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October of every year has been earmarked as Cyber Security Month. In terms of cyber security, the past two years have been really eventful. The large scale remote work induced by the pandemic resulted in an unprecedented number of cyber attacks.

Just to put the level of cyber risks into perspective, there are approximately 834 open investigations involving healthcare data breaches over the past two years. It is estimated that over 55 million records of various US nationals are involved.

These mind boggling stats are just a stark reminder to all of us, that we need to beef up our cyber security as individuals too. More importantly, a few simple and logical steps that we take in this regard can go a long way in improving our data and cyber security.

It all begins with your home WIFI network, which is now also doubling down as your workplace. The first thing to do is to change the default name of your home network. One can’t emphasize the importance of strong passwords enough.

The most common excuse we hear about having weak passwords is that they are easier to remember. An even bigger mistake is having the same password for multiple items, which can be catastrophic if someone get hold of that one “golden password”.

So, to prevent difficult passwords slipping away from the mind, it is always good to have a password that correlates with the item for which you have it. Another tip that goes a long way in enhancing password strength is having special characters, and a space as well.

It is always a good practice to keep your WIFI router’s software up to date, as it will include all the latest security patches released by the vendor against emerging threats. Now, let us focus on some tips we should follow over the internet on a daily basis.

Never click on suspicious links that are embedded within emails from people you don’t know from work, or your circle of acquaintances. Do not budge into “threatening” emails stating that your bank account or email ID has been marked for blocking.

Remember, cyber security is a mindset that needs to be there at all times. Over the web, there is no such time when you can completely let your guard down.

So, this cyber security month, watch out for cyber miscreants!

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