The Top 10 Cybersecurity Hygiene Habits (Updated 2024)

By Adam Lori | Last Upload on Feb 8th 2023 | HomeProtectionThe Top 10 Cybersecurity Hygiene Habits

Cybersecurity hygiene is just like brushing your teeth. It needs to be a daily habit in your modern life. You should learn about it when you’re young, and you should continue to do it for the rest of your life. It helps prevent problems by protecting you from getting them.

Cybersecurity is becoming a more integral part of our lives. A computer virus is similar to a genuine-life epidemic, and the cure is the same: prevention.

Cyber security hygiene is just like brushing your teeth. You should learn about it when you’re young, and you should continue to do it for the rest of your life.

It helps prevent problems by protecting you from getting them in the first place. This not only protects you, but also your friends and family on social networking sites, from becoming victims of internet frauds. People do not realize the vast amount of digital information we share about our lives online. This guide will help you develop safer habits while using the internet.

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Cybersecurity Hygiene: Overview

  1. Install Antivirus
  2. Update Network Firewalls
  3. Always Update Software
  4. Use A Password Manager
  5. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
  6. Browse Behind VPN
  7. Backup Regularly
  8. Clean HDD
  9. Secure Your Router
  10. Employ Device Encryption

Read more below!

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Step 1: Install a Reliable Antivirus and Malware Program.

One of the most, if not THE most important step, is installing antivirus software. Antivirus software helps protect your computer against viruses and other malicious software, or malware. This program is vital in protection against security breaches along with other online threats.

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ESET: Robust, and Effective Computer and Mobile Security
Encryption Backups Payment Security Android

ESET is one of the best cybersecurity research companies in the world. They have a solid antivirus ecosystem.

Step 2: Update your Network Firewalls

Using a firewall to secure your network is one of the most effective methods to protect against cyber-criminals. A firewall is a security system that helps protect your computer or network by blocking unauthorized access.

Firewalls can be either hardware-based or software-based, and they are usually deployed as part of a layered security approach. When configuring your firewall, it is important to take into account the types of threats you are facing and tailor the security accordingly.

Step 3: Update Software & Apps Regularly

Keep your apps, web browsers, and operating systems up-to-date to avoid any possible glitches by regularly checking for updates and installing them. Turning on the automatic update feature will help you maintain optimal security.

These updates are particularly important because they often include software patches.

Software developers issue security patches whenever they discover software flaws — flaws that could let in viruses or hackers. Developers may not always alert you when a critical patch has been implemented, because this might give hackers the heads-up, as well. Thus, regular updates will ensure these patches plug any holes in your software.

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Step 4: Use A Password Manager & Create Strong Passwords

The most effective method of keeping your passwords secure is to make them long. According to research, even the most basic brute force attack has been shown to be ineffective against character complexity. Make your passwords at least 12 characters long. It’s also a good idea to avoid using the same password across numerous platforms.

If you find it difficult to remember multiple passwords, consider using a password manager. This software safely stores all of your passwords in an encrypted format and can generate complex passwords for you. Many password managers will also alert you if your password has been compromised in a data breach.

Recommended Password Managers

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Bitwarden Secure Password Manager (w/ Offline Access)  
 Windows Android Linux  Private  iOS Mac All Browsers

Bitwarden is our top choice. You can import your previous passwords from other password managers with ease. Free for personal use. Available for Desktop, all Browsers, Android and iOS.

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KeePassXC: Reliable, old school and cross platform 
 Windows Android Linux  Private  iOS Mac All Browsers

Securely store passwords using industry standard encryption, quickly auto-type them into desktop applications, and use browser extension to log into websites. KeePassDX for Android: Google Play or F-Droid.

Identity theft is a very real threat, so it’s important to keep your personal information as private. Setting strong passwords for all of your devices is essential. Your passwords should be unique and complex, containing at least 12 characters along with numbers, symbols, and capital and lowercase letters. Changing your passwords regularly — and never sharing or reusing the same password — will help prevent hackers from figuring them out.

What is Brute Force Attack?

A brute force attack is a trial-and-error method used to obtain information such as a user password or personal identification number (PIN). In a brute force attack, automated software is used to generate a large number of consecutive guesses as to the value of the desired data.

 

Step 5: Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that can be used to protect online accounts. When logging in, users are prompted for not only a password but also another form of identification from a list of possibilities that usually includes something the user

This can be enough for some systems, but multi-factor authentication is better because it uses things like fingerprint recognition or facial recognition to keep people from getting into your stuff if they try to hack into your device.

Step 5: Use a VPN

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a security measure that encrypts your internet connection, making it harder for cyber criminals to access your personal information. A VPN can also help prevent your ISP from tracking your online activity and sell this data to advertisers.

The Best & Fastest VPN Services for your Privacy

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Mullvad: 60 Euro Yearly 
 Windows  Linux Bitcoin   Android  iOS Mac Cash

Based in Sweden. Operating since 2009. Accepts Bitcoin, BCH and Cash. Native desktop and mobile clients are available for Android and iOS and are easy to use. Money back guarantee for 30 days. Amount of servers in Oct 2021: 763 VPN servers, in 38 different countries. Source

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IVPN: 60 USD Yearly
Windows Android  iOS  Mac  Linux Bitcoin Cash Monero

Based in Switzerland. Operating since 2016. Accepts Bitcoin, but you need an existing account or contact their support team in advance. Easy to use native desktop and mobile clients are available for Android and iOS. Amount of servers in Oct 2021: 1200+ VPN servers available in 55 different countries. Source

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ProtonVPN: Limited free version available, otherwise 48 EUR Yearly
Windows Android  iOS  Mac  Linux Bitcoin

Swiss Based. Operating since 2014. Easy to use native desktop and mobile clients are available for Android and iOS. Amount of servers in Oct 2021: 1200+ VPN servers available in 55 different countries. Source

When choosing a VPN, make sure it’s a reputable one that doesn’t keep logs of user activity. You should also ensure the VPN uses strong encryption methods, like AES 256-bit encryption.

Step 7: Back Up Regularly

Keeping your files safe is another key step in preserving digital records. It’s also a good idea to back up essential data, either on an external hard drive or in the cloud, to safeguard against data loss in case hackers gain access to one of your devices.

Step 8: Maintain A Clean hard Drive

It’s important to perform regular maintenance on your device to ensure that no sensitive information or unwanted cookies are stored on your hard drive. You can clean your hard drive manually or use security software with built-in security tools to do it for you.

Not only should you delete files or data, but also reformat and wipe your hard drive clean as part of good cyber hygiene. For example, if you get rid of your computer after using it for online banking tasks, disk-wipe it to eliminate any software and data from the device.

Step 9: Secure Your Router

Make sure to protect your wireless network. This means turning off the default name and password that the router came with and turning off remote management. Log out as administrator once it’s set up, too. Additionally, make sure your router offers WPA2 or WPA3 encryption for the highest level of privacy for information sent through your network.

Step 10: Employ Device Encryption on All Important Devices

You should encrypt your devices and other media that contain sensitive data. This includes laptops, tablets, smartphones, removable drives, backup tapes, and cloud storage. Encryption processes are usually automatic for companies, but it’s a good idea to do it yourself too.In fact, many devices use encryption as the default for data stored on smartphones. Some apps are using end-to-end encryption, and other services encrypt data on your devices and back them up in the cloud. Another option is to use an encrypted USB memory stick for protecting sensitive data.

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