New year, new tools? Five ways to secure your devices

While getting a new smart device while on vacation can be great news, it’s not without risks. In many cases, the object out of the box offers little assurance when it comes to cybersecurity.

This means that connecting your new product directly to the Internet without taking any security precautions may expose you to it Hacking, cyber attacks and malware.

To help users enjoy their new devices safely, the UK’s National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) – the cyber arm of the GCHQ Intelligence Service – Five simple, detailed tips Which can help make devices more secure.

1. Protect it with a strong password

People often think that cybercriminals should be expert investigators to crack people’s passwords, But the truth is that people use passwords that are weak and easy to guess. Maybe they use the default password that came with the new device, or maybe they use weak, common, or easy-to-guess passwords like “12345” or “password” for their email and mobile accounts. Social media.

This is why the NCSC advises users to replace simple or default passwords with more secure passwords, so that they are not easy for cybercriminals to guess. NCSC especially suggests creating your own password Three random words Which is unforgettable for you, but difficult for others to guess.

2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

A strong password is a good first step in securing your device and accounts, but it’s not impossible for cybercriminals to use brute force attacks to try to hack or use passwords Phishing attacks To trick users into revealing their passwords.

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This is why the NCSC recommends the use of Two-factor documentation To ensure that there is another obstacle to attackers accessing the accounts. Because even if the attackers know your password, having to allow an attempt to connect through a text message or an app on your smartphone makes it more difficult for the attackers.

“While you’re at it, enable 2FA for your primary email account if you haven’t already. It’s the center of your digital life, because things like password resets are sent there, and therefore should be better protected than other accounts,” he said. Ian Levy, NCSC Technical Director.

3. Always accept automatic updates

Smartphones, tablets, computers, and IoT devices now receive updates from manufacturers regularly, but users regularly postpone their apps either because they consider installing updates to be a waste of time or because they don’t understand why devices need to be updated.

However, updates are often released in order to address vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. Many of the best malware campaigns and cyber attacks in recent years have spread easily Thanks to known vulnerabilities that users have not patched, although there are patches.

For this reason, the NCSC recommends that users configure all their smart devices to install automatic updates – and install updates for phones, tablets, and computers as quickly as possible.

4. If you don’t want it anymore, do a factory reset.

Sometimes people decide that the gadget is not for them in the end, or they decide to replace it with a newer model. If so, then NCSC suggests users to perform a factory reset of the device. By returning the device to its original settings like this, users will erase all personal data on it, which means that the information cannot be exploited by the person using it afterwards.

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5. What to do if a problem occurs

If the worst happens and users believe a stranger is controlling a device inside their home, the NCSC recommends that users perform a factory reset. Meanwhile, if users learn of an incident reported in the news and they believe their product has been affected, they should check the manufacturer’s website for advice.

It is also possible to visit the website of Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) or the website of NCSC. In France, see CNIL or Anssi.

These five tips are simple, but they can go a long way in protecting users from the vast majority of cyberattacks. “Enjoy your new devices and the cool things they can do,” said Levy. “Don’t be afraid of new technology and the internet. With basic prevention, you won’t have to worry about anything.”

Source :

Samantha Arnold

<p class="sign">"Web fanatic. Travel scholar. Certified music evangelist. Coffee expert. Unapologetic internet guru. Beer nerd."</p>

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