Cyber Hygiene: How to Complement Your Antivirus with Safe Browsing Habits
Previously we wrote a blog all about the antivirus and how it works. In short, antiviruses use a combination of sophisticated software to identify, test, and prevent malware from harming your computer. However, even with a very good antivirus, some things can still slip through the cracks. In today’s blog, we’re going to be covering what “cyber hygiene” is and how it can be employed. With the tips detailed below, you can pair good “cyber hygiene” with your good antivirus to ensure good cybersecurity.
Remember that cybersecurity can be a complicated practice, and if you need help it may be best to outsource to professionals. Knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals are a resource to have waiting in the wings to prevent incidents or do damage control should they occur.
Understanding the Basics of Cyber Hygiene
The same way that personal cleanliness is crucial for maintaining your health, cyber hygiene is crucial for online browsing health. Cyber hygiene is a set of best practices that users should follow to maintain the security and safety of their online presence. In order to do this, you must create strong passwords, use caution when exchanging online information, and stay informed about the most recent cybersecurity threats.
Antivirus Software is a part of cyber hygiene
Before we move on to emphasize the importance of cyber hygiene, know that safe searching is not a replacement for antivirus software. While it will help to reduce risk, let us reiterate that this is something to be used in combination with antivirus software, not in lieu of. Not only is an antivirus not separate in it’s necessity of use, it also doesn’t even escape the cyber hygiene umbrella. That’s right, antivirus is a part of cyber hygiene.
In fact, antivirus software plays a significant role in your cyber hygiene routine. We won’t over-emphasize the point due to our previous blogs’ explanation but in case you missed those, we’ll quickly cover it. Antiviruses do a lot to help protect your computer from malware, viruses, and other hazardous programs. But as technology develops, cyberattacks become more sophisticated and can occasionally slip past antivirus safeguards. As a result, it’s risky to rely solely on antiviral software because doing so is equivalent to putting all your eggs in one basket.
The Best Addition to Safe Browsing Guidelines
- Consistent software upgrades
One of the most effective methods to assist your antivirus is to do regular software upgrades. This includes your operating system, browser, and any third-party applications. Security patches for weaknesses that hackers would otherwise use against you are routinely included in updates.
- Create strong, unique passwords
It is common but dangerous to use the same password across several websites. Strong, unique passwords for each account are essential. If you use the same information on different sites, if that site is hacked, the hacker not only has your information on that specific site, they have your information on them all. Consider using a password manager to manage your credentials without sacrificing security.
- Allow for two-factor authentication (2FA).
2FA adds an additional layer of security by requiring not only a password but also something that only the user has on them, either a piece of information or a physical item. By doing this, the likelihood of unauthorized access to your accounts can be significantly reduced.
- Be Wary of Phishing Attacks.
Phishing assaults are one of the common ways that online criminals employ to avoid antivirus software. It’s important to use caution while opening emails, to stay away from questionable links, and to refrain from downloading things from sketchy sources.
Knowing what to look for in these situations can be incredibly helpful, if you’d like to better familiarize yourself with phishing attacks, read our blog about 6 common phishing attacks and attacks targeting g suite and gmail users.
- Use a VPN, or virtual private network.
Hackers will have a harder time intercepting your data if you use a VPN to encrypt your internet connection. Knowing this is crucial while using public WiFi as it is often less secure than private networks.
- Don’t share too much personal data.
For hackers wanting to steal personal information, social media is a gold mine. Think about tightening up the privacy settings on your social media accounts, and exercise caution when deciding what information to post online.
- Keep learning and staying informed
Last but not least, by staying informed about the most recent cyberthreats and studying the fundamentals of cybersecurity, you may significantly increase your online security. Read up on our blogs to stay informed.
Cyber hygiene and antiviral software operating together
Consider your antivirus software as the security guard at the building’s entrance and your online safety procedures as the building’s internal security measures. Both are necessary for total security. While the bulk of threats will be dealt with by the antivirus, using safe browsing practices assures that you are not unintentionally putting yourself at risk.
Who is most at risk?
In conclusion, the best defense against the vast range of cyber dangers is a mix of antivirus software and good cyber hygiene practices. By exercising control over your online activity and taking measures, you can safeguard yourself while also helping to make the internet a safer place for all users.
Small businesses may be particularly at risk when it comes to data being stolen. Sensitive financial information stored and accessed through these computers is exactly the type of data people are looking to gain access to with some of these antiviruses. In addition to that, Businesses can legally be held liable if customer data is stolen from an outside source.
If you’re a small business owner with sensitive information stored on company computers, you should look into extra security measures for that data.