This past year has been the year of the hacking stories. Big stories from both public and private sector showed how insecure some trusted systems actually were. Now some stories were related to breaches that occurred more than 2 years ago, but security threats are still a constant source of risk to companies and private citizens.

The next year is going to see an increase in cyber threats. Especially as Internet-of-Things devices continue to flow into peoples’ homes. Some of these devices, while quite handy, can be turned into botnets when not secured properly. Additionally, the growth of ransomware and related crypto malware programs will continue as long as there are still people who open any attachments seen with abandon.

Here are a few tips to consider in 2017 to increase your cyber security:
 

  • Use a VPN when on accessing free public Wi-Fi like airports and hotels.
  • Keep your PCs and devices updated often to reduce exploitable vulnerabilities.
  • Keep your routers and firewalls updated, especially newer models.
  • Change your default device (router, hotspot, etc.) passwords.
  • Change your passwords regularly and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Use strong passwords including numbers, letters of upper and lower case, and punctuation characters.
  • Don’t store passwords in plain text, especially on mobile devices.
  • Don’t open attachments you aren’t expecting and/or when cannot verify who sent it.
  • Don’t leave things like phones and laptops in plain sight in your car.
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