Computer and Data Security Best Practices
Computer and data security is extremely crucial these days. Hackers are using multiple methods to find a way to get sensitive information from you so it is important to be careful and always be cautious.
Below are best practices to learn how to stay safe against hackers trying to get information from you.
- Email Phishing
Email is the most common form of attacks take these days. “Phishing” describes a situation where bad guys send a targeted email where they want you to do something that will help them complete a malicious activity. It could be that they want you to open an email attachment, click on a link in the email, transfer money to a bank account or send sensitive employee data (like W-2 forms). Often times the bad guys will create a sense of urgency because they don’t want you to take the time to think about what you are actually doing. They know that if you take time to think things through, you’ll likely start to question what you’re being asked to do. This should always be a huge red flag.
- Password Management
Many people re-use the same password on multiple accounts or keep passwords on an excel document. This is the easiest way for hackers to get your information from breaches in your computer system. Hackers will get your user name and password from one breach and then attempt to use that same information or attempt similar variations that are close to that same password until they find something that works. Dates, family member and pet names, etc., are easily compromised and make for weak passwords.
A Password Manager can help with this. A Password Manager is a piece of software that encrypts passwords and stores them in a safe and secure way. The idea with a Password Manager is that you only have to remember one really good password and then you don’t have to worry about any of the other passwords because they are saved in your Password Manager account. This allows all of your other passwords for all of your other numerous accounts to be long, random, complex and unique.
Check out the highest rated and most popular password managers out there today.
* NOTE: When creating the password for your Password Manager, consider using a password phrase. Password phrases are more like a sentence. They are secure because they are often very long (i.e. 30+ characters) and if you mix in one or two unexpected characters it dramatically increases the strength of the password.
An example password phrase could look something like this: Someday I think it would be fun to go to Aus+tralia and see the great barrier reef.
It is very important to pay attention to emails while also making sure that you’re using strong passwords and safeguarding them in an appropriate manner.
Andy Thoren, Director of Information Technology