After last week’s global cyber-attack, we could all use a good refresher on how to keep personal information safe online. It’s become easier for hackers to hide behind your screen and prompt you to hand over information with a click of the right button. ‘Hackers’ refers to anyone you haven’t expressed permission to give information to. Start turning the following actions into a weekly habit of yours whether at the office or on a personal computer at home:
1. Update Your Operating System Regularly
If you are using a PC, run Windows Updates as often as you receive them. Our tech team at Informatics constantly reminds the rest of us to run available updates. Don’t have the time during the work day? Schedule them to run during afterhours. You can make it even easier by turning on “Automatic Updates” if need be.
2. Upgrade Your Operating System
The cyber-attack from last week involved WannaCry Ransomware which specifically targeted unsupported versions of Windows such as Windows XP and Windows 8. Supported Operating Systems such as Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 were patched from this vulnerability back in March 2017.
3. Use Antivirus Software
Constantly keep your Antivirus Software up-to-date. Make it a priority to recognize which antivirus software works best for you and update it on a regular basis.
4. Change Your Passwords
We’ve all been guilty of using pet names or hometowns for passwords. Now is the time to change them because it is one of the simplest things you can do to prevent digital invasion. Updating your passwords becomes even easier with password managers such as eWallet or 1Password. These applications can remind you to update your passwords on a monthly basis.
5. Use FileVault or BitLocker to Protect Your Hard Drive
As soon as someone gets ahold of your computer, they can access all of your unencrypted files throughout your entire hard drive. Using FileVault or BitLocker automatically encrypts your files without adding any extra step to the saving process.
*As an Added Tip, It Never Hurts to Cover Your Webcam
As soon as your personal data is breached, hackers have unlimited opportunities to take over your life. Don’t underestimate your vulnerability online. One click to a seemingly harmless link can lead to a long chain of attacks. Emails are a good example of this. Take initiative on protecting your personal information now because it will pay off in the long run. In fact, as the writer of this blog, I find myself missing a few of these actions that need to be followed up on. To stay better informed about topics like these, follow our weekly blogs.