Recycle Everything Except your Password - 5 Tips to be Cyber Aware

Posted On Feb 2, 2023

Recycle Everything Except your Password - 5 Tips to be Cyber Aware

No matter where you live or what you do, cyber security is a must to protect your personal data. We share the top 5 tips from Kelson Group’s IT Lead, Jeff Fenkhuber, to better manage your personal cyber safety.

  1. Difficult passwords and multifactor authentication:

Setting up difficult-to-guess passwords, along with signing up for multifactor authentication are two of your best defenses. It is important to change your password at least once a year. Wherever possible, the password should be at least 12 characters using upper, and lower-case, numbers and special characters. Using a reputable password manager which most antivirus companies provide, is a great idea to make that password the strongest.

  1. Update to-date programs, Operating Systems, and antivirus:  

A great way to protect yourself from current attacks and scams is to have updated hardware and software. As a tip, most Internet Service Providers (ISP) include internet security as a part of your monthly fee. Ask your provider how to access this. Use caution when going to new sites and if prompted to call a number immediately or your computer is infected close the internet site and start again. Often it is a false alarm to get you to panic and call their number. If your computer acts strange have it looked at by a reputable company.

  1. Lookout for frauds and scamsters:

When reading your emails, be extra cautious and ensure you know the sender. Watch for display names and email addresses and check them carefully, especially on mobile devices. It is also important to exercise caution when it comes to new emails, urgent requests, or demands that you have to do something immediately. Another common move by fraudsters is getting you to provide a phone number to get texts from them; remember you don’t have to do it! Verify it first, maybe somebody you know works in the tech field, call a reputable computer company and ask them if you have any doubts. If it pertains to your bank or a company you have dealt with look up their phone number and call them; don’t use the phone number from the message.

  1. Free WiFi can come at a cost:

It is crucial to use caution when travelling or even in your local area about using the free wifi. Remember that you are not the only one using the free network, and it is hard to tell if anyone has set something up on the network to hack its users. Quick browsing is okay but conducting business, banking or browsing through other important items while on a shared, free WiFi, might not be a great idea. If it sounds too good to be true, maybe it is. And if it is free, it is more than likely collecting information to sell or spam you later.

  1. Remote access – a big NO:

It is very important to never let anyone remotely access your computer or device unless you know who they are and whom they work for.  

According to Fenkhuber, a great way to find a reputable computer repair is to talk to your IT department or IT company that does work for your company. Most major electronic stores also have a tech division, which could be another place to start.

 In Fenkhuber’s experience, scams and fraudulent activities happen most often around holidays, and world events causing a spike in cyber problems. These are the times when people should be extra vigilant.  

 If there is anything that can be said, it is that you are not alone; hundreds and thousands of people are scammed every year. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help and report as this helps identify and catch the scammers, added Fenkhuber.

 Fenkhuber also shared a few fantastic resources to be more cyber aware:

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