5 Cybersecurity Tips for everyday “Dummies”

Cyber-attacks are getting more and ore complicated…

Nobody likes to be called a dummy.  Especially a well educated professional like yourself but what if I was able to convince you that when it comes to Cybersecurity, taking the “dummy approach” may be your best mitigation strategy.  

The numbers are alarming.  According to the FBI the number of complaints about cyberattacks to their Cyber Division is up to as many as 4,000 a day. That represents a 400% increase from what they were seeing pre-coronavirus.

The Challenge

The headlines don’t lie, cyber-criminals are intensifying their attacks and going for everything from personal information to consumer data. While they may not have any ethics, they are not stupid.  

Let me ask you a question: If you had to pick a house to break into.  Would you pick house#1 with the state of the art security, anti-climb fence, and K-9s? Or house#2 with the windows slightly open, mail piled up, and no car in the garage?  

Pretty easy choice..wouldn’t you agree? 

Cybercriminals think the same way.  While it is true that each day more and more companies are experiencing increasingly sophisticated attacks, cybercriminals are always on the lookout for easy targets

Online, the easiest targets are individuals and usually small businesses that take little to no precautions.  

Enter the Dummy Approach

Let’s face it cybersecurity is COMPLICATED. Disagree?  Well consider this:

  • There is a hack attack every 39 seconds. 
  • Around 94% of all malware is spread through email. 
  • 300,000 thousand new pieces of malware are created daily.
  •  95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error.

The fact is that we are living in a fast paced and ever complicated world.  There’s simply too many threats and too much information for us to catch up. Instead of trying to keep up with everything we can approach cybersecurity as a Dummy. Please allow me to explain. 

When I said like a “dummy”, I use the term as an avid reader of the Dummies series. They are extensive series of instructional/reference books which are intended to present non-intimidating guides for readers new to a particular topic.  

“Dummies has always stood for taking on complex concepts and making them easy to understand.”

Now, this article is by no means a review of the excellent book Cybersecurity for dummies. More than just reading a book, the point we are making is that when it comes to Cybersecurity the “dummies approach” is effective. The genius about the Dummies series is that they empower readers with actionable knowledge that they can apply to their daily lives.   

With that, here 5 Cybersecurity for Dummies Tips that will help you cyber-protect yourself, family and business. 

5 Helpful Cybersecurity for Dummies tips…

  • 1. Acknowledge the Risk: Cybersecurity for Dummies makes a simple yet alarming claim:
    “Every person, business, organization, and government entity is a potential target for hackers. People who think that they do not have anything of value and “why would hackers want to attack me?” often act without proper diligence and learn quite quickly how wrong their perspective is.”
    Dummy Tip#1: By acknowledging the risk you are more likely to take practical measures to protect yourself.
  • 2. Passwords Are Important: A recent study on passwords showed that “despite ubiquitous warnings not to do so, a large number of people still use weak passwords such as “123456” or “password”.

    Dummy Tip#2: Avoid weak passwords. Even better use multi-factor authentication when it is available. Multi-factor authentication should be used whenever possible because it immediately neutralizes the risks associated with compromised passwords by adding an additional layer of security to protect highly sensitive personal information.
  • 3. Don’t go cheap: The average hack can be easily prevented with a base level of awareness and effective software.  Modern security software dramatically increase the odds of a person fending off a whole slew of potential cybersecurity problems, including malware, breaches, spam overloads, and others. Add on a strong cybersecurity awareness foundation and you have yourself a fordable cybersecurity posture.

    Dummy Tip#3: You owe it to yourself, your family, and your business to invest in the latest software and cybersecurity awareness training.

Cybersecurity has never been more challenging than it is today and with new threats arising daily it is only going to get more complicated. While this may seem overwhelming at first, there is a lot we can do to reduce the risks we face.

By adopting a practical yet effective approach as outlined in Cybersecurity for Dummies we can strengthen our cyberscurity posture without be an IT professional.

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