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5 Simple Cybersecurity Actions You Can Take Now in Order to Protect Yourself in 2023

As we move into the new year, it's more important than ever to protect ourselves online. Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field, and it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest threats and how to protect yourself from them. In this article, we will explore five cybersecurity measures that you can take right now to ensure that your data and information are safe and secure for 2023. We are providing an easy-to-use to-do list to help you manage all these cybersecurity activities. Anyone can and should do it!
 

1. Change Your Passwords

It is important to regularly change your passwords and use secure ones. Ensure that the passwords are not easily guessable, and that each account has a unique password. Strong passwords should be at least 10 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts. Additionally, do not store passwords in plain text; use a password manager to keep track of them.

To Do

☑ Change all your passwords
☑ Ensure that the passwords are at least 10 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
☑ Make sure that each account has a unique password
☑ Use a password manager to store your passwords securely


2. Activate Multi-Factor Authentication

It is absolutely essential to utilize multi-factor authentication whenever possible. By requiring a code sent to your phone or email in addition to your password, multi-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security that can help to protect your data and information. In addition to this, it can also help you keep track of who is accessing your account, as well as when they are accessing it, which gives you greater control over the security of your account. Multi-factor authentication is an essential way of ensuring your accounts are kept safe and secure, so it is strongly recommended that you use it whenever you can. It is an effective and simple way to add an extra layer of security to your accounts, and the benefits that it brings are well worth the time and effort involved in setting it up.

To Do

☑ Identify which of your apps offer multi-factor authentication, when possible. Most do.
☑ Set up multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your accounts


3. Review Your Security Settings

It is important to review your security settings regularly to ensure that they are up to date and that all your data is safe and secure. You should regularly check the security settings of your apps, browsers, and computers, and make sure that they are set to the appropriate level. Most security settings can change over time because of new features or updates to existing features. Even if you did that exercice last year, we strongly suggest that you revise periodically the security settings page of your favourite apps. By regularly checking your security settings and taking steps to ensure that your data is adequately protected, you can help to keep your data safe from cyber criminals and other malicious actors.
We (almost) all have a Google and a Facebook account. Both companies offers granular security settings management.

Google: https://myaccount.google.com/security?pli=1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=security

To Do

☑ Review the security settings of your apps, browsers, and computers regularly to ensure they are up to date
☑ Check the security settings of your Google and Facebook accounts, as they offer granular security settings to help ensure your data is secure
☑ Update the security settings to the highest level you are comfortable with


4. Encrypt Your Data

One of the most critical cybersecurity activities you can undertake is encrypting the files stored on your computer. This is a simple but highly effective measure that can help protect your data from malicious individuals or organizations that could potentially access it without your knowledge or consent. Additionally, it is important to ensure that your Operating System, along with any softwares and applications you have installed, are kept up-to-date. To make this process easier, many programs offer an “auto-update” feature that will automatically download and install any available updates, ensuring you are always running the most recent version of the software with the latest security patches.

How to encrypt your data on MacOS with FileVault: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/mac-help/mh11785/mac
How to encrypt your data on Windows with BitLocker: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/device-encryption-in-windows-ad5dcf4b-dbe0-2331-228f-7925c2a3012d

To Do

☑ Keep all your software up to date to prevent known vulnerabilities from being exploited
☑ Encrypt your data with FileVault (on macOS) or BitLocker (on Windows) for an extra layer of security


5. Stop Using Public Wi-Fi

Connecting to the web through public Wi-Fi can be a dangerous game, as these networks are not as secure as private ones and malicious actors may take advantage of this by intercepting and compromising your data. With the amount of data available on your mobile plan, it is not worth the risk to use public Wi-Fi. Instead, activate the mobile tethering feature on your mobile device. If you connect to your mobile data from your computer, laptop, or tablet, you can avoid the potential threats of public networks. Mobile tethering also allows you to access the internet from any location, without having to worry about finding a public Wi-Fi hotspot. You can be sure that your data is (more) safe, as mobile networks are encrypted and secure. All in all, there's no need to take the risk of using public Wi-Fi when there is a better, more secure alternative.

To Do

☑ Activate the mobile tethering feature to connect to your mobile data from your computer, laptop, or tablet
☑ Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks


6. Be Aware of Social Engineering Tactics

Social engineering is one of the most commonly used and effective hacking techniques, making it important for everyone to be aware of the risks of social engineering tactics such as phishing or vishing. Cybercriminals will often use social engineering tactics to gain access to your personal information by masquerading as a trusted source, such as through emails, text messages, or phone calls from unknown senders. It is essential to always be on guard and watch out for suspicious messages or requests, and to never click on links or download attachments from unknown sources, as doing so could expose you to malicious software or other cyber threats. Be sure to stay vigilant and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from these cyber security risks. This includes all of these spam call we’re been receiving lately in North America.

To Do

☑ Be aware of the risks of social engineering tactics such as phishing or vishing
☑ Always be on guard and watch out for suspicious messages or requests
☑ Never click on links or download attachments from unknown sources
☑ Stay vigilant and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from cyber security risks


Conclusion

Cybersecurity is a critical issue that everyone should take seriously. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help ensure that your data and information are kept safe and secure. Regularly changing your passwords and using secure ones, setting up multi-factor authentication, reviewing your security settings, encrypting your data, avoiding public Wi-Fi, and being aware of social engineering tactics are all essential steps that you can take to protect yourself from cyber threats. By taking the time to implement these cybersecurity activities, you can help to ensure that your data remains secure and protected for 2023 and beyond.

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