In conjunction with the conclusion of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, it’s a good time to remember these cybersecurity reminders from the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to protect sensitive personal data maintained on home computers and personal devices, including electronic financial accounts, healthcare information, and social media profiles. Many households today have parents, tweens, teens and grandparents living under one roof. Each of these age groups is likely to have unique awareness levels and online habits, and ongoing education for all generations is critical. With that in mind, here are five reminders applicable to data of all members of your household:
- Lock down your login: Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Strengthen online accounts and use strong authentication tools like a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device.
- Keep a clean machine: Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including personal computers, smartphones and tablets – current to reduce risk of infection from ransomware and malware.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to compromise your information. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or, if appropriate, mark as junk.
- Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely. If you have a copy of your data and your device falls victim to ransomware or other cyber threats, you will be able to restore the data from a backup.
- Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it: Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it is collected.
By continuously learning and teaching others in your household about and practicing good cybersecurity at home, the entire household and online community at large will reap the benefits of a safer, more secure and connected digital life.
Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob Brewer, Tony McFarland, Elizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.