Cybersecurity Advent calendar: Stay aware, stay safe!

When it comes to holiday gifts, surprise and wonder are always welcome. When it comes to protecting your security, however, you don’t want to leave anything to chance.

Jingle bells are ringing, kids are getting as excited as ever as they look at the Christmas tree with anticipation, and depending on where you live, a blanket of snow might cover the city streets. The Holidays are here, and while we are getting ready to celebrate (virtually) with our loved ones, it is also a season to reflect on our actions and make resolutions for the upcoming year. Here’s some inspiration for simple actions that will greatly bolster your security and privacy.

Educate yourself about cybersecurity and privacy protection

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, it is not your first rodeo when it comes to cybersecurity. As you certainly know, it is quintessential for you to protect your devices and personally identifiable information (PII) from ever-evolving threats. The first step to protect yourself is to educate yourself regarding privacy and security threats and protection. And who knows, while learning more about cybersecurity, maybe you will find your future career?

Learn how to spot phishing attempts and test yourself with free online quizzes and exercises
Training yourself, your team members and your family about cybersecurity is important. But you must be able to transfer this theoretical knowledge to practice. Once you know how to identify phishing attempts, it would be best to test yourself by doing quizzes using gamification to add fun and challenge and combine learning with pleasure. Would you catch the phish? Why not take the test!

Magical thinking might be comforting, but the truth is, even with the best security awareness training and procedures, there still is a risk that your organization will face a cybersecurity incident at some point whether as the primary target of the attack or as a customer whose personal information was stolen.

As the saying goes, better safe than sorry. Taking time to think logically and deliberately about your assets, before you face any security incident, can help you determine what steps your organization need to take to prevent and react to any incidents. Plan the steps to take if your organization faces an incident, and how you would inform your employees, clients, partners and the authorities, in this case. You should also periodically review everyone’s steps in case of an incident. After all, you probably test your evacuation plan in case of fire; the same can be done with your cybersecurity incident response plan!

Talk to your kids and your all loved ones about social media privacy and online safety

If you are a parent of young kids or teenagers, you may already be wondering how best to have a conversation with them regarding privacy, cybersecurity and their social media usage. It might be a tricky question indeed, but a major aspect of cybersecurity is making everyone in your family aware of the risks associated with networking and social media usage.

First of all, make sure you are aware of the platforms used by your child them and their friends. You need to know the basics of these, so that you can know their characteristics, limitations, safety features and risks. Familiarize yourself with the platforms your kids are using or want to use.

Plenty of resources are available to help you, including our section on social media. For example, this article is a good introduction and present some key elements your children should know about before they use social media.

Use security software

You probably have some security software installed on your devices. But do you know what kind of protection it offers? From antiphishing to antimalware and from antispam to firewall and device theft protection, there are many different ways how a comprehensive security suite can protect you. Use security software that is produced by a reputable company and includes multiple protective layers. Also, make sure the product is patched and up-to-date.

By the way, do you know if all your devices are protected and when your solution is due for renewal? Take a look!

Make sure your team has received a security training

Obviously cybercriminals often target businesses as well. From phishing campaigns to ransomware attacks and data theft and breaches, businesses of all sizes and from all industries have plenty of reason to take cybersecurity seriously.

In cybersecurity, an organization is never stronger than its weakest link. This is why providing cybersecurity awareness training too all team-members is essential. Many resources are available to help you, including many free training guides and tools (for example, ESET’s free cybersecurity awareness training).

Stay informed about threats and vulnerabilities with regular updates from reliable sources

Our most recent reports all confirm that cyberthreats are constantly evolving. From Europe to California and elsewhere, legislation protecting privacy and security too are ever changing. This is enough of a reason to follow security news. Stay informed about the latest vulnerabilities, patches, and steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.

There are several trustworthy sources for cybersecurity information, including from renowned experts such as those at ESET. Regularly visit those sites to stay informed. One easy resolution for you would be to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the most important cybersecurity news, directly in your mailbox!

This ends our Cybersecurity Advent calendar series – the previous three articles are available below. We wish you all the best for the Holiday and a great and safe 2021!

Cybersecurity Advent calendar: Let Santa in, keep hackers out!
Cybersecurity Advent calendar: Tips for buying gifts and not receiving coal
Cybersecurity Advent calendar: Stay close to one another… Safely!

written by Gabrielle Ladouceur Despins, ESET We Live Security


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