Cybersecurity Tips for Massachusetts Residents
Are you looking to take your cyber skills to the next level? Whether you are looking to protect yourself or your business in Massachusetts, with the following tips you can learn and incorporate some of the basics of cybersecurity. These tips can help minimize risk of cyberattacks keeping you and your business cyber safe regardless of where you are in Massachusetts.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is defined as the practice of protecting networks, devices, and data from unlawful access or criminal use, and providing confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. As having your personal information stored either on your computer, smartphone, or tablet is becoming increasingly more common, knowing how to protect your information against cyberattacks is important, and not just for individuals, but for businesses too. The average time spent per day online is continuing to grow, which means the opportunities for cyber criminals to attempt to steal your information is also growing. Making the internet safe and secure requires a group effort, it requires all of us to take responsibility for our own cybersecurity behavior.
Potential Cybersecurity Threats to Watch For
There are various methods used by hackers and thieves to try and steal your information online, below are some of their various methods. In hopes to prevent an attack knowing what to look out for and be alerted to is vital in preparation of cyberattacks.
Both computers and the information that they contain can be damaged, regardless of if used at home or work. This damage can result from malicious code (also known as malware), a malicious program. Malware can present itself in a variety of forms, such as a virus, a worm, or a Trojan horse. Hackers, intruders, and attackers use these techniques to make money off software flaws.
Identity Theft and Scams
Identity theft and scams are one of the more common cyberattacks. These methods used by cyber criminals can even victimize those who never use computers. There are several ways criminals can access your information, including overhearing a phone call, finding information in your trash, stealing your wallet, or picking up a receipt that contains personal information.
The common cyberattack known as “phishing” uses emails, texts, and malicious websites that appear to be a trusted organization, such as charity organizations or online stores, to obtain user personal information. This attack is more commonly used as a cyberattack against businesses and organizations to attempt to steal sensitive information.
It takes seconds for a cyberattack to take place, in fact according to a study at the University of Maryland there is a cyberattack every 39 seconds. Knowing how to avoid and prevent these attacks is vital to the safety and security of your Massachusetts based information. The following are some basic cybersecurity tips that you can use to stay cyber safe.
Think Before You Click
Recognizing and reporting phishing attempts can help to deter other cyberattacks to those within your organization. If a link looks suspicious, think before you click. Hover over a link to view the address in order to avoid accidentally being sent to a malicious destination.
Update Your Software Regularly
Updating your software when you see a notification can help to combat attacks, acting promptly can better your chances to avoid being susceptible to attack attempts. Another useful cybersecurity tip is to turn on automatic updates.
Strong Password Usage
Having a strong password can slow down cyber criminals trying to hack into computers and accounts containing important information. It is recommended to use passwords that are long, unique, and randomly generated. A password manager can be used to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts. As well a password manager will encrypt passwords and secure them for you.
As an individual or business, the use of multi-factor authentication is an important tool that should be considered. Unique passwords are a great way to protect your online accounts, although enabling MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) can make you significantly less likely to get hacked.
Although these cyber safety tips can be implemented to help protect you and your business in Massachusetts, they won’t be effective unless they are consistently utilized and practiced. In an attempt to make the internet a safer place, educating you and those around you can assist in this effort. Stay diligent by implementing strong cybersecurity practices and if you own a business, you may want to explore cyber insurance options.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.