Lock, Block, and Secure: Solutions to Increase Cyber Security

grey lock icon and digital lines on bright green background

Online threats are unavoidable in today’s digital world. If you have a device and internet access, your information is susceptible to attack. And while AI can be used to prevent cyberattacks, it can also be used to implement them. Protecting your business, its brand, intellectual information, and other private digital information is more important than ever. It can also be an overwhelming task. Here are some solutions you can implement to help protect your digital information from cyber threats.

Set Up a Network Firewall

A network firewall is a software or device that monitors incoming and outgoing data on your network, and blocks or allows information to come through based on set security rules. Firewalls are the first line of defense in cyber security, as they can block a large amount of malicious traffic before it enters a network. If you look on the settings panel of your computer you can see that you may have firewall settings from your operating system (Windows, Apple, etc.) that can be turned on or off. Make sure yours is turned on if you don’t have another form of firewall in play. There is also 3rd party firewall software that can be installed to keep data secure.

Use VPN for New Wireless Networks

When you are working away from your office or home, you may link up to public wifi networks to work remotely. Using open wifi networks can make your laptop or mobile phone highly susceptible to an attack. To minimize the risks of attack when connecting to a wifi network at a restaurant, library, hotel or other location away from home, you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Keep in mind that VPN’s are not free, and there are many different types to choose from based on your budget and data needs.

Strengthen and Protect your Passwords

Weak passwords can make it easy for hackers to access your accounts. It is difficult to come up with a unique and secure password for every login you have and even harder to keep track of them all. Good news is that there are many password management tools that you can choose from to help you create, store and organize your account passwords.

Security and Software Updates

When is the last time you checked your device’s security and software update status? Every device including your computer, printer, wifi router, and phone have regular software updates that fix errors and provide more security. Security software itself may need to be updated as well. Make sure to check your device settings to keep them up to date and keep hackers out of your system.

Turn on Advanced Device Locks

It is easy to skip over the pin or fingerprint login setup when you get a new device. Don’t do it! Make sure to include additional locks to keep your device safe in case it is lost or stolen, or even if you step away from it momentarily. Locking your device can be a real life saver and it only takes less than a minute to them set up.

Use 2-Factor Logins

Yes, I know, they can be a pain. This adds another step to login. But this step is worth it! Hackers and data breach incidents abound on Facebook, Twitter, Google and other digital platforms There is a reason these platforms strongly recommend setting up the 2-factor logins.

Delete and Report Suspicious Messages

When you receive a message or email that looks suspicious, it’s always best to be cautious. It could mean someone is up to no good! To keep yourself safe:

  • Do not click on any links in these messages.
  • When replying to social media messages, be careful not to share any personal information such as your phone number, email or address.
  • If you are already logged into one of these platforms and are asked to log in again to view a specific message, someone is probably trying to steal your credentials.

By following the above tips, you can avoid falling victim to online scams and keep your information secure.

It is very important to keep your digital data safe and secure. But it also can be very time-consuming. If you find these tasks will take more time than you wish to devote in-house, hiring an IT professional could be a wise investment. IT specialists can help you connect your devices to a secure network and install the most suitable software for your business. Cybersecurity is an essential aspect of business that shouldn’t be overlooked. Safeguard your valuable data! If you don’t take the steps to do so, who will?

portrait of Rachel Eager, Marketing Strategist at Top of the List LLC

Rachel Eager

Marketing Strategist, Top Of The List

Rachel, armed with a BFA in Graphic Design from Grand Valley State University, is a seasoned marketing professional known for her expertise in both traditional and digital strategies. Her technical prowess extends to web design and content creation, and she’s driven by a passion for helping businesses reach their target audiences. In her leisure time, you’ll find her enjoying outdoor activities like kayaking and motorcycle riding.

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