Basic Steps to increase your Cybersecurity

Here are some basic actions you can take to increase your digital security. This is more a of a to-do list rather than my usual how-to guide, so please reach out to me at mike@mikehelmers.com with any questions you have.

If you find that you enjoy setting up these tools and playing with the admin settings, you should look into a cyber-security career.

Things you can do:

  • Password Managers
  • Haveibeenpwned
  • Network Map
  • Router Security
  • Browsing Security

Password Managers:

A tool that allows you to manage your passwords. Personally, I love Bitwarden. It is simple and free. Bitwarden is also open-source, which is a characteristic an a program I always appreciate. They also have apps for your phone and operating system. There are other options out there like LastPass, 1Password, and the self-hosted KeePass. BTW, Bitwarden can be self-hosted as well.

Once you have your account setup, audit your existing passwords. Make sure you don’t use anything twice. Use the built-in tools to create random, hard-to-guess passwords.

Bonus: Help someone else setup a password manager. Why? Helping people become more secure is what you will do every day, and explaining how to use this tool is an essential skill.

Haveibeenpwned :

Haveibeenpwned is a website that runs your email address against a database of known security breaches. It shows where your data has been exposed. If you have been exposed, it is time to change your password.

While visiting the site you shoudl use their password tool too. You can enter your password into their tool and it will let you know if that password has ever been exposed.

Bonus: Sign up for alerts. Continuous monitoring is an important part of security. They’ll alert you if you have been breached.

Map your Network:

Figure out what is on your home network, and what the IP and MAC addresses of your devices are. You need to know what is supposed to be on your network. Now if you see something that shouldn’t be there, you’ll know what to investigate.

Bonus: Set static IPs on your devices so you’ll know what they are.

Lock down your router:

Most routers come with default settings. Here’s what to change to make it hard for outsiders to access your home network.

  • Create a strong password for your wifi
  • Change the default admin password
  • Use WPA2, not WEP or WPA, for your wireless encryption
  • Disable WPS on your router

Bonus: Install a VPN to access your home network securely when traveling.

Have fun friends!