IT Security Basics Everyone Should Know [2023]

calendar icon August 6, 2021

The internet has become an integral part of our daily lives. And while it facilitates work and life in unprecedented ways, there are some inherent risks to using it unprotected. IT security is more important than ever with rising cyber threats. This article provides a basic introduction to the concepts of IT security as they apply to both personal and enterprise computing. It focuses on core concepts such as security processes, security policies, security threats, and security incidents. 

According to the latest figures from the United Nations, there has been a whopping 600% increase in cybercrime during the pandemic, i.e., over the last two years. This means that now would be the best time to educate yourself on the basics of IT security and implement its tenets to safeguard your personal and organizational data. 

This is important because the potential of being hacked or infected by malware can ruin your business’s IT infrastructure and compromise employee and customer data. 

Since work from home became unavoidable for over 88% of organizations globally after the coronavirus pandemic started, there is a lot of remote sharing of large amounts of data, making it vulnerable to loss and theft.

But as long as you have the proper measures in place, there is nothing to worry about. Here are some tried-and-tested, expert-recommended ways to ensure that your IT security solutions are up to the mark:

Enable Automatic Data Backups

If you aren’t making regular, multiple backups of all your data, its security will always be questioned. However, data backups don’t always have to be manual. So, if you or your IT staff are too busy to make cloud backups of all your systems on a weekly or bi-monthly basis, you can put in controls using apps and online services and enable them to do it for you.

In fact, there are built-in tools in both Windows and MacBook computers that allow you to set up automatic data backup times. Of course, you can also always contact a cybersecurity solutions and services company for help and recommendations. 

Safeguard Against Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering is how data thieves and hackers access secure information by impersonating people and companies or phishing your info online.

This makes it vital to double-check the authenticity of all phone calls, emails, and links you receive before responding or clicking on them. It is also essential to know that recent studies on data breaches have shown how over 63% of successful attacks came from internal sources, mainly through fraud, control, or errors.

So, take the time to educate your people not to forward dubious links, give out company emails and numbers unnecessarily and contact IT security immediately if they think they clicked on something they shouldn’t have.

Install Anti-Malware and Antivirus Software

Remember, most hackers get into your computer systems using malware and viruses, making them the most significant threat at all times. 

That’s why it is important to install antivirus and anti-malware software that updates regularly with info on the latest viruses and monitors your systems round the clock to keep them protected. Some of the top options include Sophos Antivirus for Mac, Avira for Windows, and anti-malware tools such as Malwarebytes. 

But if you are technologically challenged, leave the selection and installation to a cybersecurity solutions and services company that can do this for you.

Put A Lock On Your Wireless Router

Protecting your router, both at work and home can help you defend against attacks.

It would be best to use WPA2 (AES) encryption and change the administrator login for the router. This also helps prevent others from stealing your Wi-Fi. Even if you share your Wi-Fi with people you know, you can still do that while staying safe.

Use A VPN When Using Public Wi-Fi

People often overlook the risks of identity theft while connected to public Wi-Fi. However, it is something you should be extremely cautious about when using public networks, for example, at the mall or a restaurant. If you need to use public Wi-Fi, try protecting yourself as best as possible by using a virtual private network (VPN).

Also, VPNs help when exposing your identity online in vulnerable situations, so having a VPN on hand can always be helpful.

Encrypt Your Emails And Log-Ins

Sensitive information such as your tax returns, bank info, or other confidential business information should always be encrypted through email. 

Several tools can be used to encrypt files before you send them through email. Or, you can hire services such as ProtonMail to help you out.

Additionally, enable two-factor authentication on all accounts, especially on social media like Twitter and Facebook. It allows you to be extra secure if your password has been stolen. A tool, TwoFactorAuth, can help you uncover the places that allow you to enable two-factor authentication so you can be secure on every platform. 

Use Password Manager

Did you know that over 53% of internet users only remember their passwords and don’t have a formal way of managing them? Unfortunately, that can be a problem because it can be broken no matter how clever your password is. This is all the more true if you use the same passwords across multiple sites. 

You need to make sure you are using a unique password for every service and site you use. You need a secure way to save all your passwords with a handy password manager, so you won’t have to worry about changing your passwords or remembering them if they get stolen. 

In Conclusion

There is no excuse for compromising on your IT security. However, if you do not have the time or resources, you can always look for a cyber-security solutions and services company that can help you create a more secure work and home environment for you.