Cybersecurity Best Practices

Amanda McFarland Life with Money

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity has become a major concern for individuals and businesses alike. With the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks, it’s more important than ever to know cybersecurity best practices to protect ourselves and our data.

So, how can we best do that?

We think about this question frequently at Park Piedmont. We take cybersecurity seriously, and we’re continuously educating ourselves on best practices to protect our client data.

With that in mind, we recently attended a cybersecurity webinar hosted by Schwab. We took away a lot of helpful information, and we wanted to share what we learned with you.

Cybersecurity Best Practices: Unique Passwords

Create Unique Passwords

One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from cyber threats is to use strong passwords.

An ideal password should be unique and at least 12-15 characters long. It’s important to avoid using the same password; otherwise, hackers only need to crack one password to gain access to multiple accounts.

As important as it is to use unique passwords, keeping track of them can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are password manager apps that can generate and store unique passwords for you, and many of them offer free levels of service.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • 1Password
  • LastPass
  • Bitwarden
  • Dashlane
  • NordPass
  • Keeper

These are only a few of the many options available. It’s important to do your own research so that you can choose the best password manager app for your needs.

You can also add an extra layer of security to your accounts by using multi-factor authentication, such as a fingerprint or a one-time passcode sent to your phone.
Cybersecurity Best Practices: Multi-Factor Authentication

Update Your Technology

Another step you can take to protect yourself is to ensure that your software and operating systems are up to date.

Software updates contain important security patches that can prevent cyber hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities. Your device will let you know whenever a software update is available, and you should take immediate action when you receive those alerts.

In addition to staying on top of the updates, you will also want to use antivirus software for PCs, such as Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Norton AntiVirus Plus, or McAfee Total Protection.

Beware Phishing Attempts

Phishing emails are on the rise, as you’ve likely noticed in the past couple of years. Before you click on a link or download an attachment, verify that the email is coming from a familiar sender.

In addition to checking the sender’s name, be sure to verify the email address itself. For example, we recently received an odd email from “Amazon” stating that we needed to review our billing information by clicking on the link below.

Upon further review, however, we noticed that the email address was not from but instead from an obscure email address.

Be Vigilant

The last thing we want to mention is simply to be vigilant. Monitor your accounts regularly and act immediately if you notice any suspicious activity.

If a data breach should occur, Charles Schwab provides step-by-step instructions to minimize the impact. And, of course, contact us right away so we can assist you with any accounts managed by Park Piedmont.

Read “Cybersecurity Best Practices to Protect Your Accounts” in the Piedmont Exedra.