Five “No Sweat” Home and Small Business IT Security Resolutions for 2014

Five "No Sweat" Home and Small Business IT Security Resolutions for 2014

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Update May 28, 2014

The Truecrypt website is in a state of flux. We do NOT recommend using Truecrypt at this time. Please check back often until we have more clarity on the Truecrypt situation.

Original Post

These five resolutions are perfect for when you’re done at the gym! They can all be done from a sitting position and without breaking a sweat!

  1. I WILL BACKUP MY DATA!
    • That means multiple copies, using multiple methods, kept in multiple locations!
    • Configure automated backup software to run at least daily.
    • Rotate your backup media periodically so you always have a spare backup that is off-line.
    • Make a clone or image of your important hard drives at least every 6 months and keep them off-line in a safe place.
    • Make sure you have at least one full backup or image in a SECURE REMOTE LOCATION. The place could be at a bank, or with a friend or family member. Ideally it is in another state or at least far enough away so that it’s not affected by a regional disaster like a hurricane or earthquake. Swap it out every 6 months with a fresh copy.
    • Consider cloud backup options, but don’t rely solely on them!
    • Test the backup system periodically so you can be sure it will work when you really need it!
    • If necessary, be sure to include external USB hard drives / flash drives in the backup. Some common backup programs (e.g. Mac Timeline) do NOT include them by default!
  2. I WILL ADOPT AND USE A PASSWORD MANAGER!
    • Ditch the sticky note on the monitor!
    • Use strong, long and complicated passwords that are hard to crack.
    • Do NOT reuse passwords.
    • Periodically change passwords; especially on critical accounts.
  3. I WILL ENABLE ENCRYPTION ON ALL MY COMPUTERS, MOBILE DEVICES AND STORAGE DEVICES.
    • For windows PCs use TrueCrypt or Bit Locker.
    • For Mac simply turn on FileVault. If you’re on an older Mac you may need to upgrade the OS and reformat the system disks to enable this feature. Ouch!
    • For Linux you’ve got lots of options so just pick and use one. Hopefully you did this when you installed, if not, plan a re-install at the next release of you favorite distribution!
    • For iOS devices enable an unlock code and enable auto wipe after 10 failed attempts.
    • For Android devices, configure an unlock password and turn on encryption for both internal and external storage.
    • Don’t forget to encrypt your USB flash/hard drives and storage media as well!
  4. I WILL ENABLE 2-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION WHERE EVER IT IS OFFERED!
    • Critically important are on-line banking, G-mail, dropbox, iCloud, etc.
    • Be sure to configure a fall back number or password for when your mobile is lost or stolen!
  5. I WILL TEST MY ROUTER / FIREWALL!
    • Configure a strong password with WPA/WPA2.
    • Configure an admin password.
  6. Bonus Resolutions!
    • I will use my brain and think before opening e-mail attachments or clicking links.
    • I will NOT use free WiFi or other un-trusted networks.

May you all have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

JR

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