Cybercriminals cast their net wide to increase the opportunity of capturing unsuspecting victims like you. Everyone is vulnerable. Use the following 10 best practices to increase your cyber security.

  1. Protect passwords. Never write down passwords where others can access them. Create and use only strong passwords by using random words in a phrase or sentence along with a combination of numbers, symbols, upper and lower-case letters. Regularly change passwords and avoid using the same password on multiple accounts.
  2. Secure mobile devices. Install software updates as soon as they are available to maximize mobile phone security. Utilize multiple security capabilities, including passwords, retinal display or biometric fingerprints to secure devices.
  3. Beware of unknown callers. Cybercriminals use randomly-generated numbers similar to a phone number you’ve called. Once you answer, their goal is to “phish” for your personal information. Let all “unknown” callers go to voicemail.
  4. Engage responsibly in social media. Social media platforms can compromise personal information. Consider the risks before posting anything that reveals specific information a cybercriminal could use against you. Check the privacy settings on any sites visited and read the privacy agreements of sites and downloadable apps. Take friend requests seriously and consider each tag for its content and value. Lastly, deactivate social media accounts that are no longer used.
  5. Browse privately. When accessing the Internet, use the “private mode” to prevent the browser from storing data about the browsing session. This includes cookies, temporary Internet files and history. Use bookmarks to access critical business and online banking sites to avoid accidently landing on illegitimate websites that could compromise your data security.
  6. Keep phones and computers separate. Add an additional layer of security by keeping personal and work cell phones, email addresses and computers separate. Be deliberate when accessing financial or confidential information on a device - never use public use computers for this work.
  7. Use two-factor authentication. Two-factor security protocol (your password and then a unique code sent through a different medium such as text or email) is the best way to access online accounts.
  8. Utilize encrypted email. Check whether your email service uses encryption, and turn it on if so. Encryption protects email in transit as well as when it is stored.
  9. Stay away from free Wi-Fi and public USB charging stations. Free Wi-Fi access has become an opportunity for cybercriminals to gain access to your devices. In public, change phone settings to either turn off Wi-Fi, or turn on “Ask to Join Networks,” to eliminate the ability to auto connect. Cybercriminals are compromising public charging stations by infecting USB ports or installing fake charging devices that contain malicious programs infecting other devices. When in public, use a wall-charging adapter or a USB Data Blocker inserted into the end of a charging cable.
  10. Turn off Bluetooth when not in use. Turn off Bluetooth on devices when not in use to prevent data interception or “eavesdropping.” When pairing devices, make sure you pair the correct one. When renting cars, be wary of automatically connecting a cell phone to the vehicle through Bluetooth.
Contact your HUB Cyber Security specialist to learn more about instituting these best practices and securing the right cyber insurance for the unexpected.