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03
Nov
2020
How to Live a Healthy Cyber Life

How to Live a Healthy Cyber Life

The Keys to Device Hygiene

As with automobiles, buildings and our own bodies, devices require a bit of maintenance. Failing to take basic proactive steps, such as updating apps and deleting and organizing files, can lead not only to degraded performance but also adds security risks. At your workplace, it is your responsibility to follow policies your company has put into place which are aimed at proper device maintenance. If you’re unsure of those policies, ask!   A small commitment to device hygiene yields reliable functionality and reduced security risks.

Keeping your machine clean and running properly doesn’t require a ton of work. Here are a few great tools that can help you live a healthy cyber life. As always, never install third-party apps on work-issued devices unless policy allows. Here are some apps to consider:

Password Manager: Having trouble remembering all the logins for all of your accounts? Get a password manager! It creates, stores, and syncs your usernames and passwords across multiple devices.

VPN: Short for virtual private network, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic to prevent cybercriminals from intercepting and stealing your data on public WiFi networks.

Antivirus: One of the most inexpensive and basic options, software that prevents viruses or malware should be utilized on desktops and devices alike.

Find My Phone: Most smartphones offer a service that allows you to locate your phone from a different device and ping it to ring or completely reset it to default, which erases all sensitive data.

Authenticator: Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, requires something you know (your password) plus something you have (your phone) in order to log into an account. Authenticator apps improve on traditional, less secure 2FA methods such as sending codes to your phone number or email address.

 

Here’s a small Smartphone Security Checklist to keep in mind.

Remove unused apps (Digital cleaning)

App permissions reviewed (not everything needs access to your location)

Antivirus software installed (it is a computer, after all)

Password protected and lock screen after a short period of no use (it is simply common sense)

VPN installed (never connect to public WiFi without one)

Auto update enabled (updates often patch security flaws and glitches)

Backed up (either to the cloud, a computer, or both)

 

The CIA of Device Hygiene

Confidentiality: Keeping secrets secret

Secrets require strong passwords! Every device should be protected with a strong passcode, and lock screens should automatically initiate after a short period of non-use. That way, if it ends up in a stranger’s hands, they won’t easily gain access to all your sensitive info.

Integrity: preventing flaws

One of the easiest security incidents you can avoid is the exploitation of outdated software and firmware. Most devices and apps allow you to enable auto-update, which keeps them functional and upgraded with the latest security patches. Cybercriminals can sometimes use outdated software as a backdoor to gain unauthorized access to devices and computers.

Availability: ensuring secure access

Data is useless if it can’t be accessed or located. Since devices can’t last forever, we should always view them as temporary and keeps them backed up. And don’t underestimate the benefits of proper file management! If you can’t find it, you can’t secure it.

Lastly:

Never share your credentials, digital or physical, with anyone for any reason.

Strong passwords aren’t enough. Create a unique password for each account.

Avoid assumptions. If something seems unusual, report it immediately.

Always follow policy. Circumventing organizational policy places everyone at risk.

 

Looking for help in organizing your device hygiene for your organization?  Don't hesitate to reach out to us.

navitend can help you.  Call 973.448.0070 or setup an appointment today.  Book Now

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