While we can’t prevent sophisticated hackers from getting in, we can slow them down, or make it more difficult to access your network.
If a hacker gets in, what does the hacker find? Some would say there’s nothing on their network that is worth stealing. I don’t endorse that view. I bet that there’s some file, email, or record on your PC which has a list of passwords. If a hacker were to access that list, the he would open more doors to your data and your world. It may not be cash laying on your network, but your personal data and passwords are very valuable.
This isn’t a time to unplug from the Internet. We need the Internet for communication and commerce more than ever. This moment is a time to reflect on our usage of the Internet and evaluate what we’re doing to protect your network, PC’s and personal data.
Never use simple passwords
I know many of you roll your eyes when I say this, but simple passwords are easily hacked. At least put a digit and a capital letter or symbol in your password. It should be at least eight characters long.
You should have a firewall capable of resisting intrusion.
Full Disk Encryption
This makes your data fully unavailable if someone were to steal your laptop or PC. After full disk encryption, your data is only available after a password is successfully entered.
Internet Security Software
You should have software capable of identifying threats before they reach your PC. Simple free antivirus isn’t sufficient these days.
Windows, Adobe Reader, Java and Flash updates should be checked and updated when the updates are available. The updates are fixes for vulnerabilities in the respective programs. Unpatched, these applications leave weaknesses which hackers use to attack your systems.
Keep personnel data secure
Personnel data is rich with information hackers want to obtain. Birthdates, Social Security Numbers, home addresses, passport info are frequently in personnel files. Keeping this data under wraps should be a highest priority.
Backup, backup, backup. Ideally, backup both locally and remotely (in the cloud).
Never send personal data (Driver’s license number, Social Security Number, Birthdate) in an unencrypted email. Email is easily picked off the Internet by thieves.
Better to judge a site, link or email exhaustively, than to take a huge risk in simply clicking and launching an attacker vector for a hacker. If in doubt, please call me before you click on a mysterious link.