Cyber Tips Newsletter

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Securing New Devices & Data Privacy Day

The holiday season has sadly come to an end, but hopefully you were able to treat yourself to some of the latest gadgets! Just remember that, however impressive the latest iPhone or gaming computer might be, the ability and knowledge to properly secure these devices is more important than ever, as any device that connects to the internet is potentially vulnerable and could become compromised. In honor of Data Privacy Day (January 28), here are five great tips to keep in mind that can help you securely configure your new devices!

1- Multi-factor Authentication

If presented the opportunity, always enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your devices. This will ensure that only the person who has access to your account is you! If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token. For instance, with an iPhone you can utilize your screen lock feature with a PIN or password. MFA can prevent hackers from accessing your accounts, computer, and mobile devices. The availability of MFA is becoming more and more widespread, and for good reason!

2-Disable you location and safeguard yourself from monitoring devices

Location services might allow someone to see where you are located, so make sure you consider disabling this feature when you aren’t utilizing your device. Additionally, consider disabling your Bluetooth feature when not in use as well. Bluetooth can be used to connect to other devices or computers and disabling this feature when not using your device can help to further secure your private information.

Another form of device to always be cognizant of is your digital assistant. If you use an Amazon Alexa, baby monitor, audio recordable device, or anything of that nature, always be sure to limit your conversations when they are on, and cover any cameras on toys, laptops, and monitoring devices when they are not in use.

3- Consider installing firewalls and antivirus software

Installing a firewall on your home network can help defend it against outside threats. For instance, a firewall can block malicious traffic from entering your network, while also alerting you to potentially dangerous activity. Please note that some firewall features, including the firewall itself, may be turned off by default, so ensure that your firewall is on and all the settings are properly configured, as this will greatly strengthen your security!

In addition to a network firewall, antivirus software can be a very protective measure against malicious activity. This type of software possesses the ability to detect, quarantine, and remove malware. Fortunately, this software is typically very easy to install and adds another protective shield to your security arsenal.