Resolve to Follow These 8 Steps for Better Data Security in 2017

1 of 10

Resolve to Follow These 8 Steps for Better Data Security in 2017

The start of the new year is a great time to revisit best practices and improve the fitness of your online security.

2 of 10

Change Your Passwords

Some, but not all, sites and services will remind users automatically after a set period of time to change their passwords. It's important to regularly change passwords on every site you use to help lower risk.

3 of 10

Don't Re-Use Passwords

Sure, it's easy to use your cat's name and your birthday as a password that you easily remember. Using that same password across multiple sites, however, is not something you should ever do, as it raises your risk profile. Data breaches happen, but put all your online accounts at risk should one be breached.

4 of 10

Use Multifactor Authentication Tools

So you've followed the first two steps, changing your password and not reusing passwords, but there are still risks. An attacker still potentially can steal a password in a data breach or through a phishing scam. That's why using some form of multifactor authentication is helpful. Many popular online sites including Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have some form of multifactor authentication, providing a second layer of account protection that you should be using.

5 of 10

Patch Everything

Even if you've followed the first three steps and your password fitness is top-notch, you're still at risk from potential exploits that could be lurking in unpatched applications with known vulnerabilities. Some applications, such as Google's Chrome, automatically stay updated, but many others do not. So, be sure to exercise those fingers and check for any updates regularly and often to make sure you're patching everything (operating system, browsers and all applications).

6 of 10

Use a VPN

If you've made it this far, congratulations: You have a fit password posture and your operating system and applications are up to date. But there are still other risks. Not all sites or WiFi access points are secure, potentially exposing users to risk by sending information in the open and unencrypted. In 2017, choose to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) more often than not. With a VPN you're creating an encrypted tunnel that will limit the risk of snooping.

7 of 10

Consider Not Clicking on Unknown Email Links

Phishing attacks often come in via email, tricking users into clicking on seemingly legitimate looking links. Before clicking on links in 2017, right click or copy/paste the link into a separate browser window first to see what the link actually is and where it is going. Better yet, avoid clicking on unknown or suspicious links in email altogether, if you can.

8 of 10

Revoke Unused Site and App Permissions

On Facebook, Twitter and other popular online sites, users often will grant access to third-party applications. Sometimes users use Facebook, Twitter or Google (often via the OAuth protocol) to log in to other sites. Some of those logins and third-party apps may hold onto that permission or authorization for longer than the length of a session. To say digitally fit and secure, visit the list of third-party authorized apps in your Facebook, Google and Twitter accounts and remove those that you no longer use or need.

9 of 10

Back Up Everything

Finally even if you've followed the previous eight steps, there are still other things that can go wrong. Among the biggest security risks that emerged in 2016 was ransomware. In 2017, resolve to stay digitally fit and secure, and have a continuous backup plan for your account information and all your data.

10 of 10

F5 Networks Survey Finds Security Top Application Deliver Priority

F5 Networks released its 2017 State of Application Delivery report on Jan. 10, providing insight into the growing world of application delivery services. The study was based on responses from a total 2,197 IT professionals around the world. Among the key highlights of the report is enterprises' strong interest in deploying security-related services in 2017. The report found that the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks is a top challenge, which is helping to make security the number on priority for global organizations. In terms of how organizations will deploy application services to respond to the security challenge, 25 percent of respondents indicated that they plan to deploy DNS Security (DNSSEC) in 2017, while 21 percent plan to implement DDoS mitigation technology. Meanwhile 20 percent intend to deploy Web Application Firewall (WAF) services. Overall, F5's report found that organizations...
Top White Papers and Webcasts