Cyber Security Hygiene — Part 1: An Introduction

This article is part of a planned series on Cybersecurity Hygiene for beginners. I believe that information is best absorbed in small bites and as such I’ll be releasing this training over the course of a few weeks.

This installment is an overview of cybersecurity hygiene. The next installment will cover the exciting world of Antivirus!

This training is designed to give the average computer user a general overview of Cyber Security Hygiene and Home Network Security. It was specifically designed for the newly increased Work From Home force in May of 2020.

If you work as a systems administrator or in the cyber security field or otherwise feel you have a good understanding of the topic this may not be for you. However, there will eventually be a more interactive intermediate and expert series that goes more in depth on these and other topics.

Cybersecurity Hygiene

Most people believe that they would never be a target for cyber criminals, however this is simply not true. Malicious actors on the internet typically cast a wide net to garner as many leads as possible. In the past 10 years cyber-crime has risen dramatically. In 2009 there were 12.4 million known malware infections compared to 812.67 million in 2018 (purplesec.us). In today’s incredibly connected world, you are more at risk than ever.

The good news is, just a little knowledge, can go a long way in securing your personal computer! You are the strongest line of defense in regard to information security both on a personal level and for your company. Many malicious actors can be stopped by being vigilant and following the steps outlined in this series of articles.

Picture of someone washing their hands, practicing good general hygiene.

When we talk about cyber security hygiene, what we are primarily referring to is how you handle yourself regarding personal computer security. What exactly does that refer to though? In the following sections we will discuss this in more detail. Below is a list that makes up some of the primary components of cyber security hygiene and will also serve as an outline for the beginner’s series of articles.

•Anti-virus/Anti-malware protection for your personal PC.

•Update management for operating systems and software.

•Good password practices and password management.

•Utilization of Multi-factor Authentication (MFA).

There is more to personal computer security than just what is mentioned in the outline. We will touch on a few of these additional topics, however we will not go as in depth on those in the beginner series. While there is more to good cyber security than what is outlined above, these tools and concepts make up a majority of what you need to understand and utilize to ensure excellent personal cybersecurity hygiene.

I’m a Cyber Security Engineer with a background in Network and Systems Administration.