Cyber Security Tips for Individuals
Hacking, phishing and malware incidents are becoming more common in today’s tech-focused world. As cyber criminals continue to find new ways to gain access to your private information, it’s imperative for consumers to do everything they can to protect themselves online. Here at Bearingstar Insurance, we want to educate our customers on the critically important steps to take to fight against cyber threats. To help, we’re offering ten cyber security steps to follow as well as information on available insurance options to further protect your online identity.
10 Steps to Take to Safeguard Your Information
1) Use Anti-Virus Protection
Installing anti-virus programs onto your devices can help minimize your risk of a malicious attack. In addition to protecting your computer, think of other devices you use — like your smartphone or tablet.
2) Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
In addition to installing security software, it’s important to update this software on a regular basis. Software updates address new vulnerabilities and can improve functionality.
3) Use Strong Passwords
Often times, a password is your first line of defense against hackers. When creating a strong password, use at least eight characters, including upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. It’s also important to use different passwords for all your logins. Take the time to regularly change passwords as well. Click here for more tips on creating strong passwords.
4) Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor or two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection to your standard password login. When setting security questions, do not select things that have obvious answers or things that could be easily guessed, like your street name or birthday.
5) Beware of Common Scams
Education and awareness are key to guarding against cyber threats. A common way hackers can steal your information is through phishing. Be suspicious of emails or advertisements offering large discounts or promotions. It’s best to not open emails or click links from unfamiliar email addresses, as they could infect your device with malware.
6) Protect Your Personal Information
In the age of technology, it’s important to review your privacy settings for any social media networks and be cautious of the information you share online.
7) Backup Your Data
In the event that your data is deleted or corrupted from a cyber attack, the only way to restore your data is to delete the corrupted files from your operating systems. You can then restore them with your most recent backup.
8) Secure Your Mobile Device
Your desktop computer, laptop, or tablet are not the only devices that can be targeted by hackers. Your mobile device also needs to be guarded. Create a strong mobile password to access your phone and only install applications from trusted and reviewed sources. Just like your other devices, you’ll also want to regularly update the software on your phone and perform regular data backups.
9) Avoid Free or Public WiFi
It’s recommended that you don’t use free or public WiFi when making purchases online, checking your bank account, or sharing other personal information. These networks are often not secure and are vulnerable to hackers.
10) Review Your Accounts Regularly
Another step to protecting your private information is regularly checking your accounts. Checking your bank statements and credit report on a regular basis allows you to monitor all activity and identify anything suspicious.
Added Cyber Security Protection
In our interconnected world, an added layer of protection may be right for you and your family. Arbella Insurance offers a comprehensive, bundled coverage option for Massachusetts residents that can protect against a range of personal cyber threats. This coverage includes protection for losses that result from compromised data on personal computers, mobile devices, and other connected home technology, as well as damage to software and operating systems and even cyberbullying incidents.
There are multiple steps that must be taken to protect your personal information in the age of technology and cyber threats, but Bearingstar’s experienced insurance professionals are here to support you and offer guidance to help keep you safe. Contact us today for more information about cyber security protection and best practices.