How to Have a Cyber Secure Summer
I don’t know about you, but it feels like summer is here. The weather is warm, the sky is blue, the days are finally longer, and ice cream would really hit the spot right about now.
The other thing that announced the arrival of summer was the airports. I just got back from my first trip since COVID shut things down, and let me tell you the airports were packed. I saw full airport parking lots, long lines at check-in counters, and even longer lines to get through security - it seems people are ready to get out and about once again.
If you’re thinking about stretching your legs this summer, here are 3 tips for a cyber secure summer.
Skip the free Wi-Fi.
Whether you’re hitting the coffee shop, the airport, or a hotel, stay safe and skip the free Wi-Fi. Here’s the thing about that free Wi-Fi - you really don’t know what or who is lurking around. They could look over your virtual shoulder, try to steal your passwords, or any number of other bad things.
BUT… if you just can’t wait and have to hop on the Wi-Fi make sure that you’re using a VPN. VPN software is available for your computers, tablets, and smart phones and give you the privacy and increased security you need. Not all VPNs are created equal so do some research first before you download.
AND… when you connect to that free Wi-Fi make sure to UNCHECK auto reconnect. You don’t want to accidentally reconnect to some rogue hotspot that has the same name as the Wi-Fi you connected to last week at some hotel.
Protect your devices.
Summer is ransomware season. Every summer the number of ransomware cases skyrockets, and that means you need to protect your devices now. You need to have antivirus software on ALL of your devices. When I say all of your devices, I mean ALL of your devices. I am talking to those of you with Macs, iPads, and iPhones too! Gone are the days of being safe from a virus just because you have an Apple product in hand.
Stop using seasonal passwords.
A change of seasons means a change of passwords for many. While changing your password is good. Using a seasonal password is bad. What’s a seasonal password? A seasonal password is a password that contains one of the seasons of the year combined with the current year. If I was setting a seasonal password today, I would select Summer2021 (but I would NEVER do that and neither should you!). Seasonal passwords gained popularity because it's a simple way to rotate passwords four times a year. It seems like a straightforward way to meet password requirements but in reality you're giving hackers an easy way in. Seasonal passwords are well known, easily guessed, and should NEVER be used.
If you're not sure what to do when it comes to VPNs Anti-Virus? Let’s chat! book a complementary discovery session.
Do you want to learn more about seasonal passwords? Check out this video on Instagram where I give you more details.