Cyber Tips

8 Cyber Security Resolutions to Keep Your Home Safe for 2024

Setting intentions for the new year? Don’t forget your digital wellbeing with these easy-to-keep cybersecurity resolutions for 2024.

News Years Resolutions for 2024

It’s a new year and a time for fresh starts and good intentions. When you’re making resolutions for 2024, don’t forget to add home cyber security to the list. We spend an average of 8 hours a day immersed in digital media. And with a cyberattack occurring every 39 seconds, the personal and financial threat is real. The good news? Taking charge of your digital world and shielding yourself from cyber threats is easier than you might think. With these straightforward cybersecurity resolutions, you’ll  breeze through 2024 with your data secure and your identity intact. 

Update Passwords

We say this a lot because password best practices are truly that important. According to LastPass, more than 80% of confirmed breaches are related to stolen, weak, or reused passwords. Hackers can crack a five-character password instantly, however, there are ways to better ensure password safety:  

  • Create strong passwords with at least 12 characters using uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters and space 
  • Use different passwords for every account and login 
  • Change passwords every 3 months—even the best passwords are regularly stolen 
  • Use a password management tool to protect and remember your passwords for you  
  • Always use MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) when setting up your personal and business accounts  

Update Software Regularly

If you’ve trained your brain to ignore update notifications, it’s time for a new healthy habit. Trust us, it’s definitely worth the short time it takes to put down your device, plug it in, and let the magic happen. Updates fix security issues and include new features to improve functionality.  

  • Schedule automated systems updates during times you know you won’t be needing use your device 
  • Use only official channels for updates and never download or install software from unknown sources 

Bypass Free Public Wi-Fi

This one can be a bit of a challenge, particularly if you’re on the go or are juggling costly data plans. But if you can avoid it, you’re better off waiting to login to a secure network. A recent Forbes study found that 40% of respondents had their information compromised while using public Wi-Fi. And while legitimate airport Wi-Fi is safer than your local pub, you still don’t know who you’re sharing cyberspace with. Hint: it’s hackers. If you must use public Wi-Fi, be savvy about it:  

  • Make sure you’re keeping your resolution to update your software and systems  
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt internet traffic and hide your identity and data

Fend Off Phishing

Resolving to develop your phishing radar may be one of the best things you do for yourself this year. Scammers fire off an estimated 3.4 billion malicious emails every day. One popular trick involves sketchy emails or texts that ask you to alter your payment details. When one of those “update your payment” emails lands in your inbox, don’t get click-happy. Stop and follow these simple steps to make sure you’re not falling for a scam: 

  • Take a Breather: Don’t rush. Scammers want you in a frenzy. Chill out and stay cool. 
  • Remember this: No company or government branch or ANY legitimate entity will ask you to update your financial information via email or text. If you’re asked to do so, it’s a scam. 
  • Call, Don’t Click: Don’t click any links. Instead, make a call to the company using a trusted phone number – not the one in the email.

Delete Unused Apps

Many of us have way too many apps downloaded on our smart devices. Some apps are redundant and take up valuable memory while others may even compromise your privacy. Many legitimate apps have default privacy settings that put you at risk if the app is ever targeted by a cyberattack. An app audit is also an opportunity to evaluate what’s serving you and what’s just draining your battery.   

  • Check your device settings to look at what apps you use regularly and how much data and battery power each app is using and get rid of anything that’s dragging you down  
  • If your device has an automatic app cleanup setting, go ahead and set that up  
  • Enjoy the lightness of being that comes with a newly refreshed and safer smart device 

Secure Your Socials

In a culture of oversharing, it can be a real challenge to be mindful of privacy. It’s best to save your most personal information for people you know in real life. Ask yourself if the dopamine hit from vacation photo likes offsets the risk of cybercriminals knowing your hotel and the names of your kids, partners and/or pets. Still not sure? You should know that on average 1.4 billion social media accounts are hacked every month. 

  • Set your social media accounts to private or have a public account for more generic sharing 
  • Don’t share valuable personal information like birthdays and travel dates on a public account 
  • Consider if you really want to share information (sharenting) about your kids online—their digital footprint starts with you 
  • Set your privacy settings so that others can’t tag you in their posts or message you directly without permission 
  • Delete any old profiles no longer in use 

Defend Your Network & Devices

Take stock of all your security measures and make sure you’re doing the following to protect your devices and home network: 

  • Install and update anti-virus software on all devices 
  • Regularly back up files and personal information to an external hard drive or cloud storage and keep multiple copies in a variety of digital and physical locations 
  • If you work from home, create a dedicated network for work 
  • Invest in cyber insurance to predict threats, prevent breaches and insure against online safety and cyber risk events at home including protection against cyberbullying, extortion and more  

Make it a Family Affair

If you have kids, make 2024 the year you teach them about cybersecurity. Investing in tools and training for your family is a great way to share knowledge and stay safe from cyber threats. 

Get Help

Much like enlisting a personal trainer to help keep your fitness resolutions, you can turn to professionals for support with cybersecurity. Ask your work’s IT department for help setting up a dedicated network for work. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or call help desks if you’re unsure about new software. And we’re here to answer any questions you may have about cyber insurance. Our Cyberboxx Home insurance product provides access to industry-leading cyber threat intelligence from our BOXX Hackbusters incident response team.  

Here’s to healthy, happy and cybersafe 2024. Unlike some of the unrealistic expectations we take on this time of year, cybersecurity resolutions are easy to keep and make the digital world safer for everyone.  

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