digital safety

10 steps to Digital Safety during COVID-19 crisis

We are in unprecedented times and, with school and business closures across the world, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the #coronapanic to exploit the weaker information security of our homes.

  1. Stay calm. It is easy to get stressed and panicked during times of uncertainty, remaining calm is your #1 defense against cybercrime, cyber criminals are preying on the current situation.
        a. Use extra caution when responding to email asking for data, money or access.
        b. Call official numbers to verify requests for data, money or installation of software.
        c. Make sure to create time and space to breathe and relax.
        d. It is important to take time for self-care; we are all under an increased amount of stress
  1. Update your home router.
        a. Look under your WIFI router for the model number and write it down.
        b. Google “How to update” and your WIFI router model number.
        c. Follow the steps to ensure you have the latest update.
  1. Update your smart phone
      a. Google “How to update” and your cell phone model name.
            i. E.g. “How to update Samsung galaxy 9”
      b. Update apps on your phone. To do this, go to the app store, select the app you want to update and click “update”.
  1. Use antivirus and anti-malware software
    a. Make sure all your devices have some form of protection from viruses and malware.
  1. Consider limiting Internet of Things (IOT) device use during schooling and working from home
    a. If your IOT device responds to name, you may want to either mute it during school and work time or consider doing your school and work in an area without IOT devices.
           i. IOT devices that listen can present risks to privacy and sensitive information.
  1. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
    a. Most employers and school provide a VPN
    b. Using a VPN is like closing the curtains in your home
  1. Use only electronically safe cleaners, avoid caustic cleaners
    a. Use a damp (not wet) cloth.
    b. Use extra caution when cleaning screens. Do not press hard on the screen.
  1. Have a dedicated space for school and work
    a. It is important to take create a space in our homes that will be for schooling or working, this will help us to maintain focus.
  1. Use extra caution when using your webcam
    a. Think about what is in the background of your home, try to limit the amount of activity or personal information exposed in the background.
  1. Lock your devices when not in use
    a. A curious child, a keyboard walking cat or other household members could inadvertently compromise or share sensitive data.