Here’s To Good Cyber Health In 2018!
Cybersecurity Awareness – By Ron Frechette, The Cyber Guy
January is the time when our new year’s resolutions are hot off the press and we are super motivated to crush the goals we set out to achieve in the new year. It is also the time when many of us schedule our annual physicals or what are known today as Preventive Healthcare exams. A routine examination typically includes our doctors asking a series of questions related to our lifestyle activities, an inspection of our physical bodies, and some internal testing such as blood pressure, heart rate, and lab tests.
Preventive healthcare exams allow our healthcare providers to find potential problems BEFORE we get sick. They also share their expertise to help us ward off potentially fatal infections and prevent long term negative healthcare consequences. There are simple things we can do to increase our health and vitality, like eat nutritious meals, exercise, and get the appropriate amount of rest.
As we embark further into the new Digital Age, we must adopt a similar practice of performing Preventative Cyber Health Exams to protect our digital presence from being infected in cyberspace. The average American spends more than 10 hours a day in front of a digital screen, five hours of which are on a mobile device. Most mobile devices have little to no security controls in place. Combine that with 500,000 new malware viruses being launched into cyberspace daily. The risk of infection is eminent unless we begin to take proactive cyber health measures.
The following checklist will help determine your cyber health status.
|Cyber Health Exam Checklist||Yes||No|
|Do you use unique passwords for EACH of your on-line accounts?|
|Do you routinely scan your devices to insure they are free from viruses?|
|Do you have passcodes set up on all your devices?|
|Do you VERIFY all links and attachments are legitimate before clicking?|
|Do you have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service in place?|
|Do you clear your cache in all your devices on a routine basis?|
|Do you have the “auto save password” in your browser turned off?|
|Do you use Two-Factor Authentication where sensitive data is stored?|
|Do you know how to use the security features on your devices?|
If you answered “No” to most of these questions, it is likely you have poor cybersecurity hygiene and your risk of contracting viruses and becoming a victim of a cyber-attack is extremely high. Don’t be discouraged. Rather use this as a wakeup call to take the appropriate actions towards becoming more cyber health conscious in 2018. If you happened to answer “yes” to most of these questions… congratulations! You are most likely in good health on line.
Like improving our overall physical health, the practice of improving and maintaining good cyber health is a journey not a destination. For detailed instructions on how to implement the above checklist cyber health practices, I highly recommend reading Jill Duffy’s online article in PC Magazine titled, “10 Simple Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online”. The url is also listed in the sources below.
Add increasing cyber health to your list of New Year’s resolutions and I guarantee 2018 will be a year that will truly bring peace of mind and much less worry about having your personal information compromised and used for malicious purposes in the years to come.
Wishing everyone a safe and peaceful new year in cyberspace… and here’s to good cyber health in 2018!!
Questions? Send me a tweet @GoldskyRon.by