How to put Cyber Security Best Practices into Action, At Home, Work, and On-The-Go!

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an international campaign held annually each October to remind people of the importance of cyber security. With a theme of mobile device cyber security, the 2020 campaign underscores how critical it is for everyone to be cyber security aware at all times.

While many people receive cyber security awareness training at work, it’s very easy to forget cyber security best practices when at home, traveling, school, or on-the-go. Simple decisions such as connecting to a free Wi-Fi network or leaving a smartphone on a table in a coffee shop can quickly result in severe consequences.

The importance of mobile device cyber security best practices has become heightened with how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how, when, and where we work, relax, and go about our daily habits. We are on our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices more than ever before – making each of us prime targets for savvy cyber criminals who are skilled at exploiting changes in routine and habits.

A recent report on 2020 cyber attack trends highlights how cybercriminals target all industries, organizations, and citizens with COVID-19 pandemic-themed attacks. Cybercriminals are successfully exploiting cyber security vulnerabilities and awareness gaps across all domains, including government, education, healthcare, retail, service industry, and consumers.

  • COVID-19 related phishing and malware attacks increased from under 5,000 per week in February to over 200,000 per week in late April.
  • In May and June, as many countries relaxed lockdown measures, cybercriminals responded by increasing their non-COVID-19 cyber attacks, resulting in a 34% global increase in all cyber attack types at the end of June compared to March and April.

With these facts in mind and recognizing how people are using their mobile devices for everything from video conference calls, ordering groceries, and at-home school lessons – personal device cyber security must be front-and-center at all times.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is the ideal time to remind employees how to bridge the work-life gap of cyber security best practices and awareness.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month, COVID-19 Cyber Attacks, and How To Stay Cybersecure

Worldwide, COVID-19 has closed offices, shuttered businesses, changed how students learn and kept people indoors. Work life will never be the same. Attending school and university will never be the same. How we interact with one another will never be the same.

But one thing remains unchanged. Cybercriminals are still busy working hard to exploit the cracks in computer networks, Wi-Fi security, and the human response to email and text messages, voicemail, and social network posts.

As was highlighted in the Protect Yourself From COVID-19 Cyber Scams blog, COVID-19 is the perfect opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit the natural human behaviors of fear, trust, and wanting to help.

Please take advantage of National Cyber Security Awareness Month to remind your employees of the cyber security best practices that can keep them and your organization protected from cyber attacks.

Share These Mobile Device Cyber Security Best Practices With Your Employees

Since all of us have been working from home for a few months now, it’s helpful to have a refresher of our recommended cyber security best practices and lessons.

To stay cyber secure, remember to:

  • Always contact the IT department with any questions you have about software, operating system, application updates, the VPN connection, troubleshooting software and hardware issues, and any other technical problems.
  • Use the secure connection we provided to connect to the company network.
  • Do not connect to the company network using an unsecured public Wi-Fi network.
  • Only work on computers and devices that have the latest operating system and browser security updates installed. If you have questions about versions, contact the IT department.
  • Update your passwords for your laptop, corporate mobile devices, and email. Do this even if you updated your passwords when we started working from home a few months ago.
  • Use only company approved video conferencing applications and do not accept video conference calls from unknown callers.
  • Share and store data using only company approved cloud applications. If in doubt about approved applications, contact the IT department.

Please remember that cybercriminals are still actively sending COVID-19 phishing email and text messages, and voicemail. For example, Microsoft has reported that cybercriminals are sending COVID-19 themed phishing and social engineering attacks at a rate of 30,000 per day, and another agency has seen an 800% increase in ransomware attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When in doubt about an email, text message, voicemail, or social network request – contact your manager before responding.

Cyber Security Awareness Best Practices To Remember Year-Round At Home, Work, and On-The-Go

Cybercriminals know your employees and their family members are using laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices at a staggering rate.

These statistics on worldwide personal device usage highlight how our habits have changed:

  • Smartphone/mobile device usage is up 70%.
  • Laptop usage is up 40%.
  • PC/desktop usage is up 32%.
  • Tablet usage is up 22%.

Cyber Security Best Practices and Tips for Your Users

To help your employees and their family members stay safe and protected from cyber threats, we put together some cyber security best practices and tips for you to share with them.

Share These Cyber Security Best Practices for at Home, Work, and On-The-Go With Your Employees

Just as we want you to remember the lessons learned from our cyber security awareness training, we also want your family members to be cyber security aware.

Please share these cyber security best practices with your family members – doing so will help keep you, your family, and our organization protected from cyber attacks.

How To Keep Your Home Computer Cyber Secure

  1. Keep all software up to date.
  2. Install a home firewall and secure your home Wi-Fi connection.
  3. Use antivirus software to automatically scan websites, attachments, and content stored on external devices.
  4. Make sure every family member is using strong and unique passwords. Do not share passwords and usernames amongst family members.
  5. Be click aware and remind everyone using the home computer to be skeptical about unsolicited emails, friend requests, and social media chats.

6 Mobile Device Security Best Practices

  1. Do not connect to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
  2. Disable the auto-connect setting on all mobile devices and laptops.
  3. Always install the latest app and operating system updates.
  4. Do not respond to unknown text messages, phone calls, or voicemail.
  5. Disable Bluetooth auto-discovery to prevent cybercriminals from connecting to your mobile device.
  6. Do not leave your mobile device unattended in a coffee shop, classroom, or other location. Always keep your mobile devices with you and locked when not in use.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, but we want your employees and their family members to be cyber security aware year-round.

Take advantage of our free Cyber Security Hub – it is your one-stop cyber security awareness and knowledge center with one-click access to our COVID-19 Kit, Work From Home Kit, Password Kit, Phishing Kit more.

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