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How to Protect Yourself from Cyber Incidents

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Staying Safe Online: Cybersecurity Tips

In today's digital age, staying safe online is a shared responsibility for individuals of all ages. Whether you're a child, teen, adult, or senior, adopting good cybersecurity practices is essential. This guide provides comprehensive tips to help you navigate the online world securely.

1. Keep Your Devices Secure

Protect your devices from potential cyber threats:

  • Regularly update your operating system, apps, and antivirus software to ensure they are equipped with the latest security patches.
  • Enable strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts (Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid easily guessable information like birthdays or names.), and consider using a reputable password manager to keep track of them.
    Below are the steps how to create a strong password:

    Step 1: Start with a Passphrase or Random Words
    Choose a passphrase or a combination of random words that are meaningful to you but not easily guessable. For example, "BlueSky$ChocolateRain" or "MountainBike@SunnyTrail."

    Step 2: Mix Uppercase and Lowercase Letters
    Mix uppercase and lowercase letters in your passphrase or word combination. Alternate between them to add complexity. For example, "BlUeSkY$cHoCoLaTeRaIn" or "MoUnTaInBiKe@SuNnYtRaIl."

    Step 3: Add Numbers
    Insert numbers within your passphrase, preferably in a non-sequential manner. You can replace certain letters with numbers that resemble them. For example, "BlU3SkY$cHoC0LaTeR@1n" or "M0UnTa1nB1k3@SuNnY7Ra1l."

    Step 4: Include Special Characters
    Integrate special characters like !, @, #, $, %, etc., into your password. Place them strategically within your passphrase. For example, "BlU3SkY$cHoC0!@TeR@1n" or "M0UnTa1nB1k3@SuNnY7#Ra1l."

    Step 5: Length Matters
    Aim for a password length of at least 12 characters. The longer your password, the stronger it is against hacking attempts.

    Step 6: Don't Use Predictable Patterns
    Avoid using predictable patterns, such as "123456" or "qwerty," as they are easily cracked.

    Step 7: Personal Touch
    Add a personal touch or abbreviation to the passphrase that only you would understand. For example, "BlU3SkY$cHoC0!@TeR@1n_MyDog" or "M0UnTa1nB1k3@SuNnY7#Ra1l_HiSchool."

    Step 8: Test Its Strength
    Before finalizing your password, use online password strength checkers to ensure it meets the desired level of complexity.

    Step 9: Keep It Private
    Never share your password with anyone. Treat it as a sensitive piece of information.

    Step 10: Use Password Managers
    Consider using a reputable password manager to generate, store, and autofill your strong passwords securely.
    For example: Dashlane, Lastpass are good Password Manager

  • Set up two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.
    To see a list of 2-factor authentication softwares, visit our Cyber Toolkit page.

2. Be Cautious of Online Activities

Exercise caution while browsing the internet:

  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources, especially in emails or messages.
  • Be wary of sharing personal information online, especially on social media platforms. Cybercriminals can exploit this information for phishing attacks.
  • Double-check the authenticity of websites before providing any sensitive information. Look for "https://" and a padlock icon in the address bar.

3. Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

Protect your home network from unauthorized access:

  • Change the default password of your router to a strong and unique passphrase.
  • Enable network encryption (WPA3 if available) to prevent eavesdropping on your wireless traffic.
  • Turn off guest network access if you don't use it regularly.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive activities, like online banking, to minimize security risks.

4. Backup Your Date Regularly

  • Create backups of important files to avoid data loss in case of a cyber incident.
  • Use external hard drives, flash drives or cloud storage (such as One Drive, Google Drive, etc) for regular backups

5. Educate Yourself

Stay informed about common cyber threats and best practices:

  • Learn about different types of cybercrimes, such as phishing, scams, and identity theft, to recognize and avoid them.
  • Take advantage of online resources and guides provided by reputable cybersecurity organizations.
    You may also visit our Learning page to learn how to protect and report cybercrime.
  • Consider attending local workshops or webinars on cybersecurity.

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