Secure the Year: Four Cybersecurity Habits to Practice Regularly

  OIT News  |     |  By Isabella Pupo
Person sitting outside looking at laptop and thinking.

The National Cybersecurity Alliance has announced the week of Jan. 21 as Data Privacy Week, raising awareness for online privacy and encouraging digital users to implement data protection practices.

Although most of us are browsing the internet daily, many don’t take the vital steps to ensure that our online use is safe and secure. To bring in the spring semester and the spirit of creating new habits, UNLV’s chief information security officer, Vito Rocco, is giving advice on practices you can start today to protect yourself online.

Manage Your Passwords
Using the same or similar variation of a password across multiple accounts creates a high risk for these accounts to be jeopardized.

“Password stuffing” is a common technique hackers will use in which after one password is obtained, they’ll attempt to log in across multiple websites using this same login information. Protecting yourself from this attack is simple and only requires one thing, a password manager.

Password managers allow you to keep all your passwords in one place, letting you have unique passwords without having to memorize them all. UNLV offers free access to LastPass, a password manager that makes sure your passwords are unpredictable and safe from any threats.

Update All Devices
Although devices offer software updates with new features and appearances, these updates also come with important security improvements that protect your data from various threats. By regularly updating your software on your phone, computer, or apps, you’re able to ensure that these systems don’t have any vulnerabilities or risk of being compromised. Software updates aren’t always perfect the first time around, so always make sure to check for smaller patches that may have been released.

Regulate What You Post 
Social media is a great tool for sharing and collaborating with others but this also leaves lots of vulnerable information online for hackers to use and steal. Sharing information about pets, addresses, and other topics that are common in everyday passwords can make it easy for others to predict your login information. To prevent this, regularly check the information posted on your social media, change your passwords to include information not easily available to the public, or make your accounts private.

Backup Your Data 
Everyone is vulnerable to cyber attacks in some way or another, so it’s important to make sure you take precautionary steps to ensure that you always have access to your data. Having your data regularly backed up onto a secure storage device, whether online or physical, can make sure that no matter what happens you’ll always be able to view all of your important files and information.

The best time to apply these cybersecurity habits into your routine is now. By following these simple yet effective tips, you can ensure a future of protected and safe online use.