2018 is officially here, and you know what that means: a bunch of resolutions that will probably take a back seat come mid-February. While I’m not one for setting unrealistic expectations of myself, there is something to be said about learning from the previous year so I do not repeat the same mistakes.
As I look back on 2017, I can’t help but think of all of the teachable moments in mobile and IoT security. From fraudsters phishing with social media bait to bitcoin mining at your local coffee shop, this year was full of moments that remind us just how tricky our connected lives can be.
So, in light of all the events in 2017, here are the top five “cyber-resolutions” to consider for 2018.
Secure your Social Media
If there’s one thing phishing scams have taught me, it’s that scammers have gotten savvier at social engineering. While social media does a great job at connecting us to our loved ones, it can also connect us to people we don’t want to share our personal information with. Cybercriminals know how to use the information you share on social media to gain access to your personal data. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, always make sure your account is set to “private” and is only visible to family and friends.
Don’t skip your updates
With the holidays in our rear-view, many of us probably have a few new devices in our homes. There are so many new and exciting tech toys on the market, it’s hard to avoid getting caught up in the IoT way of life. When you’re interrupted from your shiny new device by a software update, it’s tempting to hit “skip” when you’re eager to get back to your gadgets. But if our hackable gifts have shown us anything, it’s that skipping your updates leaves the door open for hackers. Software updates are important because they often include critical patches to new bugs or flaws in the system. So, resolve to keep your software up to date!
Don’t fall for the free Wi-Fi
When it comes to public Wi-Fi, a VPN is a VIP. Access to the internet on the go is a privilege of the times. But while the Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop may claim to be secure, public Wi-Fi networks lack encryption. If you’re in the habit of using Wi-Fi on the go, get a VPN to scramble the data being sent over the network. Private online activity such as shopping or accessing your banking information without a VPN could expose your sensitive information to hackers. Investing in a VPN is a smart way to keep your private information, private.
Set Better Passwords
I can’t stress enough that using a secure password is one of the best practices for protection on the web. When you’re trying to keep up with all of your logins, it can be tempting to use the same simple combination for every account. But, choosing a solid password should always take priority. Mix it up, throw in some numbers and symbols to complicate the password, stay away from using your birthday, and remember ‘123456’ is never an acceptable password!
Secure your home
Our homes are more connected now than they’ve ever been. It’s important to make sure each individual device is secure. However, securing your connection at the source is as important as securing your front door. Consider using a home gateway with built-in security to ensure every device in your house is well protected.
Let’s start the year off on the right foot. Don’t give cybercriminals the upper hand when it comes to your personal data.