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Whether big or small, the internet has made it easier for us to share moments in life with one another. At the touch of a button, you can capture big moments such as a baby’s first steps and share them instantly with friends and family. For the second week of Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM), we are focusing on sharing special moments safely with advice on staying safe while file sharing, malware and antivirus software, and storing and backing up data.

Staying Safe While File Sharing

Sharing special moments helps us feel connected to those we love. The internet allows us to instantly share these moments with friends and family both near and far. Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing things online, the internet isn’t always safe. Sending and receiving private files can be risky as there are many cybercriminals who can try to exploit your information by using various methods such as phishing.

Phishing is a common method that hackers will use to steal valuable information from both individuals and organizations. Phishing scams are often disguised as messages from people and organizations that you trust, making them easier to fall victim to. One of the best ways to avoid a phishing scam is learning how to recognize one. Check out these seven red flags to look out for to avoid becoming a victim of phishing.

Malware and Antivirus Software

Malware is one of the most common ways people experience a cyberattack. Did you know that 2 in 5 Canadians have had malware on their computer? Malware is software that is specifically designed to interfere with, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system. If your device is infected, it can cause freezing and crashing, poor performance, unwanted pop-ups, and toolbars, and even send out unwanted emails.

Malware presents itself in many forms, including viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware and adware, and ransomware. These common forms of malware are sometimes difficult to recognize. The following best practices can help you protect your computer system against malware:

  • Install and use anti-virus software
  • Avoid suspicious links and email attachments
  • Download only from trusted sources
  • Use a VPN on unsecured networks like public Wi-Fi

Bonus Tip: Keep your systems, programs, and applications updated. Most programs and operating systems do a great job at reminding their users when an update is available. Updating your programs and operating systems regularly ensures that you are benefiting from the latest security patches and bug fixes, making it harder for cybercriminals to exploit your data with malware.

Storing and Backing Up Data

Your special moments are special! Be sure to keep them safe on your devices so that they don’t get lost or corrupted. One of the best ways to keep your special moments special is to back them up. There are many benefits to taking the time to back up your data, including:

  • Ensuring you always have a backup in case of a disaster such as a cyberattack or breaking your device
  • Freeing up storage space on your device
  • Protecting your special moments from accidental corruption

Backing up files is easy to do! You can back up your data physically and/or digitally. To back up your files physically, you’ll need an external device such as a USB stick or an external hard drive. Once your files are backed up physically, you’ll want to ensure that you keep your external device stored in a safe location.

To back up your data digitally, you can use a reputable online cloud server. There are many great options to choose from! Some online cloud servers offer free storage up until a certain amount, while others have subscription fees.

Whether you decide to back up physically or digitally, choose what works best for you.

Keep Those Special Moments Special

By following cyber safe best practices such as learning how to prevent phishing scams and malware, and backing up your devices, you can share special moments safely. There is no show of cybercrime slowing down, so it’s always a good idea to stay up to date on the best practices and evolving tactics to avoid cybercrime. Want to keep your IT infrastructure cyber secure? Talk to our IT experts today for the best cybersecurity protection.

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