databases being wiped out. As a managed IT support provider, we always recommend migrating businesses to the cloud.

 

Having your work in a cloud environment ensures your data is backed up regularly and recoverable in the case of an emergency. Read about our disaster recovery solutions here.

 

Step 2: Recycle old IT equipment

 

As technology evolves and progresses, it’s natural to replace equipment and devices. As easy as it is to go out and purchase a new piece of equipment, make sure to properly wipe and remove yourself digitally from these systems.

 

 

Simple steps like performing a complete hard drive wipe are encouraged, but sometimes your data can be left behind. We are experts in complete data removal and can also advise on the proper ways to dispose of old IT equipment. Even providing a certificate of destruction. To find out more, get in touch here.

 

Step 3: Log out of services and devices

Apart from being the victim of a fake baby announcement, or that you’ve just passed your driving test. There are more worrying situations you can find yourself in.

 

Usually, for marketing purposes data is purchased for new business opportunities. However, there are much more sinister ways of obtaining data. Reports have shown that gathering information like usernames and passwords are gathered from users by not logging out properly from public systems or devices.

 

 

The simple answer is to make sure you get into the habit of logging out. Protect your data!

 

Step 4: Regulate and schedule updates

 

A surprising amount of security breaches do stem from the same source, older versions of systems. Declining an update or putting off an update can prove to be catastrophic when a piece of rogue infiltrates your system.

 

Making sure your applications, software and operating system are up to date is a great routine to get into. This can be done by checking for updates using the ‘Check for updates’ application found in the control panel. Or if you don’t trust yourself, simply set up a reoccurring meeting appointment to remind yourself when to check for updates.

 

 

Step 5: Password refresh policy

 

As documented before, we are big believers in refreshing your password every 90 days. It means if your data has been stolen it becomes useless, and challenges you to increase your password security.

 

We’ve written articles about how passwords are commonly cracked, and how you can increase your password security, but the biggest obstacle is making sure your passwords are refreshed.

 

Again, a reoccurring calendar appointment can do this, but there are systems in place that can remind you via your Desktop. We have systems in place to automatically remind users when to refresh their password, even with tips on how long and what alphanumeric combination to use.

Next steps?

If after reading this want to benefit from our cyber security services. Then please get in contact with us on 02920 887 362 or send us an email at info@excellence-it.co.uk

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