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Protecting Your Home from the Cyber Threat

There are things you can do to reduce your risks

Protecting Your Home from cyber threats is a constant challenge. There are some pretty significant threats to your private information. Hackers, spies, thieves and even rough AI enabled software bots are all out to get you. On top of that, you can mis-configure something and disclose your personal information yourself. You can be a threat to your own information!

We want you to make the most of all things cyber. But there will always be risks with any of these wonderful new tools. Our recommendation is to continually track the threats and to stay on the lookout for best practices in mitigating them.

Here is our current list of best practices for reducing your digital risk at home:

Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication for every account, including every cloud service or email account that you use at home. This is one of the most important things that you can do to mitigate risks. If an account does not offer multi-factor authentication, consider closing it.

Use a home-based Internet Security Firewall to help defend all your devices (including IoT devices). The best systems are backed by companies that keep the system aware of new threats by providing online updates from a team of experts. Three to evaluate include: Bitdefender Box,  CUJO and Norton Core.  All deliver similar functionality but have slightly different features so you will need to pick which is best for you and your home.

Update and patch operating systems, applications and anti-virus/anti-malware software. This reduces multiple risks.

Use a reputable password manager like Dashlane. This will help you keep all of your passwords up to date and secure and generally make life easier.

Change the default password on every device you own, including connected IoT devices such as security cameras, baby monitors, and thermostats, as well as tablets, smart TVs, laptops, and PCs.

Use a managed DNS service from Google, Verisign, or OpenDNS to help prevent accidental navigation to websites that have been taken over by malicious actors and help stop communications from malicious code in home systems (including IoT devices) to control sites. See tips on how to make these easy change at: DNS The Secret Settings You Can Change To Make It Harder On Hackers.

Ensure your home WiFi is Protected with the most advanced encryption. You should be using WPA2 with AES. If you are on the old WEP encryption anyone with 5 minutes of training can break in.

Backup your data. Think about what data matters most to you and imagine if it were lost forever. Backups are the way to protect those. Offline backups are the best. For more see Carbonite.

Use a reputable anti-virus solution on all your devices. Don’t ever think that is the only thing you will need to do, the many other steps in this list are also important. But this is important as a baseline capability. See: Norton by Symantec

Stay informed of the dynamic cyber threat and increase your awareness of adversary capabilities. This will help you better defend your systems at home and help you make better decisions at work (we gist the most significant threat actors in our “Attackers” section).

Track the latest in defensive measures. The threat will keep changing. You will need to keep thinking through your proactive defensive measures. We can help. Frequent our Protect Yourself site for the very latest.

Do you know someone else who could benefit from these tips? Please share! The more we help each other out the better off we will all be as we build this wonderful world of interconnected IT.

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