Access and Feeds

Digital Hygiene: Daily Habits to Minimize the Threat of Cyber-Hacking

By Dick Weisinger

Personal hygiene relates to good health, grooming, and well-being. In a similar way, ‘digital hygiene’ refers to actions and behaviors that promote digital security and that minimize the chance of cyber theft and vulnerabilities.

Examples of good digital hygiene practice include:

  • Changing default names and passwords for devices, networks, and applications.
  • Use encryption, especially when any PII (Personal Identifiable Information) is involved.
  • Use multi-factor authentication with your apps, if they support it.
  • Keep up-to-date with recent patches and software versions, especially those with security updates.
  • Keep alert for suspicious emails, text messages, and phone calls.
  • Unsubscribe to junk emails.
  • Minimize clutter by removing unused applications and dated files.

Digital hygiene, like personal hygiene, are things you should do on a daily basis. They are tasks that should become routines and daily habits.

James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, said that digital “hygiene has to memetically pounded into the intellectual DNA of the American population and continuously reinforced by peer pressure.

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