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5 Tips for Staying Safe Online in Honor of Cyber Security Awareness Month

zuckOctober is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and in honor of the occasion we’d like to share some tips on how you can better protect yourself and your company online. These days it seems the headlines are always filled with news about a massive data breach—Yahoo is just the most recent example. Business owners everywhere are wondering how they can avoid an attack or unwanted intrusion. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg even tapes over his webcam, as people who saw Snowden know (we recommend dark tape, by the way, not transparent tape). Here are 5 cyber security tips you and your business can use right away to stay safe and secure online.

5 cyber security tips*:

  1. Keep your computers up-to-date and virus-free. You know those software updates that keep vying for your attention as you’re working on your computer? They’re there to help you. It’s wise to keep your computer, mobile devices, and any other connected devices you may use fully updated so they have the latest patches. Don’t forget to run regular anti-virus and malware scans to keep your PCs safe as well.
  2. Safeguard your login information. Regularly update your password and make sure that it’s secure. If your online accounts offer additional security tools such as two-factor authentication, one-time security keys, or biometrics, take advantage of them. You’ll be glad you did. It’s also wise to have a unique username and password for each site you use. A password manager can help you safely keep track of them all.
  3. Be careful about how you connect. Phishing and spear phishing are common exploits that cybercriminals use to stage their attacks. If something looks fishy about an email, it’s best to delete it. Likewise, be judicious about using Wi-Fi hotspots. Open, unsecured wireless networks are generally not safe for conducting online transactions of any kind. Also, make sure the sites you do business with use HTTPs, a secure form of HTTP. You’ll notice it by the ‘s’ that follows the HTTP in the web address (i.e. https://).
  4. Stay on top of emerging threats. As Internet users become more sophisticated, hackers do too. Inform yourself about new threats as they emerge and adjust your online behavior accordingly. Promote safe online practices at your business, and don’t forget to back up all of your data regularly.
  5. Be aware of how you share your information. Although we might take steps to protect our money and assets in the real world, we don’t always stop to think of how our valuable our digital identities are as well. Protect your login information, never share it with anyone else, and be cautious about which websites you choose to give it to. Take advantage of privacy settings on the websites and apps you use—they’re there for your protection.

Although it can sometimes seem challenging to keep up with best practices on staying safe online, there is some good news: There are a lot of places where you can get the information you need to protect your business. Stop Think Connect is a good place to start, as is the Department of Homeland Security’s page on National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

branded webcam-coverIf you want to promote your brand while encouraging your team or clients to be aware of cyber security, we have small, easy to mail brandable webcam covers that put your name in front of your client while they’re using their computer. That’s just one of the many branded items we have that can help keep your business top of mind with your clients. If you’ve got a campaign or promotional initiative in mind, we can assist. Get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on the right products that can represent your company with grace and style.