Total Digital Security provides privacy and cybersecurity solutions for private clients and their personal technology. We serve clients in over 40 states with managed protection, personal support, and concierge-level service. For us, 2021 was the busiest year we've had since founding in 2013, and December was the busiest month of all.

We've learned a ton working in the field and directly with individuals and their personal technology, helping them solve the myriad of privacy, security, and functional challenges they face.

Here, we'll share key "from the field" takeaways from last year and some suggested tactical adjustments for the year ahead.

 

Cybersecurity and Privacy in 2021

 

Some in cybersecurity call 2021 "annus horribilis" with the exponential growth in attacks and new vulnerabilities. Thinking of certain politicians, bureaucrats, corporate leaders, frontline workers, law enforcement officials, parents, and countless others, cybersecurity professionals surely are not alone in this view of last year.

 

✓ For TDS volume was up with specific drivers and patterns predominating the activity.

 

Here are key takeaways from 2021 for privacy and digital security:

    • Your inbox still is and will likely remain target #1 for hackers. 
      • Spam filters are struggling to deal with increasing volume and sophistication, and managing safelists and blocklists of senders is a must for a reliable inbox.
      • Always, always use MFA for email accounts. More here.
    • Phishing is evolving and now can include SMS text messages and voice phone calls to add believability to the exploits.
      • It's wise to not underestimate how effective next-gen phishing and "smishing" hacks can be. 
      • For some insight, see the article by security guru Krebs, here. The article is fascinating and will open your eyes, but phishing is still rudimentary with what's to come.
    • Home and office internet routers became a hot target for hackers in 2021.
      • Most of our new customers for 2021 found us after suffering a home or home office network breach.
    • Stalking and harassment cases in 2021 were multiples higher than years before.
      • The most common perpetrators are miffed exes, crazy neighbors, and disgruntled former employees and co-workers.
      • It's hard to fathom the extremes some will go to driven by rage and jealousy - it's a sickness and terrifying for the victims.
    • The cybersecurity industry is vibrant and continues to innovate capable defenses that significantly reduce the risk of harm and loss.
      • Progress in AI, machine learning, and collaborative intelligence will continue to drive efficacy in 2022. 

  To review last year's monthly newsletters and the specific advice for TDS clients, click here.

 

Smart tactics for 2022

 

Surviving and succeeding in a world of fast-paced change requires tenacity, resiliency, and adaptability.

With that, here's a list of recommended tweaks and tactics for greater privacy and digital security in 2022.

 

    • Start using an authenticator app versus an SMS code for multi-factor authentication.
    • Don't use a browser to store your passwords. More here.
    • Privatize your home router to "protect at the node" with a private and secure router and VPN. See how we do it using advanced SD-WAN technology.
    • Consider privatizing your personal email account for greater privacy and digital security, and to find some digital autonomy from Big Tech.  To learn how we can help privatize your email, click here.
    • Start using a digital vault for tax returns, wills and trusts, medical records, and other material you don't want on the cloud. Add beneficiary rights to make it easy for your heirs. 
    • Joining Big Tech, ISP providers and mobile providers are fast becoming the new offenders of your privacy and digital security. Take proactive measures to opt out of their data collection practices.
    • Be diligent with software patches and updates to help avoid coming Log4j hacks.

 If it all feels like a lot, you're not alone. Consider our Computer Coaching service to help you along. 

 

Contact us for more information about cybersecurity products and services:

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Read more about personal cybersecurity and privacy for private clients:

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Topics: Total Digital Security, Cybersecurity for Life

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