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A Cyber Security Guide for Home

With more and more reports of computer related crimes in the news, you should do all you can to help safeguard your sensitive information form cybercriminals.

This guide provides some guidelines on how to safeguard your computer systems and data.


Protect your computers

Install software that protects against malware, malicious software and zero day attacks.  Without these protections a cyber criminal could access your computer system and steal passwords or other sensitive information.  Also, use a firewall that can protect against the 5th generation of attacks.


Stronger is better

Use the strongest authentication offered by your various services, i.e. 2 factor authentication or pin verification.  Use passwords that are difficult to guess and keep them secret.  Create  "strong" passwords using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols and consider using phrases for your passwords.  Although using the same password or pin for several accounts can be tempting, doing so means that if you password is compromised, all your accounts are too.  To help with password management, consider using password safes.


Understand Internet Safety Features

When authenticating to a site, verify that you are accessing it using "https://" in the website address and the certificate that it's using is signed by a trusted provider.  Many internet browsers will help with this by showing the address bar green, indicating that the certificate being used is trusted.  Also, look for secure symbols form providers like McAfee on the website.  this will usually indicate the site is scanned regularly for issues.  To learn more about safety steps, review your web browser's user instructions.


Mind where and how you connect

When accessing the internet and only use your own laptop or mobile device through a known, trusted and secure connections.  A public computer, such as at a hotel business center or public library with free WIFI is not necessarily secure.  It can be relatively easy for a cybercriminal to intercept the internet traffic using those systems and network


Email Safety

Employees should be suspicious of unsolicited emails asking them to click on a link or open an attachment.  By doing so your employee may be installing malware on your network.  The safest strategy is to ignore these emails no matter how legitimate they appear.


Be Socially Aware

Social media sites are a gold mine for cyber criminals looking to gain information on people and improving their success rate for attacks. Attacks such as phishing, spear phishing or social engineering all start with collecting personal data on individuals.  So, educate employees to be cautious with sharing on social media sites.  Letting them know that the details gathered could allow cyber criminals to guess security answers that could allow them to reset passwords and gain access to accounts.


Don’t Forget Mobile Devices

Personal mobile devices can be a source of security challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access your business’s network.  So create a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy that outlines what employees can do with their own devices.  Consider allowing only guest access (internet only) for employee owned devices.  Enforce password locks on user owned devices.  Access sensitive information only through encrypted VPN connections.  Do not allow storage of sensitive information on personal devices and have a plan if an employee loses their device.  

To learn more about Cyber Security or to have an in home assessment of your environment, please call us at 941-504-3015 or email