Your Mom’s Lessons Can Help You Remember Basic Cybersecurity
Let’s face it: Your mom was (and is) always right. Even as a stubborn teenager, you knew in the back of your head that she probably knew what she was talking about. While those lectures and lessons she endlessly voiced to you throughout your life may have seemed irritating, you look back today and realize your mom was a smart woman! Applying what your mother always said to basic cybersecurity principles is an excellent primer for many companies.
Without some basic cybersecurity common sense, even the best technology in the world can’t keep you from falling victim to a cyber-attack. Cybercriminals want your data, identity, money and more, and as Mom will tell you, money doesn’t grow on trees! Keep these basic cybersecurity principles in mind:
Don’t Talk to Strangers.
We all want to believe that everyone is good and trustworthy, but when we do, it makes us vulnerable. Cybercriminals use social engineering as an online weapon to take advantage of this trust. To combat cyber threats, never open attachments or click on links from people you don’t know. When a new email appears in your inbox and you don’t recognize the address, realize that by simply opening it or its attachment, these criminals can obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, records, money, social security numbers, credit card details and bank information. Your identity, your data and your money are at stake.
Also, don’t give out your passwords or account information to anyone— not even to your mom!
You Don’t Know Where That’s Been!
Do not pick up an unknown USB drive and stick it into your computer. Whether you find one in a parking lot, an old desk or are just handed one unexpectedly, don’t stick it where it doesn’t belong. It could be full of viruses and infect your computer. USB drives are small and have a high capacity for storing data, so they are especially involved in data theft and breaches. Don’t share your USB or stick someone else’s in your computer. As mom always said: better safe than sorry!
Don’t Touch That! You’ll Pick Up a Virus.
It’s essential to be cautious when browsing the web, downloading files and opening links or attachments to avoid obtaining a virus. Never download files, attachments, etc. if it seems untrustworthy or is unexpected. Viruses are programmed to harm your computer by damaging programs, deleting files and destroying the hard drive. Even less significant viruses can disrupt your system’s performance, depleting computer memory and causing frequent computer crashes. Make sure you’re implementing anti-virus software and keeping it up-to-date.
There are Consequences for your Actions.
No child or teenager ever wanted to hear this saying. Life was new and exciting and the last thing a teenager wanted to think about was what the consequences might be for their actions. Young companies can have a similar mentality of not wanting to think about their choices and the consequences those choices have. In cybersecurity, the choice to not hire an MSP, to not fund employee cybersecurity training, etc. can have dire and expensive consequences. Companies that choose to be prepared can respond quickly and efficiently to cyber-attacks, which can save millions.
Mom knew that life choices had consequences and in a business context we would be ahead if we thought more about the consequences for cyber risk.
Clean Up After Yourself.
Clean up your computer. When software is no longer supported, it’s not merely useless; keeping outdated software on your computer is dangerous. When companies stop releasing security patches and end support for a product, hackers jump at the opportunity to target these unpatched vulnerabilities and steal, expose, or hold data for ransom. The vulnerabilities that outdated, end-of-life software expose are low hanging fruit for cybercriminals. Go clean your computer!
If You Don’t Try, You Won’t Succeed.
Cybersecurity is a daunting area that can seem like a black hole. Some companies want to pretend it’s not important, so they don’t have to put the time and effort into a comprehensive response plan or an updated password policy. But if you don’t try, you will never get better at it. If you don’t attempt to tackle the hard issues, time could run out and make those issues your highest priority. By not trying at all, a company is instantly failing.
Keeping these basic cybersecurity principles in mind will help better protect you and your business from any potential cyber risks. Taking all the right steps to protect your business can seem daunting when tackled on your own. In this situation, we will be your mom and do your dirty laundry for you! Let Elevated Technologies handle your IT so that you can take advantage of the newfound productivity, efficiency and security and start expanding your business.