American University of Beirut

Cyber Security Hygiene

​The Internet can feel like a troubling place with all the scams, hacks, malware, and more. In addition, the contemporary development of devices, from tablets to smartphones to Internet-connected gadgets, has opened us up to even more dangerous risks.

What are some actions carelessly taken that might make our private information unprotected?

  • Most of us are lazy enough to leave all emails, opened and unopened, in our inbox without bothering to look into them for any suspicious senders or subjects.
  • Also, we rely on using very easy words for our passwords just for the sake of remembering them; in addition to using the same password for all our social media accounts.
  • Somehow, we are always sure that our emails, study materials, and photos will never ever be lost. This is completely not true. One of the biggest mistakes is actually not keeping a back up of all of your personal information.
  • Furthermore, we post our pictures, videos, check-ins, etc. on social media without taking a minute and thinking about the content of the uploaded material, what they say about us, and how they affect other people.
  • Finally, we fall in the trap of not keeping our Internet-connected devices updated to reduce the risk of malware and ransomware infection.

The good news is that we can reduce our exposure to all these intimidations by taking just a small amount of security methods:

  • Be cautious when suspicious: if links in emails, tweets, posts look suspicious, delete them as cybercriminals try to compromise such information.
  • Lockout your login: Strengthen your password, use complex password or passphrase a combination of words in upper case and numbers or symbols, intensify your online accounts and use strong authentication like fingerprint, one-time code… whenever possible
  • Back it up: Make an electronic copy of your photos, study materials, research data, and other digital information. If you fall victim to a virus or malware, you can use this copy to restore your data.
  • Pause Post Protect: Consider what you are posting about yourself and others and consider who might see it and who might use it.
  • Clean your device: To reduce the risk of malware and ransomware infection, keep all Internet-connected devices updated.​

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