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Cybersecurity is the major concern in the industry right now. In fact, it is emerging, and starting from individuals to organizations across the world is worried about it. To comply with this, Microsoft indeed asked a lot of companies to be firm about their cybersecurity training programs. It has its own cybersecurity awareness kit based on simulation for user training against cyberattacks. Hence, it is crucial that every user should follow Cyber Hygiene. 

Cyber Hygiene is basically a term for the simple steps that should be taken by a computer user to have their device secured and make it run at it’s best. So, just like you take care of your hygiene, you should take care of your system to keep it clean and tidy. It increases the smooth work experience and cuts the chances or risks of hacking and other criminal activities. Let us focus on the same in details:

Cyber Hygiene

The term Cyber Hygiene refers to having a check that your computer’s network is clean enough to keep cybercriminals off it. It can be rather explained as, keeping your system and network updated as per the latest norms, so that it becomes difficult for cybercriminals to get into it. 

Social engineering, on the other hand, is also a way to gain access to the secrets of any company. It is hence required for the employees to be educated on the possible malicious attacks that can be faced during the course of functioning. The same applies for a student to keep their university work going on fast and smooth. So as you know hacking into a network is the greatest concern of all. All users should be able to work on stuff like this keep their systems tight but yeah, they should be aware that social engineering can get to the cores. There should be proper drafts to deploy cyber hygiene at all places.

How to maintain good Cyber Hygiene?

With each new development in the IT industry, a new malware or a virus is also developed. In the new world that is all about work from home culture, the interest of cybersecurity has risen to heights. Since, in contrast to the efficient security teams maintaining everything at an office network level, work from home security is bleak.

Things you can do to maintain proper cyber hygiene.

Rely on reputed brands for antivirus and malware software

Although Antivirus software can give you an assurance of 25% in malware detection, yet you should always get a brand that is trustable enough. This is the least you can do maintain proper cyber hygiene. Also, keep in mind to be fully aware when you are downloading software from any free site.

Include a network firewall in your first line of defense

You need to keep yourself safe by adding a network firewall, between you and the digital world. This would prevent any kind of unauthorized access to your websites, mail sites, and other sources of information. Many routers come with firewalls and hence, enabling it will ensure proper cyber hygiene.

Move from password protection to strong passwords

Passwords are easy to guess, trace, and even get stolen. A strong password with a unique and complex pattern of at least 12 characters is a norm that should be followed. You can have a combination of numbers, symbols, and capital and lowercase letters for the best.

Make it tougher for hackers with multi-factor authentication

Although a strong password is recommended, adding a line of defense such as two-factor or multi-factor authentication features, such as biometrics or fingerprint recognition is also required these days.

Use device encryption

Using device encryption will ensure that your data is fae even if your system has been compromised. This would be the last line of defense. So even if you miss out on your r device somewhere, you can be assured that your data is safe. 

Protect your wireless network

You can go for a complex password, modify the router’s admin credentials and network name with the use of encryption to ensure router security.

Clear data carefully and completely

You can not rely on the traditional method of clearing your recycle bin data. The use of proper data clearing software is essential as a part of cyber hygiene as it is the only way to ensure erased data from your hard drive has been permanently removed.

Take data backups regularly

Taking regular backup to any cloud service or the external drive will ensure your system’s safety. So that even if your device is compromised, you should not worry about the data loss. This will leverage all the other safeguards that you might have initiated.

Prioritize regular software updates

Many people seem to ignore this, but this is a true necessity. Keeping your software updated keeps hackers away from finding any kind of loopholes. 

Limit the number of users with administrative privileges

More exposure is bad, so having most of the Users set at Standard Users and only the bare minimum as Administrators is a great approach. 

Set reminders for infrastructure wellness checks

Well apart from backups and software updates, infrastructure wellness checks are a part of a cyber\\ hygiene routine. Activities such as scanning for viruses with antivirus software, updating the operating systems of all devices, checking for security patches, wiping the hard drive, and changing your passwords should be done regularly as a part of wellness checks. 

Use a VPN

You know the positive sides of using a VPN. So whenever you using any public network or office or university network over the Intranet VPN will do its purpose of keeping you safe.

Enable two-step authentication

Just your ID and password isn’t safe as it can be traced or copied. Having two-step authentication enabled everywhere will be of great help. You can also go for the authorization app on your devices. 

Use powerful passwords

You can create a strong password using a password manager. You also don’t have to take the pain remembering all the passwords as it will take care of it. 

Keep a single Internet source

Always keep a single source of the Internet for your organization i.e route all the internet traffic via multiple public ISPs is not advisable in the world of cybersecurity. Companies can create their secured local network that is completely isolated and private known as Intranet. If we look into the current scenario, then most of the employees are working from home and this particular point can not be implemented.

Train and Educate employees

Setting norms and proper drafting of cyber hygiene rules is the way to go. Conducting cyber hygiene awareness sessions is one of the best ways to keep your employees updated about it.

Cyber hygiene is essential to keep your device safe and secure from the ever-growing malware threats. It reduces the chance of hacking and other potential attacks. Practicing the best practices responsibly while you are using your system will keep your system healthy and help it run smoothly.


Ankita Mohanty is a Software Engineer who has the passion for content creation, tech and travel. She believes in that there's nothing in this world that's unachievable when you work hard for it.


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