For a hygienic Cyber Space

  Dr. Pattathil Dhanya Menon  

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The most essential part of being secure in cyberspace is to practice cyber hygiene/data hygiene must be inculcated as a regular habit rather than the most important habit in one’s life. Following cyber hygiene/data hygiene protects ones from falling prey to online criminals and losing data such as personal identifiable information, credit card and other banking information, Personal photographs, personal interest, routines and other information that may be utilised by exploiters. Cyber criminals can exploit your information and cause damages like fake identity, impersonalisation, financial misrepresentation, miss appropriation of funds, etc. The most important question to be asked by all and any while dealing with data on cyberspace is “what information should be made available at what time and where”. If you are handling official data you may also be contractually obligatory in maintaining a certain level of confidentiality and ensure that certain data is not available online.

And there are some precautions you have to take to maintain cyber hygiene.

  1. Use a proper anti-virus

    Businesses likely use computers on a daily basis, which is why it’s paramount that they have sufficient virus protection. Computer viruses are more sophisticated and harmful than ever; a virus could damage a computer to the point where it can no longer be used. In order to protect your business and its computer systems, you need antivirus software.

  2. Have an anti-malware installed

    Not having an Anti malware program on your PC would be like inviting a criminal into your home.It is your first and best line of defense against cybercrime.

  3. Update software,operating system, anti-virus,anti-malware regularly

    Updating these tools are necessary as these might include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing computer bugs. Updates can add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones. While you're at it, it's a good idea to make sure your operating system is running the latest version.

  4. Use network firewalls and update them regularly

    A firewall acts as a barrier or shield that prevents unauthorized access to and from a private network. From personal computers to large corporations, firewalls are an important part of protecting devices against threats.

  5. Use encryption where ever possible

    Encryption is the process through which data is encoded so that it remains hidden from or inaccessible to unauthorized users. It helps protect private information, sensitive data, and can enhance the security of communication between client apps and servers.

  6. Use strong passwords and change them regularly

    We all do set passwords in our gadgets, but most of our passwords are easily predictable.So change your passwords to a strong one and update them regularly.

  7. Double check whenever you use public infrastructure

    Connecting over Public Wifi networks is risky and you should make use of such public infrastructure only if you trust them and also before connecting make sure your datas are secured.

  8. Use two factor authentication wherever and whenever possible

    In all google platforms and other social media platforms, two step verifications are available to double the security.Even though these are not mandatory, you should make use of them wherever possible.

  9. Shut down your digital gadget while not in use

    The gadgets you use should be under your private custody.And don't forget to log out before you move away .Shutting down the system whenever out of use is the best practice.

Dr. Pattathil Dhanya Menon

Dr. Pattathil Dhanya Menon

Dr. Pattathil Dhanya Menon is India's first woman cyber crime investigator and Managing Director of Avanzo Cyber security Solutions, the leading brand in the field of cyber & Data security and one of the associate partners of APOSTROFO. [www.avanzo.in]