The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just upended our social lives and the way we work, but the way we transfer information. Instead of just going to your accountant’s office to sign papers, they might send you documents electronically. You might send information to coworkers over email. Data breaches have become their own pandemic.This means that many people are looking for ways to secure their email and transfer information securely. Here are 7 ways you can increase your information security.
Use Strong Passwords
The easiest way to secure your email, your bank account and everything in between is to use strong passwords. Password is not a strong password, and neither is Password1. Choose something with a combination of upper- and lowercase, numbers, and symbols. Then, keep track of your passwords.
Use a VPN
A VPN routes your IP address through different servers, hiding your location and personal IP address. A VPN is an inexpensive way to hide your IP address to would-be bad guys looking to steal your information. It also keeps your internet service provider from selling your information, like your search history, to advertisers.
Encrypt Your Email and Data
Encrypting your email and/ or your data means that you are coding a message that only the correct recipient can solve. Many professionals who rely on the secure transfer of information– like accountants, financial advisors, or lawyers– will need a secure email provider. This will automatically encrypt email and any data sent over email. Individuals can also encrypt their email, whether they use a service like Gmail or Outlook. With encrypted emails, a hacker cannot read or retrieve the secure information.
Beware of Unsecured WiFi
Let’s be real: most of us are working from home on our home networks right now. But now that the weather is getting nicer, we might venture out and sit outside at a coffee shop to get a little new scenery. While it’s nice that a place might offer free WiFi, these networks usually don’t have a lot of security. This means they offer the perfect opportunity for someone to steal your information. Consider setting up a hotspot from your phone or getting your own hotspot if you will be working away from a secured WiFi network often, or set up your VPN.
Have Secured Networks at Home and at Work
If you are a business owner, you should make sure that any of the networks you have in the office are secured, and that if you are transferring information between remote servers and office computers or employees at home and servers at the office, you have a secure connection. Many providers offer different levels of security for different types of data. A VPN can also help you keep your network at home secure.
Use a Multi-Factor Authentication
Having to remember your password and then get a code sent to your phone to login to a website might feel cumbersome, but it helps protect your information and prove you are who you say you are. When working from home or logging into a website where you will share secure information, MFA protects you and your information.
Increase Your Cyber Awareness
Knowing what is happening in the world of cyber attacks helps increase your cyber awareness. Phishing scams– or when an email that looks legitimate asks you for a password or other personal information in hopes of hacking your email and larger organization– are common. Just knowing that this is a way someone might steal your information.
The bad guys are getting very good at making emails and websites look real. If the email and the website don’t match (you can check my hovering over the email address), then do not click anything. If it is an email you have received at work, contact your IT administrators immediately– but do not forward the email. Don’t forget about other forms of communication. If you receive a suspicious email, you can also call the purported sender on the phone to see if they actually sent the email.
Contact us today to find out more about how your company can secure information, encrypt data, increase company cyber awareness and keep employee and client information safe from data breaches.