I had to write some cybersecurity tips for a work effort so I’ll share them here too.

Here are some general cybersecurity tips to reduce vulnerabilities and prevent malware infection:

1.     Use firewalls and firebreaks (network segmentation): Place devices behind firewalls to protect them from untrusted networks, such as the Internet. And, use network segmentation—splitting a network into separate networks that are isolated, not connected—so a compromise in one part of the network won’t compromise the other (i.e. human resources and finance). This works much like a firebreak, which is a strip of land in a wood or forest from which the trees have been removed to prevent a fire from spreading.

2.     Protect your computer from vulnerabilities: Clean up your computer by removing old software programs no longer in use, and make sure to install patches regularly. Updating firmware safeguards equipment by patching known vulnerabilities, often adds features and sometimes will improve system performance.  

3.     Reset default passwords and use complex passwords: Users should be required to change any default passwords to a strong password with at least eight characters, and at least one of each of the following: numbers, special characters, and uppercase and lowercase letters. Ideally, your password should be at least 12 characters and not used anywhere else. To manage all of your complex, unique passwords, use a password manager. They not only store all your passwords but will help you create great passwords that you never have to remember.

4.     Manage your router: Earlier this year, the FBI recommended that everyone reboot all home routers and small office routers. In a previous blog on the subject, Davis stated that “rebooting will disable the active malware called “VPNFilter" which has infected hundreds of thousands of routers across the Internet, and it will help the FBI assess the extent of the infection.” While this was an isolated incident in time, it was a good example of why we need to actively manage and patch our routers Click here for more tips on now to set up your router.

5.     Run active scans and updates: When a computer notifies you of an available update, run it immediately. In addition, you can actively run malware and vulnerability scans for network devices. If you do get infected with malware, back up your data and re-install the operating system.