Cyber Hygiene is the incorporation of various security measures to protect yourself and your information online from cyber crooks. In this digital age, we depend on computers and modern gadgets for so many aspects of our lives. Therefore, we need to be proactive and vigilant to protect ourselves against cyber threats.
In order to be as secure as possible, we need to use good cyber hygiene, i.e., ensuring that we are protecting our devices and information stored in them appropriately and using the best cyber security practices.
Cyber Hygiene is the online equivalent of personal hygiene. It consists of several regular and occasional checks on our online practices which are required to maintain a user’s online health (security).
Cyber Hygiene is different from cyber security. A key feature of cyber hygiene is that it relates more to an individual, rather than a company or an organization. Cyber Hygiene is the responsibility of the individual and not the organization, while cyber security is the responsibility of the organization.
Cyber Hygiene While Shopping Online
Take the following protection measures while shopping online:
- Always shop from genuine e-commerce vendors and sites which you trust.
- If you want to try a new website, research about it first before making a purchase.
- Don’t click on links of e-commerce websites emailed to you. Instead, directly go to that website to protect yourself from phishing scams.
- Never save your card details when making payments.
- Never click on “Remember my details” button for automatically filling your information.
Cyber Hygiene On Social Networking Websites
Follow the given protection measures while using social networking websites:
- Social networking websites are the most dangerous platform for you to lose your information. They are the first place where a cyber-criminal will go to find out information about you.
- When it comes to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., it’s important to keep in mind what you’re posting. The more information you post about what you’re doing, more will be the threat.
- Never update your daily activities such as where you currently are, where you are going, etc. on social networks. If the criminal knows your location, then chances of threat increase more and more.
Cyber Hygiene On The Road
Incorporate the following measures while you are outside your house:
- Wherever you go, you are bound to find free open public Wi-Fi. Whether, it’s an airport, a restaurant, a coffee shop, or any other place, open networks are very common. It becomes tempting to access these networks sometimes. Never use these networks. As these are open networks, anyone can intercept them and attack you.
- Some places say that their networks are secure. Still, it’s better not to experiment and simply avoid using them.
- If at worst situations, you do have to use these networks, avoid any online transactions or sending any confidential data.
- Be cautious when accepting pen drives from other people. They may have viruses. Always scan them first.
- Enable password-protected access on all your portable devices.
General Cyber Hygiene Measures
Keep in mind the following general cyber hygiene measures:
- Regularly back up your data to ensure data security.
- Create complex and unique passwords and regularly update them. Never repeat any password. Create a new one for every new account.
- Use anti-virus software on all of your devices.
- Run security scans from time to time.
- Keep all your software updated.
- Protect your network using a firewall.
- Update your Wi-Fi router to employ a unique username and use a strong password for your network.
Cyber security does not have inconvenient. Eighty percent of cyber-attacks are avoidable if we practice basic cyber hygiene. Risk cannot be eliminated completely. Just put these simple protection measures into practice as the first steps towards a better and secure digital life.