The following is a list of very simple cyber security things you can do to protect your digital life.
- Use a password manager. I recommend LastPass as it is exceedingly useful, accessible from many devices and relatively cheap. $2/month for premium users and includes feature called Security Challenge which allows you to evaluate the strength of your credentials.
- Patch and patch often, in fact just set windows update to automatic! (Windows 7 and Vista, Windows 10)
- Anti-malware… Windows Defender (SCEP) comes standard on Windows 10 and you should be using it!
- Firewall… if it is disabled, you’ll have trouble. Enable it and keep it running!
- Do not plug USB Flash/Thumb drives in that you do not own or are certain where it is coming from.
- Same goes for unknown software. Be sure you are aware of what you’re installing and that it comes from a solid source.
- Do not click on links within emails!!!! If you want to go to some site like your bank or something, open a web browser separately and access your bank the “normal” way you’ve been trained to do. Even if the email looks legit… never click on the links!
- Never trust “open” or free wifi!!!!! Look into tethering your cell phone’s data to your laptop or tablet rather than using that “free” internet from the local internet cafe. If you’ve been trained in network security and protecting yourself, then you can get away with the risk… but if you are not… please do not connect to free wifi!
- Backup, backup, and backup! Use a good online backup service like Crashplan to keep copies of your data. They are cheap, roughly $10/month/device, but it is well worth the cost if your laptop is stolen, destroyed or hacked.
Lastly, I want to leave you with the simplest recommendation of all… keep track of all your computers and devices!