Learn more about how keeping your devices up-to-date and backing up data can keep your information safe!
This is the fourth tip of a 5-part series on “Cybersecurity.”
If you’ve been following this series from the beginning, at this point you should have your entire online profile listed and prioritized (most sensitive to least sensitive) in a protected spreadsheet or word processing document. You should also have enabled the best authentication features available when communicating online, like fingerprint recognition on your smartphone or a verification code provided by your financial institution to access your online banking accounts.
In our fourth post, we would like to share and recommend some very important ideas related to system patching and keeping your technology equipment up-to-date, posting personal information online, and backing up your data regularly.
Your smartphones, laptops, PCs, and tablets all run on an operating system and have security software. It is very important that you consciously and continuously install all released updates related to the operating system on your personal devices. Microsoft™ for example releases new updates and security/vulnerability patches the second Tuesday of every month…so you should download them and install them every month without fail! In a similar way, the operating system and security software on your smartphone and tablet must also be updated, which in most cases, is found under Settings, System Updates, or Apps.
In today’s world with cybercrime and identity theft running rampant, these updating and patching tasks, which seem burdensome at times, are actually crucial in keeping your online information safe. Patching and updating your systems will minimize viruses and malware from being installed on your personal devices and computers.
You probably have heard this a lot but be cautious about what you post. It is a good idea to “Stop and Think” before you place personal information online. Technology is wonderful – there’s no doubt about it. We use it so we can communicate worldwide with family and friends, but therein lies the problem. Sometimes, we become too complacent and share too much information about our family and our lives in general. Cybercriminals thrive on this personal information and can commit various crimes against us, like identity theft.
Lastly, you should make a habit of regularly backing up your computer data to ensure its availability and safety in the event your equipment crashes or is stolen. You can perform this backup in one of two ways. One option is to buy an external portable USB hard drive and copy your important data/documents to it weekly or monthly. It is best to store the hard drive in a safe place separate from your computer/laptop. Another option is to purchase a reputable online Cloud Storage solution like iDrive™ or Carbonite™ that will back up your data regularly for you.
Be on the lookout for the final post in this “Cybersecurity is Your Responsibility” series in about three weeks.