3 ways to keep your devices, yourself and your data safe during COVID-19

At this very moment, someone in the US is falling victim to cybercrime

At this very moment, someone in the United States is falling victim to cybercrime. While that may sound a bit facetious, the numbers really do back it up.

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Even amidst a global health pandemic, cybercriminals have continued to carry out thousands of attacks on American soil.

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Whether it be their recent attack on Honda which resulted in Honda’s operations be shuttered for quite some time or scammers who pretend to be a representative of the government insisting you fork over your personal financial information to pay a certain amount to the IRS or face imprisonment, it’s important to remember that cybercrime not only targets businesses – but everyday Americans, too.

Yes, the reality is, cybercrime is frightening and is something we should all take very seriously. But the good news is – there are three simple steps everyday Americans can take to keep their devices, and the data on them, safe from cyber-attacks.

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First, and quite possibly most important, is having a strong antivirus solution.  If you don't have one, you need one. Antivirus is your last line of defense against cybercriminals, and it should without any question take a preventative approach to protecting you from falling victim to such crimes.

Second, educate yourself about current cyber threats.  By knowing how to identify a phishing email or a fake virus scam, you’re less likely to fall victim.  While we can offer tips such as reviewing “From:” addresses, checking for typos in the email address, and hovering over links to see where they will actually take you, threats are always evolving and staying up to date is very important.

Third, and equally as important as the other steps, is protecting your sensitive information with passwords. Password hygiene is critically important to cybersecurity and first starts with the complexity of your password. When choosing a password, choose a password that includes a variety of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Once you’ve chosen your password, it’s really important that you don’t use this password for all of your accounts – especially your e-mail account.

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Your e-mail account password is arguably your most important password because if a cybercriminal gains access to it, it’s highly likely they’ll be able to reset passwords via the use of the “forgot my password” functionality on a variety of platforms.

Instead of using one password, create multiple different passwords and store them in a password manager. There are several password managers available, and they will store all of your passwords for you in one centralized location.  All you need to remember is your master password.

Lastly, in regard to passwords, make sure you’re protecting your home Wi-Fi with a complex password and aren’t leaving your protection up to the default password provided by your internet service provider.

Just like we protect the sensitive information on our devices, we should also protect the information we’re sharing on our personal networks.

There is no silver bullet when it comes to cybersecurity; however, by following these three steps your risk of falling victim is significantly minimized.

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