Resolve to be More Secure this New Year

As the new year rolls around and the holiday season comes to a close, our homes are filled with the newest gadgets. Many times, these devices connect to the Internet and simplify our lives in unimaginable ways. Yet, the more things we connect to our home connection, the more these devices are at risk to outside threats.

Here is a list of helpful suggestions to keep you more secure this New Year:
  • Check for software updates regularly. When there is an update available, install it immediately. Most importantly, check for firmware updates. Firmware is a software program or a set of instructions programmed on a hardware device that provides the necessary instructions for how the device communicates with other computer hardware.
  • Lock your devices with strong passwords. Also, if you can, keep the software behind a firewall. For example, many IP security cameras have easy installs that connect with the Internet. The security of these devices relies on passwords and self-contained webpages, which are not very secure.
  • Secure your home network. Make sure your router is using strong Wi-Fi encryption (preferably WPA or WPA2, with WPS disabled) and your router’s administration page is not accessible to the Internet.
  • Make sure you're running solid, updated antivirus and anti-malware utilities on your computers. This ensures that your data is properly defended against intruders.
  • Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN gives you the ability to securely connect to a secure network from anywhere in the world. VPN’s encrypt the information going in and out of your devices, and they can allow you to create a private connection between you and a trusted network. 
  • Protect your credit card information by requesting an EMV chip card. EMV cards have a smart chip, which is embedded in your card. That chip contains a microprocessor that stores and protects your cardholder data. 
  • Be educated and stay updated with security issues. From viruses to botnets, be aware of the security threats that could affect you. The best way to stop a data breach is to defend and prevent it before the attack. This means that being informed can ensure that all of your new gaming systems and devices work as they should and are not at risk. Increasing your Internet security at home and on the go is the best way to keep your data safe this year.

Have questions? We're here to help!

If you have questions about cybersecurity, or if you want to learn more about how to stay safe online, contact the Information Security Office (ISO) at: