With National Cybersecurity Awareness Month wrapping up on Halloween, this is a good time to review how to keep zombies, mummies, and monsters out of your network.
These five tips can help protect your network from things that creep up on you or lurk on the dark web:
1. Don't click links from strangers
While we're taught not to accept sweets from strangers (unless on Halloween night), clicking on links from unknown sources can be equally perilous. Phishing schemes are meant to make you believe you're visiting a legitimate website before attempting to steal your login credentials, financial information, or account information. Instead of clicking a link in a questionable email or message, check the information with a reliable source, such as a company website.
2. Use a strong password to safeguard your candy
Creating and maintaining a strong, secure password is just as important as protecting your candy from the hands of the neighborhood bully, an older sibling, or your parents on Halloween night. Making a strong password with capital and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation is one of the best and easiest ways to keep your accounts secure. It's also critical to use unique passwords for each account and to change them periodically, typically every 6 to 8 weeks.
3. beware of lurking monsters
While most monsters in the real world vanish after Halloween, online monsters can penetrate your computer and remain undetected for months. When you use a public Wi-Fi network at a restaurant, coffee shop, or town center, your computer is open to data assaults. It is critical to use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt traffic between your devices on public, unsecured networks when using a public network.
4. put your personal information into a costume
It's frowned upon to go trick-or-treating without a costume, just as it's frowned upon to communicate personal information over the internet without encryption. Using a secure network or website encrypts your data and converts it into an unreadable code. Using a secure website (https) rather than an app on your mobile device increases security.
5. make sure you don't leave a candy trail
It's simple to quickly post a photo of a costume, your candy haul, or any frightening décor you may have spotted while trick-or-treating. Many social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and others, include location services as part of the app's functionality. With more GPS-enabled gadgets being used every day, cyber thieves may utilize your location information to find out when you're gone and where you're going, providing them a window into your personal information.