Cybersecurity Resolutions for the New Year

As time marches on, the human race continues to develop increasingly sophisticated tools to accomplish various tasks. Unfortunately, some of those tasks are not as widely beneficial as one might hope. Every year — indeed, every few minutes — cybercriminals create new strategies and programs for attacking the networks and devices of individuals and organizations to steal their data and mine their financial accounts. However, because you can’t change your cybersecurity strategy every few minutes, you should at least spend a few hours updating your security efforts once per year.

The old year is ending, and soon, you will be faced with 12 months of brand-new threats to your mental, emotional and physical health and well-being. Fortunately, you can protect at least a small facet of your life and livelihood by resolving to improve your cybersecurity efforts in the following ways in the New Year.

Invest in Better Antivirus Software

The antivirus systems that are built into your devices’ operating systems are hardly enough to keep you safe when the internet boasts such a rapidly evolving threat landscape. You should treat yourself to some of the best cyber security software you can find to ensure that your data and devices are completely safe in the New Year and beyond. It only takes a few minutes to purchase and install a security software suite that suits your lifestyle, so you can accomplish this resolution even before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

Teach Kids (and Seniors) About Cybersecurity

Most adults in their twenties, thirties and forties grew up with the internet, which means they have an innate sense of cyber hygiene — but that isn’t necessarily the case for the younger and older generations. Both kids and seniors are more susceptible to online scams and threats because they are less adept at recognizing the signs of digital dangers. You might take the time to talk to younger and older family members about the importance of cybersecurity and perhaps enroll them in an age-appropriate online course to help them gain the basics of cyber hygiene.

Improve Your Password Strategy

It should go without saying that passwords like “123456” and “password” won’t cut it in 2024, but neither will some of the more personal passwords you might be using, like kids’ names and birthdays, pet names, home addresses and more. A surprising amount of your personal information is readily available online, either through social media or public registries, so you should consider making your passwords more obscure and, ideally, more random. The best password strategy is using a password manager that generates codes with mixed characters and remembers them for you, so you can have a unique password for every account.

Allow Automatic Patching and Updates

Software updates can be annoying, especially if you need every ounce of your device’s processing power during your work or play. However, updates are essential for closing gaps that unavoidably arise in digital applications. You should schedule your updates to download and install automatically during times of day when you will not be using your device, like in the morning when you are at work or in the middle of the night. You can do this through your device’s settings or the settings on individual apps.

Install a Data Backup System

Though you are much less likely to succumb to a ransomware attack when you are appropriately protected with security software, it is always possible for cutting-edge malware to sneak through your defenses. To reduce the consequences of a ransomware attack — or other unfortunate data-destroying accidents like housefires or floods — you should have a backup system in place that allows your most precious data to be preserved in the cloud. You can review different cloud backup options to find one that suits your needs and begin using it ASAP.

Create a Home Incident Response Plan

Smart businesses create incident response plans, which ensures that every employee knows exactly what to do in the event of any type of cyber attack to reduce harm. You should consider developing a similar type of plan, so you and all members of your household can take the appropriate steps to mitigate damage to your devices and data in the event of a cyber attack. Your response plan might involve contacting you or another cyber authority in your home, disconnecting your home network from the internet, contacting your cyber security provider and more.

The New Year will bring all sorts of new challenges — but a devastating cyber attack on your home shouldn’t be one of them. By making and following through on the above resolutions, you should lead a happy and secure life in 2024 and beyond.

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