October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It’s a great opportunity to review the basics of cybersecurity with your employees. 

Cybersecurity is a complex and ever-evolving field. To many people, it can seem daunting and confusing. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to boost cybersecurity on a user level. 

We’ve collected ten of the most simple and effective ways to boost your cybersecurity. Sharing these simple security measures with your team will help boost the security of your business by minimizing the risk of human error.

Strengthen Your Passwords

Your passwords are the first barrier protecting your confidential information from hackers, so practice using strong ones. Get creative with the passwords you choose by replacing letters with punctuations marks, deliberately misspelling words, and using long passphrases. The greater mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters you use, the harder it is for hackers to crack.

You should also use a different password for each account you have. The more you reuse passwords, the weaker your security will be. Proofpoint offers great training programs to help employees understand and implement effective password security.

Use A Password Manager

Passwords that are easy to remember are often easier to hack. A password manager can be very helpful in keeping all your passwords memorized so that you don’t have to. It can even suggest strong passwords for you!

There are lots of password manager platforms and services available. To get started, here is a roundup of some of the best password managers out there.

Avoid Oversharing On Social Media

Even simple information that you post on social media, like your favorite coffee shop, can be used against you. Names, addresses, and even vacation plans can give criminals the information they need to target you. If someone posts personal information without your consent, ask them to remove it promptly.

Another dangerous aspect of social media is location sharing services that allow people to see where you are at any time. Always disable these services in your apps, and be mindful of what someone can learn about you based on your social media.

Update Your Software

Your software is important and is always being improved, whether on your computer or mobile devices. Don’t delay recommended updates! They contain important patches to fix security issues. Not updating software leaves you vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

Secure Your Network

Your personal network is rarely going to be as secure as the one you use when you’re at work. It’s essential that you’re securing your network as much as possible. Get in touch with your network provider and ask if there’s anything you can do in order to strengthen and protect your network from harm.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication requires multiple steps to access an account. Often, this means you need a password and authentication via your phone. It can help take your security to the next level.

Multi-factor authentication has definitely helped many people and organizations strengthen their security. Many businesses, such as banks, now require it.

Watch For Phishing Emails

Many cyber criminals send fraudulent emails that imitate those from well-respected sites. These phishing attempts try to get you to reveal personal information by clicking on links, opening attachments, and responding to requests. If you aren’t sure if the message is truly from the company (or individual) it expresses to represent, call the company directly and ask.

ISG Technology partners with Proofpoint for security awareness training. They have many resources available to help teams identify phishing emails.

Check Emails For Suspicious Hyperlinks

One aspect of phishing prevention is to always double-check links in emails, especially those in unexpected messages. Always be wary of what you click on. Before clicking on a link in an email, hover over the link to see where it directs to. If it looks suspicious, don’t click.

Install Antivirus Software

The antivirus software that you have on your devices is going to add that extra layer of security and highlight any potential dangers before you encounter them. They can scan your devices routinely and alert you to any suspicious activity or threats when they occur. 

It’s a good idea to choose an antivirus that is both effective and lightweight. That way, it will be able to combat modern threats without bogging down your computer as it scans. For this aspect of security, ISG Technology recommends Webroot.

Be Deliberate About App Privileges

Apps on your mobile device often ask for permission to access aspects of your data, such as the device’s location. But you shouldn’t grant the permissions without considering it first. If the request doesn’t make sense, or is for more information that seems reasonable, don’t grant it. This is especially true with less reputable apps.

As the rate of cybercrime is rising, your personal cybersecurity is something you should always be proactive about. These ten tools and habits will prevent the loss of your personal data, as well as minimize the risk of a breach for your company.