The new year is almost upon us, and with it comes resolutions and desires to improve ourselves and our lives in various ways. Many people will resolve to lose some weight, spend more time with family, make more money and countless other lofty goals.
While these are admirable aspirations, there is one that can help save you and your family a lot of time, effort and money, and that is: focusing more on cybersecurity. Whether you want to ensure the privacy of your personal assets and information or you are looking for ways to improve your business security, there are always steps that can help you be safer in 2020.
Cybersecurity will only become more important in the next decade
Although nothing can provide complete and total security in the modern digital world, below are a few tips that can greatly improve your chances of protecting your information online and greatly decrease the likelihood of hackers, cybercriminals and identity thieves gaining access to it.
- Be aware of how you communicate
With all the countless cybersecurity threats out there from malware, ransomware and all the other scary -wares out there, the biggest risk factor for cybersecurity is still sheer carelessness. Simply being aware of what you do, what sites you visit, with whom you communicate and how you communicate with them can greatly decrease your risk.
For example, never enter sensitive information (passwords, account numbers, Social Security number, etc.) in an email. If you need to transmit sensitive information or documents, faxing can still be the way to go. If you do not have a fax machine, you can fax online with helpful services and apps.
- Invest in antivirus software
If you still have not yet invested in reliable antivirus software, there is no more reason to wait. Cybersecurity threats will only increase in volume and sophistication in 2020, and a good antivirus system can be your first line of defense against them.
When choosing the right software for you, security is obviously the number one concern, but you should also take other factors into account. Usability, cost, customer service and several other elements should come into play, so read reviews and try to choose the best one for your needs.
- Create backups
The value of multiple backups cannot be overstated when dealing with cybersecurity threats. If your information is compromised, criminals can hold it hostage (hence the term “ransomware”), and you still may never get it back even if you pay them. However, if you already have external backups created, this kind of attack will not be as devastating.
Even beyond threats from hackers and criminals, having backups for your information is valuable in the case of accidents, natural disasters and countless other catastrophic possibilities. Generally speaking, a good philosophy for creating and maintaining system backups is the 3-2-1 rule:
- Keep THREE copies of your system data.
- Have TWO of these copies on separate external devices (e.g. hard drives).
- Keep at least ONE copy off-site, such as with a cloud-based storage system.
While threats will continue to increase in number and sophistication in the future, focusing more on your own cybersecurity will decrease your risk for them. When making your resolutions for the coming new year, do not forget the importance of digital safety. By being aware of what you do, investing in antivirus software and creating backups, you will be on the right track for a safer decade in 2020.