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Microsoft shares tips to combat cyberthreats, protect privacy in COVID-19 era

File photo.

File photo.  

It advises to turn on device encryption which ensures that data on your device is safe from unauthorised access should your device be stolen or lost

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people's daily routines, the way they work, and their reliance on technology, said Microsoft on Wednesday. “As the whole world is now spending more time online, it’s important to remember that the basics of online safety have not changed. In this backdrop, we have released a set of important guidelines that might offer an extra layer of digital security for individuals and enterprises,” said the company.

“So, in addition to the security policies implemented at work or school, here are a few more practices we recommend you — and your family and friends — adopt to further increase personal cybersecurity resilience,” it further said.

An advisory from Microsoft (MS) says, devices need to be secure and upto date, and for this one needs to turn on automatic security updates, antivirus, and firewall. Cyberthreats often prey upon the devices that are the easiest to compromise: those without a firewall, without an antivirus service, or without the latest security updates. “To reduce this risk, turn on automatic updates to ensure your devices have the latest security fixes, enable or install an antivirus solution that runs continuously, and configure a firewall,” Microsoft said. It goes on to say, device safety includes ones networking devices too. It advises using Wi-Fi encryption options for access.

It advises to secure one's identity and guard privacy. For this, it says one has to protect digital identity as it has become even more important to protect. It advises to use strong passwords or, if possible, biometric authentication like your face or fingerprint, and wherever possible enable multi-factor authentication. Among others, Google and Microsoft, both offer free MFA applications that are easy to set up and use.

The need to protect business data while at home has become imperative. Hence, Microsoft says, use the right file-sharing service for the right task. While working remotely, it is easy for lines to blur between work and home. It’s important to ensure that your business data does not get mixed with your personal data.

Also, it advises to turn on device encryption which ensures that data on your device is safe from unauthorised access should your device be stolen or lost.

With cybercriminals continuing to exploit victims even through this global crisis, Microsoft has warned against being lured by them. The methods like phishing and scams are very common. With awareness and these few simple steps, one can be better prepared for this new world of secure remote work and social interaction.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 2:18:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/microsoft-shares-tips-to-combat-cyberthreats-protect-privacy-in-covid-19-era/article31857802.ece

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