As Christmas draws near and New Year’s Eve fast approaches, this time of year is when people often reflect on the year they’ve had. Now is the time of year when children are on their best behavior, for fear of making Santa Claus’ naughty list. However, we can’t only point fingers at misbehaving children. Adults, too, behave in ways they shouldn’t.
Let’s take cybersecurity, for example. In the first half of 2019, data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records. Additionally, only 5% of companies’ folders are properly protected, on average, so cybersecurity is still an ongoing concern. With more and more people working from home over the past year, protecting yourself and those around you from data breaches are increasingly important.
While Santa Claus may not be monitoring people’s cybersecurity habits, we’d like to think that, if he did, he’d have a list of criteria for what would put someone on the “naughty list” in terms of their computer use. Let’s take a look at some cybersecurity habits that would put you on Santa’s naughty list.
1. You Never Change Your Password, or You Use “1234” As Old Faithful
Using weak passwords (and the same one across all of your accounts) tops Santa’s naughty list. There are so many of us out there who never change our password, use the same one across all accounts, or use weak passwords. It’s understandable why we do it. We have so much to remember on a daily basis that it’s no wonder we want an easy password that we enter without a second thought.
The problem is that if a hacker is able to get into one of your accounts, hacking into all of your other accounts is easy. If the worst were to happen and one of your accounts was hacked, you could find some relief in the fact that the rest of your accounts wouldn’t be compromised. Use varied, strong passwords to protect yourself and use a Password Manager if you tend to be forgetful.
2. You Click On Every Email/Link You Get Sent
We receive many emails on a daily basis, some that are legitimate and others that are suspicious. “Phishing” scams are cyberattacks designed to coerce the user to click on the link, which infects the user’s computer. Phishing scams can look like a representative from the person’s bank requesting financial information or even a coworker requesting passwords to an account.
One way of identifying whether the link is legitimate is by paying close attention to the wording of the email. Often, there is poor grammar and spelling, along with generic messaging like “Hello,” or “Dear Customer.” Before clicking on any links, validate that the source is legitimate.
3. You Don’t Use Antivirus Protection
Using good quality antivirus software is an excellent way of protecting your devices. Invest in a high-quality anti-virus and firewall for your system, as well as spyware and malware protection. Also, always make sure you update it frequently!
4. You Neglect To Shred Your Documents
Physical document destruction is one of the first lines of defence in protecting yourself online and offline.