I always feel like somebody’s watching me….

George Clooney Gif

Whether you are an IT professional, remote worker, or casual computer user, cyber security has become a major issue in recent years. With more and more business transactions occurring online, there comes a higher risk for data breaches and cyber-attacks. Since drastically increasing my time on a computer and smartphone, I have started thinking about ways I can better protect my data and myself. Although my cyber security awareness has improved, I have discovered many security practices go unnoticed to the average user. I would like to share with you some ways that you can start securing your data today.

Here is a handy cyber security checklist:

__ Are the sites you are visiting encrypting the traffic using https? (Most modern web browsers will show you the cookies in use, whether the connection is secure, the validity of the certificate, and the site settings. This information is located to the left of the URL that hopefully starts with https.)

__ Does your Wi-Fi have protected access? (If you are using a public Wi-Fi or want better security, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).)

__ Do you have a password manager? (You want unique passwords for every login, but it becomes difficult to memorize every password. Do not write down all your passwords in a book, use a password manager.)

__ Do you have more than a password for logging in? Use Two-Factor Authentication as much as possible!

__ Is social media data mining you? Restrict settings and add ad-blocking extensions if you use social media.

__ Have you updated your OS lately? (I know it’s an annoyance but updates add security features too!)

__ Are you downloading and opening files safely? (Many Anti-Virus software and web security software will check this automatically for you.)

__ Do you have the right extensions on your browser? (Privacy Badger is great for blocking unwanted ads.)

__ Have you checked Have I Been Pwned? (Frequently check to see if an email has been compromised in a data breach, and if so change the password immediately.)

This is not a definitive list of cyber security, but hopefully this list will help you get started in protecting your privacy and data. Good luck and be safe.