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What Is Cybersecurity? Definition & Best Practices – Forbes Advisor | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Create Strong Passwords and Change Them Regularly

A strong password is not a word or pneumonic, includes special characters and has 16 characters or more, according to the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.

It’s important to also change passwords regularly. “Standard practice corporations and consumers can follow is to change your password every 60 to 90 days across all of your accounts,” Mattmann advised.

Of course, when you are regularly changing passwords, you will need a method to remember them all. That’s what a password manager is for.

Use a Password Manager

There are many password managers available online that will allow you to easily store all of your account information. Some are free and some cost money. Google Chrome provides a free password manager that will also alert you if your login information was found on the dark web.

Set Up Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, means that one of your devices must be in your physical possession in order to access your online account. Setting up 2FA will ensure that you need both your computer and your phone, for example, to access an account, thereby preventing break-ins by gaining access to only your username and password.

Set Up a Firewall

Firewalls protect external access to your network from malicious traffic. Firewalls can either be hardware or software. Routers may include a firewall and many operating systems will include a built-in firewall that users can enable.

Run Antivirus Scans

An antivirus scan will help determine if your device is infected with malware. “Antivirus scans will catch malware and spyware that’s been installed on your computer. It’ll actively scan your computer for things like that. And it keeps up with a database of what those types of [viruses] look like, so that it can detect even what we call resident attacks that have been waiting for a while but haven’t been activated,” Mattmann explained.

Antivirus scans are standard for corporations, but Mattmann also recommends them for individual users.

Active Dark Web Scans

Active dark web scans will search the dark web for your Personally Identifiable Information (PII). These tools are available either for free or as a subscription. It can be useful to enlist services that specifically handle these scans and many credit cards, such as Capital One, are now offering active dark web monitoring to users.

Update Software Regularly

One of the best ways to protect yourself online is to update your software regularly. Attackers take advantage of known software vulnerabilities that are fixed in updated versions of the software. Operating systems often give users the option to update software automatically, making it easier to keep up.

Implement Cybersecurity Awareness Training for Your Business

If you are a business owner, any malicious email that an employee opens risks infecting the entire company-wide network. That is a big risk to take. Companies often implement awareness training to inform employees about the kind of emails that are fraudulent and what to keep an eye out for.


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National Cyber Security