Last month we celebrated National Cyber Security Awareness Month to raise awareness about cyber security issues, threats, and best practices. However, focusing on cyber security one month a year is not enough. We need to take the necessary steps to ensure that our online information is protected year-round, especially for those who are applying to various boot camps or starting one soon! Here, we share 5 essential cyber security tips to help protect your private information.
1. Update your devices and software.
Did you get a reminder to update your phone but clicked update later? Always update your devices as soon as patches are available to prevent hackers from taking advantage of known vulnerabilities. It only takes a few minutes.
2. Use a password manager.
Password managers are easy tools that help store all your passwords in one single vault. Which means that you only need to remember one password to access all of your credentials. We recommend using LastPass and KeePass. Plus, you don't have to save your passwords in unsafe places like word docs or browsers.
3. Don't forget to use different passwords for each application.
One of the worst things you can do is reuse passwords. It is a death trap. Reusing passwords puts you at risk of having all of your accounts compromised, because if a hacker has access to one of your accounts they can easily access others. Instead, create individual passwords for each site. Each password should be a minimum of 16 characters, and you can use phrases as an easy technique to create long passwords. Length is important because the longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Example: #DoN0tReusePssw0rds is a stronger password than pssw0rd.
4. High alert when on public Wi-Fi.
Many of us like to work at our favorite coffee shop but is it safe to use public Wi-Fi? We recommend avoiding networks that do not require passwords or encrypt traffic. Avoid sketchy networks like FREE_WiFi or FAST FREE WIFI. If you must use public Wi-Fi install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt your information.
5. Turn off Bluetooth when not in use.
Simply, click on your device's settings and turn off your Bluetooth if you aren't using it. Cyber criminals can access your devices through your Bluetooth using an attacked called BlueBorne.
Extra precautions go a long way when it comes to everyday cybersecurity. As you start your new career in tech, good cyber security practices can be a huge help both personally and at your new job.
Want to help bring security best practices to others? Consider a cyber security career. This fast-growing field is in high demand, and it’s an excellent industry for those who already have a coding background.