Trick or Treat: 5 Cybersecurity Tips For Halloween

As National Cybersecurity Awareness Month ends on Halloween, it presents the perfect time to remember some safety tips to keep the monsters, zombies, and mummies away from your network.

According to the 2017 Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study, sponsored by IBM, the global average cost of a breach is $3.62 million, with more than 24,000 records affected per breach. For many businesses, a breach hits the bottom line in more ways than one, with a breach costing a third of companies about 20% of their customers, opportunities, or revenue (ITProPortal, 2016).

These 5 tips can help keep your network safe from things that go bump in the night, or lurk in the dark web:

  • Don’t Click Links From Strangers
    • While we’re taught to never take candy from strangers (aside from Halloween night), opening links from unknown sources can be just as dangerous.
    • Phishing scams are designed to make you think you’re interacting with a trusted website, and will then attempt to collect login credentials, financial data, or account information.
    • Rather than clicking a link in a suspicious email or message, try to verify the information with a trusted source, like a company website.
  • Protect Your Candy With a Strong Password
    • As protecting your candy from the hands of the neighborhood bully, an older sibling, or your parents is crucial on Halloween night, so is creating and maintaining a strong, secure password.
    • One of the best, and easiest, ways to ensure your accounts are kept secure is to create a strong password with upper and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation.
    • It is also imperative to use different passwords for each of your accounts and to change them frequently, about every 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Chase Away Lurking Monsters
    • While in the real world, most of the monsters are gone once Halloween is over, online monsters can infiltrate your computer for months unnoticed.
    • Using a public Wi-Fi network at a restaurant, coffee shop, or town center can leave your computer vulnerable to attacks on your data.
    • While using a public network, it is important to use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt traffic between your devices on public, unsecured networks.
  • Find a Costume for Your Personal Information
    • Trick-or-treating without a costume is frowned upon, just like sending personal information online without encryption.
    • Using a secured network or website keeps your information safe by converting it to an indecipherable code.
    • Using a secure website (https) on your mobile device, rather than an app, allows for increased security.
  • Don’t Leave a Candy Trail
    • While you’re out trick-or-treating, it is easy to quickly post a photo of a costume, your candy stash, or creepy decorations you may have seen.
    • For many social networks, like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and more, location services are part of the package with using the app.
    • With more GPS-enabled devices being used each day, your location information can give cybercriminals data on when you’re away and where you’re going, giving them a window to hack your personal information.

For more information on securing your network, contact Archetype SC to speak with an expert security engineer.

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