Update your passwords, lock your login: BBB

Update your passwords, lock your login: BBB

A 2020 report published by Statistics Canada found that more than 40 percent of Canadians experienced a cybersecurity incident at the start of the pandemic, states the BBB.

The warmer weather that comes with spring often inspires people to brighten things up, clear clutter, and refresh their homes.

However, one area that many people tend to overlook is the same devices they use every day, maybe even now.

After a year of heightened online activity, coupled with the prevalence of more sophisticated cyberattacks, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reminding the public to order their digital devices.

In recent years, the focus on cybersecurity and the protection of sensitive information has become increasingly critical.

AN 2020 report published by Statistics Canada found that more than 40 percent of Canadians experienced a cybersecurity incident at the start of the pandemic.

An Canada Insurance Bureau Report It also noted that almost half of Canadian small businesses suffered a cyberattack, costing more than $100,000 in 2021.

BBB recommends getting a digital makeover to protect against potential threats that could compromise your personal data.

Here are seven tips from the BBB to help you with your digital spring cleaning:

1. Order digital devices. Delete unused apps and keep others up to date by updating them as needed. Apps collect data about you and your behavior, so get rid of the ones you’re not using, as they could be sharing your information. Also make sure you actively manage location services, microphone usage, and access to your camera and photos across all apps.

2. Do a file purge. Take a look at your records and delete the ones you don’t need. This can also include cleaning out your email inboxes and backing up your most important documents to a secure cloud site or external hard drive. Try the 3-2-1 rule: 3 backups, 2 different media types, and 1 offline in a separate location.

3. Lock your login. Your security is at risk when you neglect the importance of restricting unauthorized access to your online accounts. Use passwords and passphrases that are long, unique, and stored securely. Instead of using a single word password, we recommend using a passphrase. These are relatively longer and include random words, numbers, and symbols. Always use two-factor authentication whenever it’s offered.

4. Stop delaying your updates. Make sure you have the latest security software and updates available by completing updates as soon as you receive those notifications. Having the most up-to-date software, web browsers, and operating systems is one of the easiest and fastest ways to protect your most sensitive assets.

5. Empty trash cans. Simply deleting and emptying the Trash or Recycle Bin on your computer is not enough to get rid of a file. To remove them permanently, consider getting a program that will “erase” those files from your devices and then overwrite them by putting random data in place of your information for an extra layer of security.

6. Inspect the privacy settings on all your social media accounts. Make sure you don’t reveal personal information to strangers. While you’re at it, look again to see who has administrative access to those accounts.

7. Safely dispose of old technology. This goes beyond cell phones and computers to include USB drives, external hard drives, portable devices and printers, all of which contain your personal information. Once you’re completely done with a device and have backed up the information you need, “shred” the device with a trusted electronic shredding company.

—source: BBB

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