Wombat Security is a leading provider of security awareness training products that change behaviors and reduce risk. Learn more about how our unique methodology is helping organizations realize measurable results from their cybersecurity education programs.
Update Out of the Box
It may sound crazy, but new gadgets can be out of date by the time you bring them home. This is particularly true of refurbished devices and systems, but is often the case with brand new items as well, as they can sit on shelves for months before they are purchased.
After products are manufactured and shipped, software improvements continue, so make it a priority to check for updates as soon as you can. Be extra cautious with consumer-oriented devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Due to high demand and intense competition, some devices are sent to market before they’ve been fully secured.
Another important tip: Change default passwords on all your devices (routers, exercise trackers, connected cameras, etc.). Default passwords for devices are frequently published online, and there have been known cyberattacks that exploited this type of information. A quick change can pay big dividends with security.
Go to a Legitimate Source for All Downloads
It can’t be overstated: Cybercriminals and online scammers are lurking around every virtual corner. That’s why it’s important to go to trusted sources for software and applications. Here are a few key pointers:
- Don’t click pop-up windows or random web pages that advise you to update software or plug-ins. These are almost always a trap. Instead, run a scan within the software itself or visit the developer’s website to check for updates.
- Stick to trusted application stores. “Homegrown” apps don’t have to go through the security checks required by more mainstream sources, which makes them inherently more dangerous. The bigger brands take security more seriously.
- Avoid pirated content. Yes, there are sites that claim to offer premium content for free (music, TV shows, movies, cracked software, etc.). Not only are these types of downloads illegal, they are also risky. These sites are not policed for safety or security, so you run the risk of exposing your devices to viruses, malware, and other dangers with any downloads.
- Stick with trusted developers and manufacturers. The simple fact is that every new piece of software, every application, and every connected device is a new gateway to your personal data and systems (and, potentially, your business data and systems). While security flaws are discovered in popular software and devices on a regular basis, trustworthy organizations want to close those gaps as quickly as possible to protect their customers. In contrast, rogue developers look to take advantage of intentional vulnerabilities for their personal gain.