In a world more interconnected than ever, the importance of safety when navigating online spaces cannot be understated. Our digital lives — whether at work, on social media, or through online banking — are protected, but often continue to be at risk of cyberattacks. As both cyber defense and attack technologies continue to advance, users can play a big role in mitigating cyber threats.
In this blog, we're sharing some reminders and practical security tips to protect your digital identity against common online risks.
Users continue to be a strong line of defense against cyber threats. Cybersecurity awareness means that individuals are using their best judgment when engaging with the online world. This includes exercising care when managing your personal sensitive information, making sure your software and devices are up-to-date, and being wary of online baiting and scams.
2. Common Threats
Online threats arise in various forms, and while these methods continue to evolve, there are ways to identify interactions that could be a threat.
Whether through phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, or social engineering, these malicious attempts by cybercriminals are used to trick users into sharing sensitive information such as login credentials or financial details. Often posing as a trusted organization, these fraudulent communications usually create a sense of urgency or tempt users with enticing offers through convincing emails, messages, or websites.
Here's how you can avoid falling victim to these attacks:
- Check the contact details of all suspicious messages, especially a sender's email address for spelling errors or a random unrelated name
- Never click on links or open and download documents attached to a message from an unverified sender
- Carefully consider what information is available publicly about you online, and if it could be obtained maliciously to make attacks on you seem more convincing
3. Strong Password Protection
As the gatekeeper that protects our digital data, passwords are a crucial step in the line of defense against unauthorized access. While many users opt for using the same or similar passwords across all their accounts for easy access, this puts accounts at risk in the event of a leak or data breach.
Here are some tips to strengthen your password protection:
- Use the "passphrase" method to create your passwords or a random password generator that creates a complex combination of characters and numbers
- Set up multi-factor authentication (MFA), which adds an extra layer of security in the event that an unauthorized user has obtained your login credentials
- Avoid using public networks to access personal or banking information, opt for cellular data or a protected/private network instead
4. Stay Up-to-Date
Device and software hygiene is another important step in protecting your devices. An operating system that has not been updated in a while is a security risk that can leave users vulnerable to unauthorized access.
Some best practices to protect your devices include:
- The sooner you download and install OS updates, the better
- Use antivirus software to scan and detect cyber threats on your computer
- Protect your hardware by enabling lock and password protection to prevent malicious physical attempts at stealing your data
5. Cautious Sharing & Browsing
As we continue to navigate the web every day for both personal and work use, it's important to exercise caution when visiting unfamiliar sites. A suspicious website might try to mimic a legitimate one, and attempt to scam you by offering a tempting deal in exchange for personal financial info such as credit card details.
Be skeptical and keep these tips in mind when visiting new websites:
- Assess the website's authenticity by scanning for suspicious inconsistencies in the page layout or spelling errors in the domain name
- Look for secure browsing indications, such as the "lock" symbol in the browser's search bar next to the site URL, as well as a site address beginning with "https".
- Be careful when authorizing third-party applications on social media platforms, and manage your privacy settings by controlling data-sharing permissions
For more cybersecurity tips, check out the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security website.
A good business plan should include an outline of the resources required to operate your organization. With cyberattacks on the rise, there's no doubt that cybersecurity measures should factor into your continuity planning.
GAM Tech's IT services offer a comprehensive set of security features to make sure your business is as protected as possible from cyber attacks. Cyber security training, multifactor authentication setup, and advanced email filtering are just a few examples of the security solutions we offer in our IT packages.
To learn more, get in touch with us via our contact page!