Cyber Security Month: Week 2
It’s important that everyone has the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) designated October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Here at Guardio, cybersecurity is all that we do. Not only do we seek vulnerabilities in other products, but we also work hard to keep individuals safe in their day to day browsing.
The Guardio Blog is full of resources you can use to educate yourself about the latest threats and tips to stay safe. In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, this article is the second in a series of four, dedicated to providing you with the resources you need to be safe and more secure online. You can see week 1’s article here: If You Connect It, Protect It.
Securing Devices at Home and at Work
Most of us use a computer both at home and in the workplace. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the same computer we use for personal use doubles as our work computers as many of us work from home. This is why it is especially important to make sure that our devices are secure, both at home and in the workplace.
If you use Guardio, you can add your protection to up to 5 computers at no additional cost. If you haven’t already added your protection to your work computer or any other computers you own, click here for instructions on how to add those devices: How can I add my Guardio Protection to additional computers?
Guardio protects your devices by providing browser protection. It works in real-time, blocking threats before they reach your computer, instead of afterward as is the case with traditional solutions. If you attempt to install a malicious browser extension or browser hijacker in disguise, Guardio blocks those and removes any that may already exist on your computer.
Some hijackers install toolbars that display ads, cause random words in blog articles to appear as hyperlinks leading to e-commerce websites, add unwanted bookmarks, or collect information about your searches. These browser hijackers make it very difficult to change your search engine because they're controlled from outside of your default search settings. They also put your security at risk and if you’re using a computer for both work and personal use, they put your workplace at risk of a data breach.
In addition to using browser protection, there are other steps that you should take to secure your devices both at home and in the workplace.
Use a supported operating system. When an operating system is no longer supported, it puts your security at risk. Each time a security patch is released for newer operating systems, hackers can identify any security holes that may exist on older versions, making these users much more vulnerable to attacks. These attacks can result in a number of costly and sometimes irreparable damages, including those associated with ransomware, keylogging, and much more.
Don’t put off operating system or program updates. Just like operating system patches, these contain important security updates and from the time they release the update until you install the update, hackers have an easy road map outlining how to exploit any security holes that you haven’t yet patched.
Only use trusted web browsers. There are a number of web browsers you can choose from, but by sticking with those that are well-known and trusted, not only will websites operate as they should, but you’re also backed by the higher level of security that the bigger-name companies can afford to employ. Check the privacy settings on your browser and make sure to use trusted apps like Guardio to protect your browsing.
Use strong passwords. A strong password contains at least 12 characters and includes both alphanumeric and special characters like exclamation points, periods, dollar signs, or percent symbols. Avoid using your name, the names of your loved ones, your profession, or any other personal information within your password as this makes it easy to crack. You can learn more about creating a memorable, secure password here: How to Create a Strong Password That You Will Remember
Review apps authorized to access your information. Often we try a new app on Facebook or use the option to Login With Facebook for sites and apps we no longer use. If you aren’t using those sites or apps, there’s no reason to continue sharing your information with them. For help reviewing and revoking access for apps you no longer use, click here: Facebook App Visibility and Privacy