October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. databrackets is proud to support the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in their campaign to help Americans stay safer and more secure online.
If you have installed a device or applications with internet connectivity, you have accessed the rapidly expanding array of connected world. While these devices and applications allow you to accomplish a lot of things, their convenience also carries risk.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Organization:
- Create strong, unique passwords of at least eight characters for each of your accounts. If you reuse passwords, a criminal who discovers one of them could use it to access another device or account.
- Change the default settings of your applications/devices. Most of the software often comes with default usernames and passwords that are published on the internet. Change them to something unique as soon as you can.
- Update your devices and applications regularly, and backup your files. If a connected device or its application has an auto-update feature, turn it on. This often requires only a few clicks to set up.
- Check your privacy/security settings. You may be sharing information through your device or its applications. Review your settings to see if you are unintentionally sending information to social media accounts, for example.
- Turn encryption on. Some devices let you use encrypted communications, but the setting isn’t always turned on by default.
If you suspect you’ve been targeted:
- Disconnect devices from the internet to prevent cybercriminals from controlling them.
- Monitor devices and networks using the latest security protection tools to find any infected files or malicious programs.
- Apply any available software patches, firmware, or security patches after scanning and cleaning the system.
- Reset or reboot devices, if necessary. Change all passwords associated with the affected accounts and devices.
- Recover corrupted files from backups whenever possible.
- Call law enforcement and file reports with the relevant local authorities if you suspect sensitive information has been stolen or financial loss has occurred.