News Flash: It’s Computer Security Day!
Today, November 30, is Computer Security Day!
These days, electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers are a huge part of our everyday lives. They impact how we socialize, how we work, how we get around, and so much more.
Although communication has become easier, efficient, and more accessible than ever, these advancements in technology have brought about very real concerns about privacy and security that must be addressed.
Computer Security Day is the perfect opportunity to rededicate yourself to keeping your online data safe and secure.
The History of Computer Security Day
Computer Security Day began in 1988, right around the time that computers were becoming commonplace in the working world, but not yet ubiquitous in homes.
Despite the internet being in its early stages, hacking and viruses were still virtually around and have been present since the early days of modern computing. Therefore, as more important data continued to be stored on computers and servers, the more vulnerable it became, making online security an important concern by the end of the decade. Thus, Computer Security Day was born to raise awareness about your data and internet security.
Tips for Celebrating Computer Security Day
One of the most obvious ways to celebrate this day is to put a heightened focus on ensuring that your computer, your devices, and the data you have in the cloud or elsewhere is secure and uncompromised.
To go a few steps further, consider doing the following:
Check Your Passwords + Use Multi-Factor Authentication
If you’re one of the many people who tends to reuse passwords, it’s a good idea to put this habit to bed once and for all. A smart place to start is to make sure your passwords are strong and unique – don’t use the same password for every account. If you currently are reusing passwords, now is the perfect time to update and differentiate them.
Differentiate your passwords by using a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. You can also mix up the casing of your letters, as passwords that are made up of only lowercase letters are easier to hack – along with passwords that are only six characters, so aim for nine characters or more.
Take this step further by taking advantage of Google Chrome’s extension Password Checkup. This is a plug-in that can warn users of compromised passwords, reused passwords, and accounts using weak passwords. Or consider using the tool How Secure is My Password to test out how secure your passwords are.
Many platforms also now allow you to enable multi-factor authentication to keep your accounts more secure. Multi-factor authentication software is another layer of protection that helps to verify it’s actually you accessing your account and not someone unauthorized.
Keep Your Software AND Hardware Up to Date
Software updates are generally provided for three main reasons: to add new features, to fix bugs, and to upgrade security. It’s important to always update to the latest version of your software so you can protect yourself from new or existing cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This is especially true in our current environment of working from home. It’s ultimately better to meet the costs of security now than pay the hefty price of a data breach later.
You also need to keep in mind the status of the hardware as outdated hardware may not support the necessary recent software security upgrades. Old hardware also responds slower to cyberattacks if one were to occur. It’s better to be safe than sorry and upgrade hardware while things are sailing smoothly.
Antivirus and Anti-malware
If you’re connected to the web on a daily basis, it’s essentially impossible to have total and complete protection from malware. However, you can significantly reduce your risk of turning your computer’s security into a cybersecurity cautionary tale by ensuring you have an antivirus and an anti-malware application installed on your device(s).
Server-level anti-virus applications are also just as important to have. It’s a good idea to choose anti-virus software that’s native to your OS. For example, many organizations use Windows software on their Linux, iBM I, and AIX environments. However, they find it doesn’t protect them and rather bogs down their systems.
Related Reading: Malware, Virus, Anti-malware, Antivirus: What’s the Difference?
Make Sure the Data You’re Transferring is Safe
Another great way to observe Computer Security Day is by making sure the files you transfer are secure and encrypted, because your files are only as secure as the tools you use to share them with.
Adopting a secure managed file transfer (MFT) solution that can encrypt files while they’re in transit and at rest to prevent unauthorized access and keep your files safe is key. It might sound obvious but protecting your company’s (and your own) data, sensitive information, and/or intellectual property is important for a reason.
Implementing an MFT solution will help guard your data against data breaches through robust security and encryption technologies, and it will streamline the file transfer process to save you time and resources.
GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer (MFT), our all-in-one file transfer solution, provides secure connections for the transmission of data and integrates with existing critical applications. It also allows for role-based security and user authentication, workflows that can be automated and scheduled, and much more.
Related Reading: Why You Should Incorporate Managed File Transfer into Your Cybersecurity Strategy