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Highlands Residential Mortgage Resources

Cyber Hygiene: Best Practices

By: Highlands Residential Mortgage

Cyber Hygiene Best Practices

In support of Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October), our focus at Highlands Residential Mortgage is to help everyone recognize the important of good personal cyber hygiene year around. Regardless of your view on technology, it’s become an essential component of our daily lives. From online shopping to text messages to video chats with friends and family, below you’ll find a few helpful tips to help keep your information safe.

Good cyber hygiene encompasses many things based on your use of technology, but we’ve boiled it down to a few core categories – these are especially useful around the holiday months when a lot of folks are traveling!

Mobile Device Safety Reminders:

  • Only install mobile apps from trusted sources such as Apple AppStore and Google Play.
  • Keep your mobile device’s operating system up to date.
  • Do not click on links or attachments from unsolicited emails or texts.
  • Avoid transmitting or storing personal information on your mobile device.
  • Utilize Apple’s Find my iPhone or Android’s Device Manager tools to help prevent loss or theft.

Physical Security:

  • Lock your mobile device with a PIN or password – and never leave it unprotected in public.
  • Never leave your electronic devices unattended in a public space – this will help prevent unauthorized access, physical theft, and consequent data breaches.
  • Never leave any electronic devices or your backpack in view while you are away from your vehicle. Make sure and lock up your electronic devices and your backpack in the trunk or out of sight in a secure storage area within your vehicle. The best solution is to bring your electronic devices and backpack with you.


  • When it comes to picking a password, be unique ever time and follow these recommendations:
    • Use at least 12 characters and include uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters. Password vaulting tools are great at helping generate these types of passwords and remembering them, so you don’t have to!

Avoid Sketchy Public Wi-Fi Networks:

  • No public Wi-Fi networks is completely risk-free, but the safety of your personal information depends considerably on what kind of Wi-Fi network you’re using. When using a free Wi-Fi network (airports, doctor offices, coffee shops and other public spaces), please be sure you do the following:
    • Confirm with the staff their exact log-in procedures and networks to connect to.
    • When connected to a public network, be sure to only use “https” sites and avoid online shopping or accessing any sensitive data to avoid a security breach.
    • When possible, always use your own data network connection and connect to a VPN.