11 Steps to enhance your cyber security

When talking about information security, we should consider checking 3 factors: confidentiality (only the proper people can read it), integrity (only authorized people can make any changes), availability (can be accessed whenever needed).

By keeping these 3 factors in mind and answering the following questions that we have gathered, you could evaluate your personal security information profile and make any needed improvements. Consider this as a security risk assessment.

1. What type of data do you keep on your computer?
Make a list of the different types of your stored information kept locally but also online.

2. Which are the online services that you use more often?
Your list may include: social networking, online banking, chat applications, online shopping.

3. Have you defined the importance of each asset?
Each asset needs to be defined to one of the following categories:  “low”, “medium” and “high”. Imagining how you would react if an unauthorized person gained access to your information can assist you in separating these categories.

4. Which method do you use for keeping your information safe?
Do you use strong passwords?
Do you use two-factor authentication?
Have you setup security questions?
Have you listed your phone number for receiving alerts in the event of a security problem?

5. Which type of security do you use?
You should combine the antivirus software together with an anti-spyware application and regularly update them. The anti-spyware application will help keeping your system clean and secure by proactively detecting and blocking malware.

6. What protection do you have in place against data stealing malware?
An increase has been noticed on Cyber attacks targeting financial information, so you will need to use a dedicated product in order to be sure that your private information is secure. You should apply a solution that will detect and remove any malware from your machine, includes an internet traffic scanner that will block any threats has a website security scanner which will check any requested website before you access it.

7. Do you have a backup solution in place?
Either by using an external drive or a cloud based solution, it is crucial to keep your data backed up.

8. Which protection do you use for your shared documents?
The most common cause for cyber attacks is the human factor as hackers manage to trick people into revealing their information. So you need to review things like:

Do other people have access to your devices?
Have you setup guest accounts for them?
If kids use your devices, have you talked to them about information security?

9. How do you manage your passwords?
It is difficult to handle the passwords we need to retain for the systems we have access to but this should never tempt us into using the same password for all systems. One easy and safe way is to use a password manager application.

10. Do you perform regular software updates?
Applications like Adobe Flash player and Oracle Java are present on the majority of the computers but are also known for their vulnerabilities, so they should never be left outdated.

11. Do you known which are the main types of cyber attacks?
You should be able to recognize a potential cyber threat and differentiate between phishing attacks, spamming, malware etc., so you can respond effectively on such a threat.

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