Simple Things You Can Do to be More Secure Online

Endeavor’s latest Getting Down to Business series featured Erick Arbé, founder of Arbé Digital, a marketing and digital agency that builds websites and custom software for businesses of all sizes. Arbé is an entrepreneur, marketer, and a coder. With an understanding of both business strategy and the technical side of the web, and his experience helping clients deal with consistent ransomware attacks, it’s safe to say Arbé can also add cyber security pro to the list.


Arbé’s topic is one that we all can relate to – both personally and professionally. In this day and age of hackers and cyber criminals and their ever-evolving nefarious tactics, everyone can benefit from Arbé’s guidance on what to do and not to do when it comes to the “Internet of Things” and the proliferation of devices connected to a network that can leave you vulnerable if you aren’t careful.


Here’s what I learned (and the actions I’ve already taken):


Change your password…especially if it’s “Password”

Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. Did you know that 24% of Americans have used “password” or “123456” for at least one account? Guilty. I am notorious for adding an additional number to my password every time it expires. Don’t worry, I’ve updated all my passwords and purchased Password Keeper since writing this, and you should, too.


Stop the Social Media Quizzes

We’ve all been down the rabbit hole. Your friend posts “#28randomthingsaboutme” on Facebook, and you follow suit. Your dog’s name is Perry, your first job was at Subway, and you bought your first house in September of 2015. Congratulations, you are now a cyber criminal’s gold mine. Protect yourself and don’t post any personal information. Hackers use this information for social engineering to guess your passwords and/or steal your identity!


Don’t Take the Bait:

SMSishing, pronounced ‘smishing’ is the fraudulent practice of sending text messages claiming to be from reputable companies in order to lure the text recipients into immediate action. This can include downloading malware, sharing personal information via the text message, or visiting a dangerous website. As nice as it would be, the chance of you winning $10,000 from a link in a text message from a random number is, well, zero. Don’t take the bait.


Now that I’ve heightened your awareness of ransomware attacks and cyber security, it’s time to go install that trustworthy antivirus. Remember, the best defense is common sense!


Guest Contributor, Melissa Slater is a Senior Account Executive of The Hughes Agency. She attended Endeavor’s signature Getting Down to Business series featuring Erick Arbé, founder of Arbé Digital, a marketing and digital agency for businesses of all sizes.