While our New Year’s plans in 2021 may look different than we originally planned, there is still an opportunity for us to set New Year’s resolutions. Whether or not you’re a follower of setting resolutions, there are things we can all do to help stop cybercrime this new year. For most people, that means following a few simple steps to keep yourself safe. For others, that means protecting your business with the best antivirus of 2021.
Imagineering has put together a list of 8 ways that you can protect yourself and your business from cybercrime in the new year:
1. Invest in Security Awareness Training
Outsmarting cybercriminals starts by educating yourself and your employees. This is especially true as your company finds more ways to stay connected virtually. Human error is a real threat to many businesses, and the larger your business, the larger your threat.
Users need security awareness training to learn how to spot phishing attacks. By empowering your employees to identify fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information or data via electronic communications, you are strengthening your human firewall.
2. Use a Password Manager
If you fall into the majority, chances are you are using simple passwords because it’s convenient and easy to remember. But most memorable passwords are highly vulnerable for hackers to crack. Among the most common passwords of 2020 are:
If your password is on this list, you need to change it now.
Protect yourself in the new year by using strong passwords with 20 characters that include a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Using a password manager, such as Keeper, makes it easy to securely store all of your passwords with only one password to remember.
3. Keep Your Software Updated
Keeping your software updated is especially important in regards to your operating systems as well as internet security software. Cybercriminals frequently use known exploits, or flaws, in your software to gain access to your system. Start the new year off right by updating your software and patching those exploits to make it less likely that you will become a target.
4. Manage Your Social Media Settings
If you are on social media, it is crucial to keep your personal and private information locked down. Social engineering cybercriminals can often get your personal information with just a few clicks, so the less you share publicly, the better. For instance, if you post public photos of your pet along with your pet’s name, you might expose the answer to a common security question.
Check your social media settings and make sure to double-check your public settings, such as who can see, like, or comment on your pictures and other profile information. It would also be a good time to change and strengthen your social media passwords, as well as enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).
5. Strengthen Your Network
As the way we work continues to evolve, it’s a good idea to strengthen your network so you and your employees can work safely in the office, from home, and on the road. A virtual private network (VPN) will encrypt all traffic leaving your devices until it arrives at its destination. If cybercriminals do manage to hack your communication line, they won’t intercept anything but encrypted data. It’s also a good idea to use a VPN whenever you use a public Wi-Fi network, like at a library, café, hotel, or airport.
6. Keep Up-to-Date on Security Breaches
It seems like every day there is a new major data breach announced that affects thousands of people. From Target to Facebook, it can seem like no one is safe. If you do business with or have an account on a website that’s been impacted by a security breach, you will likely receive word via email, and if it’s large enough, the news. Find out what information the hackers accessed and always change your password immediately.
7. Use a Full-Scale Antivirus Program
Protect yourself from online threats with a cloud security solution, keeping you safe no matter where you connect, or how. With Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus — PCmag.com’s Best Antivirus of 2021 for Small Size Businesses — you will get real-time protection against malware including ransomware and viruses.
8. Know What to Do If You Become a Victim
If you believe that you have become a victim of a cybercrime, a few steps you should consider taking are:
- Contact the companies/banks where the fraud occurred
- Contact your IT department or IT company to alert them of the attack and what information may have been compromised
- Place fraud alerts on your account(s)
- Change your password(s), and ensure they are strong
Nearly half of all consumers have been a victim of a cybercrime. With every link that is clicked, email that is opened, an app that is downloaded, and network that is joined is just another opportunity for hackers to compromise your data. Imagineering proudly offers Webroot Antivirus Software, named Best Antivirus of 2021, for complete protection from viruses and identity theft for all your devices, without slowing you or your business down.