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Our 2016 Cyber Safety Refresher

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Thu, Jan 07, 2016 at 2:50AM

The holiday season may be winding to a close—and you might be taking a break from online shopping for a while—but it’s always a good idea to stay safe and alert while browsing, shopping or conducting business online. In today’s blog, we will be discussing a few timeless cyber safety tips that you and your business should follow in 2016.

Don’t underestimate the power of passwords

Even though the field of cybersecurity is growing every year, one of the simplest means of protecting yourself online—the password—is still one of the best. If you don’t have one already, choose a password that’s easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. Use letters from favorite song lyrics, password patterns using your children’s initials and ages, or other personal formulas that will create complex, hard-to-guess combinations. While a seemingly jumbled set of letters and numbers may seem hard to remember, you might be surprised at just how quickly you learn to type it out when logging onto your bank website, company database, or even social media.

Of course, with every strong password comes the need for equally strong password safety. Don’t share your password with others, and avoid leaving it scrawled out on notes or other documents that can be accessed by others.

Be wary online

If you’re suspicious about something online, trust your gut! Avoid clicking on suspicious links on websites or within emails from unfamiliar senders. Even if an unsolicited email seems legitimate, check and double check the sender address it is coming from, and be sure that it’s your real bank/online store/etc. and not an imposter with a similar-sounding name. A bit of vigilance now can pay off greatly later on—and, fortunately, it doesn’t cost a thing!

Stagger employees’ security access

In most cases, there’s no reason for every employee to have access to every document or program used in your company. Stager access and have restrictions in place so that you can know and trust who has access to potentially sensitive information.

Limit online activity

We know that so much of your social and professional life takes place online—but, when possible, avoid logging onto sites and services you don’t really need (or could otherwise do in person). The less sites and services you use, the less passwords and security risks you’ll have to keep track of—and that can make you at least a little bit safer online.

Use multiple levels of protection

Ideally, there should be something more than a password login protecting your documents and sensitive information from outside interference. Multiple levels of protection can make your devices even more secure, which is always a good thing.

Practice common sense

As always, it’s a good idea to practice common sense both on and offline. When browsing the web, know that most ads or emails you come across promoting deals that are just too good to be true, usually are!

If you receive emails or phone calls asking for emergency cash or money transfer, always be cautious and check with someone else (like a relative, store or financial institution, depending on the nature of the request) before forking over your hard-earned money and, in some cases, identifying information.

And finally, be smart about using your phone and computer in public. Never leave your devices unattended, and always protect them with at least a password.

By following these tips, you should experience a greater peace of mind when it comes to cybersecurity in 2016.

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