2019 has now well and truly begun and January is the perfect time to reset for the year ahead. Every year people make the same old resolutions and every year by the time February rolls around the gym is empty again. While it might be fun to learn a new language or save a bit of money, this year, why not make cybersecurity your resolution?
New year, new passwords
Some of us are still using the same passwords we used for the likes of Yahoo Messenger in 1999 for online banking in 2019! And while yes, updating your passwords might sound like a simple cybersecurity tip, you would be amazed at how many people are still using common, easily guessable passwords such as ‘1234’. Get creative with your passwords, the strongest ones contain a variety of letters, numbers and symbols and are usually over 12 characters long. Just make sure it’s something that you can remember…
Should old acquaintance be forgot
To keep yourself protected online, it’s helpful to have a list of ‘safe contacts’, by creating a whitelist. This list should contain the email addresses of people you know and make regular contact with. Having this list of safe contacts means that if someone were to contact you from a different address, you would be able to notice easily. By being aware of dodgy domain names and who you are interacting with online, you in turn become less susceptible to potential phishing attacks and less likely to reply to or open emails from people you don’t know.
Exercise your apps
The gym isn’t the only place you can exercise; make sure that you’re aware of the safety features already inbuilt onto the programmes you use and exercise them. Most commonly, the likes of Gmail have anti-phishing capabilities that are free and easy to use once you familiarise yourself with the correct settings. Inbuilt safety features like two-factor authentication are simple to use and keep you armed with an extra layer of protection against hackers. Making sure that you utilize what cybersecurity features are already at your fingertips is inexpensive and establishes a positive online habit.
Tidy up your inbox
The new year is the perfect time for a spring clean and where better to start than with your inbox. While we have already touched on the idea of having a list of trusted senders, there are other methods of verification such as DMARC that can help you improve your email deliverability and make sure hackers end up in landing in the trash. This Government-standard authentication method makes sure that the emails you receive are from a legitimate sender and not a spoofed domain.
Step 1 is to switch on DMARC for your inbox (good news this is a default for some email clients!) so you block dodgy inbound emails.
Step 2 is to publish your own DMARC record so any spoofers trying to use your email domain to carry out their nefarious phishing campaigns are stopped in their tracks. Best of all having DMARC on your domain will boost deliverability rates of your legitimate emails!
So why not make 2019 your year of cybersecurity by establishing good online habits using these helpful tips. Cybersecurity is a new year’s resolution you can stick to, allowing you to rest easy for the duration of the year knowing that your invaluable data is safe.