How Clean is Your Data? 7 Vital Cyber Security Hygiene Tips

Over the past year or so you have spent a lot of time thinking about good hygiene.

You have washed your hands to the point of chapping, used so much hand sanitizer your skin permanently smells like alcohol and wiped down every arriving package that shows up on your porch.

Those hygiene measures are certainly important and potentially even life saving, but when was the last time you thought about the cleanliness of your data?

Whether you telecommute for an employer or run your own at-home business, practicing good cyber security hygiene is vitally important as well, and here are seven steps to get you started.

  1. Make sure your Wi-Fi router has a solid password and the latest security. The router is the gateway to your network, and your data, so make sure it is locked down securely and enhanced with the most up to date security measures.
  2. Set up a password change routine and stick to it. Creating strong passwords is only half the cyber security battle; the other half is updating those credentials on a regular basis. Setting reminders for password changes is a vital part of cyber security hygiene, so grab your calendar and get going.
  3. Install protective software on all your devices. You will want to protect every device in your home with the right software, including antivirus, malware detection and a good firewall. Make sure this protective software is running on your smartphone and tablet as well as your desktop or laptop.
  4. Back up your data daily and test the backups regularly. With ransomware attacks on the rise, you cannot afford to be without good backups, so set a protocol in place and test it regularly. Spot checking backed up files for completeness and integrity is vital, and it only takes a few minutes.
  5. Know your files. Some types of files are more potentially damaging than others, so get to know those extensions and do what you can to protect yourself. Never open executable files, those with the .exe extension, unless you are absolutely certain of their source.
  6. Lock your screens when you step away. You never know who might be watching, so set a timer on your smartphone, tablet and laptop that will lock the screen after a period of inactivity. Also be sure to manually lock all of your devices whenever you step away.
  7. Stay informed about the latest security risks and cyber security dangers. The threats to cyber security are always changing, and it is important to stay informed. Being aware of the dangers is a critical first step, so educate yourself and learn about all the bad things that are lurking out there in cyberspace.

Personal hygiene is obviously very important, more so than ever before. In an increasingly dangerous world you cannot be too careful when protecting yourself from bacteria, viruses and other nasty stuff, but protecting your files from digital dangers is important as well, and the steps outlined can help you do just that.