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Cybercrime is Infectious. ‘Digital Hygiene’ is the Vaccine!

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Covid-19 has forced us to follow certain personal hygiene practices to maintain good health and well-being. Nowadays, we often get daily reminders on how to practice proper physical hygiene. Much like it is important to wash our hands regularly with soap and water to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, it is also critical for individuals to follow “Digital Hygiene” that can keep their virtual data well-protected.

What is Digital Hygiene?

Digital Hygiene is a term used to refer to the practices that users of computers and other devices follow to maintain system health and improve online security. In short, the term Digital Hygiene is used to describe the cleanliness of one’s digital habitat.

Why is it so important?

We are living in a digital era. Each one of us today manages and maintains a host of digital gadgets and accounts such as bank, social media, e-commerce portals, OTT platforms, the list is endless. But every coin has two sides and the digital world is no different. The dark side of digital boom is the rise in cyberattacks. A number of digital disasters can plague you, causing extensive damage to your personal/financial data and so it is important for every individual to practice Digital Hygiene.

Also Read: Personal devices at work? 10 Tips to tackle security risks

What should organizations and individuals do?

Here’s a 15-point Digital Hygiene checklist that can be handy:

  1. Activate network firewalls
  2. Update software and applications regularly
  3. Enable malware protection by means of credible tools
  4. Strong passwords still matter
  5. Turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  6. Keep your storage devices clean by periodic scanning
  7. Use Cloud services to share work rather than USB flash drives
  8. Have regular backups of your important files
  9. Protect your internet connection with VPN
  10. Don’t click on links or attachments from unknown sources
  11. Use safe browsers and HTTPS connections whenever possible
  12. Establish an incident response plan
  13. Limit the number of employees with privilege access
  14. Review privacy and security settings on all accounts
  15. Employ device encryption to protect sensitive data

Digital Hygiene is everyone’s job, make it a routine

COVID-19 has been a game changer in many ways, especially in the digital world. The use of digital has gone up multi-folds but it has also given rise to several challenges such as cyberattacks. Just as we have become habituated to washing our hands regularly, if we follow the above-mentioned checklist to ensure Digital Hygiene then we can protect ourselves from falling prey to scams. However, Digital Hygiene is not one team’s or one day’s job. It needs to be practiced at all levels and should become a routine ritual. It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s well worth it!

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