My 7 Best Practices on How to Stay Secure

Cybercriminals use sophisticated techniques to execute reconnaissance, probe and evade security defences, however we can prevent and avoid most cyber-attacks with these seven (7) basic security best practices and online cyber hygiene tips. These are:

 

Implement strong passwords and change them on a regular basis

Use long random phrases that combine multiple non-English/non-French words with mix of numbers, letters and special characters. Establish patterns and easy to remember for you but difficult for anyone to guess. For example, use something like: “!Tamatue18Tahim0rer3%”. Note, do not use the same password for multiple accounts.

Be vigilant and cautious of phishing links and attachments in emails

Avoid clicking on Phishing or malicious links and/or attachments from spam emails, social media links, short messages and from chat applications. These malicious links infect one’s computer by creating a loophole to steal sensitive data such as account passwords. Avoid clicking on links and messages claiming to be your banks, university, organization that is requesting to verify your account password. Check URLs carefully and make sure they are fully correct. For example, use this URL-1: https://www.anz.com/vanuatu/en/personal/ instead of URL-2: https://www.anz.com/vanuat/en/pesonal/. URL-2 are fake static pages that are designed to steal your sensitive data.

Avoid downloading software application and drivers from third-party sites and/or pirated software and tools

Don’t download software applications and hardware drivers from untrusted third-party sites. Avoid downloading attachments and applications you weren’t expecting. Avoid using unlicensed or pirate products and tools. Even legitimate files such as word documents can contain threats like Trojans and Ransomware.

Use security tools such as antivirus software and firewalls

Security tools such as antivirus and firewalls are good at blocking known threats. Note, Antivirus tools alone do not stop all threats and attacks. For example, unknown attacks and/or zero-day attacks are not visible through existing antivirus tools.

Apply security patches and keep computers and software up-to-date

Update computers, smart devices and software when required to. Regular updates contain latest fix to bugs and vulnerabilities that a cybercriminal might be able to use to attack your system and network.

Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to secure sensitive data and accounts

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer/form of security to one’s account by enabling a second verification requirement either by entering a unique code sent to one’s email or phone, in addition to your previous password. Such security feature is effective in protecting one’s sensitive account/data like banking, email and social media especially if someone steals your account password.

Avoid easy-to-guess answers to security questions

Easy-to-guess answers such as your siblings middle name, street address, or a pet name often commonly guessed as such information can be publically available through social media. Do not supply such personal information in social media surveys and quizzes.