10 simple ways to keep your home cyber safe

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With the rapid evolution of technology, cyber breaches are increasing in both frequency and sophistication.

The recent Equifax data breach was of epic global proportions and the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal has shaken the perspective on trust with social media and privacy.

On a more local level, maintaining security and privacy over your own cyber security at home has never been more important. For example, do you know if your devices are secure and your Wi Fi account is safe from being hacked into?

Home cyber breaches can have some severe consequences. Just check out this post on The 12+ internet crime stories that make cybersecurity measures essential to get an understanding of just what can happen!

All read up? Alright, wipe those beads of nervous fear off your forehead. There are ten simple things you can do to help keep your home cyber safe:

  1. 1. Choose a long, complex password and protect it with a password manager such as LastPass.
  2. 2. Install anti-virus (Griffith provides Symantec anti-virus for free for staff and students, downloadable via the Software Download Service).
  3. 3. Keep your desktop computer, laptop and mobile device’s operating systems and applications updated.
  4. 4. Use Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) wherever possible (many modern applications support this).
  5. 5. Secure your browser. Modern cyber threats increasingly attack browsers. Keep your browser up to date–you can use Qualsys Browser Check to confirm your browser is set securely.
  6. 6. Protect your data by ensuring you have a backup either to a cloud service or to portable media. Disconnect portable media from your device, unless required, to keep it safe.
  7. 7. Use encryption. Refer to the mobile cybersecurity tips for encryption and consider using file, folder or full disk encryption with Windows Bitlocker (in Windows, click on Start and type bitlocker) and native encryption with the Mac operating system.
  8. 8. Check your email addresses on Have I Been Pwned? to see if they any have been identified in data breaches.
  9. 9. Be careful with phishing attempts from both emails and social media. Clicking on malicious links and opening attachments is the gateway to most attacks–so exercise caution!
  10. 10. Configure your home router securely (most routers will have native protection but can be hardened with certain steps such as changing default passwords, and using other protection features provided on the router itself). This includes securing your home Wi Fi:
    • change the default SSID
    • turn off SSID Broadcasting
    • use WPA2
    • change default configuration password.

For more information on cybersecurity, take a look at our cybersecurity webpage.

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