With an estimated 30,000 websites hacked daily, it is now more important than ever to establish preventative measures to safeguard your data both at home and at work. We’ve compiled a list of the top 4 cyber security tips you can use to start protecting your data today.
Use the tips below to help you stay vigilant and protect yourself from the impact of potential cyber-attacks:
Tip #1: Avoid Google and other search engines regarding current news events: if you want updates on the situation, navigate directly to your preferred news source. Don’t google news keywords as attackers are working hard with SEO to spoil Google and drive traffic to malicious sites.
- Double-check the URLs of websites prior to entering any information
- Check carefully, as some sites misspell commonly used URLs, like Gooogle.com or Microsof.com
Tip #2: Be on the watch for phishing: One of the most successful attack vectors is phishing. Remember, be highly suspicious of and report any email that:
- You did not expect to recieve
- Appears to come from a trusted source (such as FedEx, Amazon, or even a colleague’s name) but the email address isn’t the source’s domain
- Includes a sense of urgency, such as a pending charge to your credit card, an overdue invoice, or a link to an online shipping status update
- Includes grammar errors, typos, and uncommon phrasing
Tip #3: Always use secure passwords:
- Rather than complex passwords which are difficult to remember, use passphrases, such as “FourScoreand7YearsAgo”
- Do not reuse passphrases across important sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and your bank account
- Do not use personal information in your passphrases
- Consider changing your current passwords (numerous password breaches have been reported over the past year). If you save passwords to Chrome/Google as many people do, you can go to passwords.google.com and click “Password Checkup” to get a list of compromised, reused and weak passwords to prioritize where you should make changes. You can typically do the same in other password managers.
Tip #4: Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) wherever you can.
- Most modern sites support multi-factor authentication, including your banking site as well as Gmail
- Google and Microsoft offer free MFA applications which run on your phone
- Texting a code isn’t as secure as using a MFA solution (but it’s better than nothing!)
Cyber Security and Protected Health Information (PHI)
There are 18 types of information that are considered PHI under HIPAA including addresses, names, email addresses, health plan beneficiary numbers, medical record numbers, and more. PHI is important to individuals and one of the most highly valuable data sets for hackers. Therefore, it is critical that individuals and organizations ensure that proper cyber security measures are in place to safeguard information from cybercriminals.
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