Access and Feeds

Cyber Hygiene: Seven Steps to Avoid Malware and Hackers

By Dick Weisinger

Cyberhygiene is the protection of access points for devices connected to a network. Appropriate security measures will monitor and protect computers, laptops, networks, printers, and operating systems from malware and other attacks that might attempt to breach security.

Ali Dehghantanha, computer science professor at the University of Guelph in Canada, said that “cybersecurity is always challenging, but it’s easier when employees are working in a known environment and we can monitor machines or path their systems if required. But at the moment, we don’t have that flexibility. With so many employees paying less attention to data security, it’s providing the right environment for cyber criminals to attack.

How can organizations protect themselves? Education of all employees and individuals with access to the network should be a number one priority. Seven good cybersecurity practices include:

  • Install antivirus software and perform regular device scans.
  • Use firewalls and VPNs to block remote network access by unauthorized users.
  • Perform regular software updates of apps, web browsers and operating systems on all devices connected to the network.
  • Reformat and wipe all data from the hard drives of discarded devices.
  • Update passwords regularly and use multifactor authentication.
  • Access important data via web browsers using SSL.
  • Use applications that store data in encrypted format.
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