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Cyber Hygiene: You need it, and here's how to get it.


laptop on a table nearly closed, but shining light out onto the table.

What is "cyber hygiene", anyway? Well, according to kaspersky.com, a leading brand in the cyber security industry, cyber hygiene is all about the steps that

users take to improve their security online and maintain system health. The goal is to have high-quality cyber hygiene practices built into your personal habits and professional culture.


Why should I care?

In today's society, we place immense trust in our digital systems. In a way, we're already living a hybrid-virtual reality every day. Instead of a paycheck or cash, many of us earn and spend money without ever physically coming into contact with the stuff. Rather, we use and trust our digital systems, like online banking and payroll, and digital chips in our debit and credit cards. Even things like school and doctor's appointments are done entirely online, even our confidential therapy sessions are online!

Additionally, large corporations track every single data point that they can if they think somebody may want to buy it. These data brokers will gladly sell them the profile they've been building on you, or even your children!

Now, we've all heard the argument that "I'm boring, I have nothing that anybody wants!". To those, I say, there are bad folks out there, with bad intentions, and big imaginations! The online world is just a reflection of the "real" world, and there are actions done online each day that have very real consequences. Just as I lock my front door at night, and don't leave my valuables in the car, I make sure to practice good cyber hygiene as well.


Here are 8 best practices that can empower you today!

  1. Treat your passwords like the keys to your front door! Keep them safe and secure, and always change them if you suspect that they may be compromised in any way.

  2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication - Even if it gets annoying, the most precious things are worth protecting, like your privacy and peace of mind. This is one more layer of protection in case somebody does steal or guess your password.

  3. Back up your data regularly. All it takes is one trip to the grand canyon and a dropped phone, and those memories can be lost forever. Back up your files.

  4. Be Cautious! Maybe you don't need to be a rewards member of every site you purchase from. When sending sensitive information online like, where you live for example, think twice if it's actually a good idea, and consider alternative options.

  5. Keep your systems updated, including cell phones, apps, smart TVs, Windows, iOS, etc. These updates often contain crucial security patches to vulnerabilities that have been discovered, and putting them off can leave you at risk and exposed!

  6. Secure Routers - Change your default WiFi name and Password. Disable remote access. Go through the settings and see that they offer the latest security standards and that they are enabled!

  7. Watch out for social engineering - Closely vet your emails for suspicious activity and don't click on strange links. Don't engage with spam callers AT ALL, they can gather your voice data and use it to clone your voice in a future attack!

  8. Properly dispose of data when it's time. Don't just throw that old phone away. Make sure the hard drive can't be accessed. Format and/or destroy it. Even a phone with a broken screen can be fixed and accessed again.

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