10 FREE Ways to Improve Your Cybersecurity Hygiene

Cybersecurity | December 3, 2021

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to spend an arm and a leg to practice good cybersecurity hygiene.  

Keeping your business protected online is crucial. So, while there are countless benefits to purchasing and using advanced security packages – and we’ll certainly talk you through them! – you shouldn’t waste any time before getting started. 

Let’s get you going with the basics, shall we? Here are 10 free ways you can improve your business’s cybersecurity hygiene right this second.  

Practice Good Password Management

You had to know this one was coming. 

Proper password creation and management is an easy first step to developing good cybersecurity hygiene. All passwords used within your business MUST be over 10 characters, mix uppercase & lowercase letters, use numbers & symbols, and avoid common words & phrases. These passwords, complicated as they may seem, should also be single-use – meaning they are not repeated in any other account, professional or otherwise.  

Enforcing these basic password standards within your business provides a higher standard of protection than run-of-the-mill passwords.  

Enable 2FA or MFA

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – sometimes known as Two-Factor Authentication – is a security protocol that requires users to present two or more forms of identification in order to access your business’s software. While most MFA programs use passwords as the first form of ID, other varieties include SMS validation, push notifications, physical tokens like keycards or FOBs, and even biometric data.  

It’s important to note that not every application or software offers free MFA, but your staff should be instructed to enable it for all that do.  

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

We hate to be the one to break it to you, but that public coffee shop Wi-Fi is a big red flag.  

Maintaining the integrity of your business’s cybersecurity hygiene requires that you instruct staff to avoid public, unknown, and otherwise unauthorized Wi-Fi at all costs – even when on the go. If your team is constantly on the go, consider investing in personal hotspot technology to ensure you don’t sacrifice connection for safety – or vice versa.  

Start Security Awareness Training

Security awareness training is exactly what it sounds like: a set of training courses or videos aimed at educating your staff about the dangers of cybercrime.  

However, you don’t have to be enrolled in a course to get started. Sending your staff regular updates about current security trends, news, tips, and tricks is a good place to start. Requiring lunch and learns or discussions about what phishing emails and other scams look like can also be helpful. Basically, you want to provide your employees with the information they need to identify, curb, and report potential threats.  

Validate Links

It may seem like a no-brainer, but another simple measure for improving your overall cybersecurity hygiene is to simply verify the destination of the links you click before you click them. 

To do so, simply hover over any given hyperlink and take a look at the preview address. A false link’s preview often will not match the suggested destination.  

While this tactic won’t protect against more sophisticated attacks or malware, it’s a good practice to take up for workers of all levels.  

Report Suspicious Messages

When your employees do suspect that they’ve been targeted by a phishing attack or other form of social engineering, it’s critical that they report it to the proper authorities.  

The more information your business has on active digital threats the more prepared you can be to stop them in your tracks.  

Stop Sharing Private Information

Whether it’s via social media or in-person, cultivating good cybersecurity hygiene requires that you be careful with the information you publicly share.  

And while most of us are pretty good at keeping especially sensitive info off of the web, today’s cybercriminals don’t need much to start cracking away at your protection. For businesses, limiting the private info of your staff on websites, social media, and more is a good place to start as those are usually easy ingresses for social engineering attacks.  

Update Your Tech

Out-of-date software is dangerous software.  

Annoying as it may be to constantly push new updates on your devices, keeping your technology up-to-date is an easy way to ensure that your cybersecurity protocols are up-to-snuff. Regular updates fix bugs, stop viruses, and keep bad actors on their toes.  

Backup Regularly

Of course, even the most diligent of free security programs won’t catch every threat.  

So, as part of your cybersecurity hygiene, you’ll want to back up your business’s systems regularly. While having a copy of your information won’t necessarily protect your data, it will ease the blow if a major attack should occur.  

Contact EMPIST

All that being said, the best free thing you can do to improve your cybersecurity hygiene is to get in touch with our team.  

Our experts work diligently to construct custom top-of-the-line cybersecurity protocols that fit the unique needs of your business. We offer some of the most advanced and comprehensive security measures on the market and come complete with the knowledge to set them up effectively, so you don’t have to do it all alone.  

Peace of Mind is Priceless

Good cybersecurity hygiene starts with you – but it doesn’t end there. The truth of the matter is that cybercriminals are getting smarter and smarter each day. While these free measures are a great place to start – and you should absolutely start implementing them now – password protection and MFA alone cannot protect your business’s data.  

You need robust, proactive security at your side so that you can stop worrying about threats and start worrying about your success. EMPIST is that security. To learn more about our cybersecurity services, contact us online today!  

And in the meantime, stay safe out there.