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Mason City (641)423-1600 Change Location

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Mason City Change Location

2601 4th Street SW
Mason City, IA 50401

Tel. (641)423-1600

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Monday-Thursday: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 12:00pm
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    300 North Main Street
    Charles City, IA 50616

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    315 Central Avenue East
    Clarion, IA 50525

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    220 North Main Street
    Kanawha, IA 50447

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    119 North Akir Street
    Latimer, IA 50452

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    33 East State Street
    Mason City, IA 50401

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    2601 4th Street SW
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    730 Forest Ave East
    Mora, MN 55051

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    124 West Main Street
    New Hampton, IA 50659

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    501 Main Street
    Osage, IA 50461

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Home Blog 5 Steps to Protecting Your Digital Home

5 Steps to Protecting Your Digital Home

 
5 Steps to Protecting Your Digital Home

Cyber security awareness is something we all need to embrace. The more you know, the safer you are, and knowing is half the battle. In today’s world, more and more of our home devices (including thermostats, door locks, coffee machines, and smoke alarms) are connected to the Internet. This enables us to control our devices on our smartphones, no matter our location, which can in turn save us time and money while providing convenience and even safety. 

These advances in technology are innovative; however, they also can pose a new set of security risks. We encourage you to follow these simple steps to secure your connected devices:

  1. Secure your Wi-Fi network. Your home’s wireless router is the primary entrance for cyber criminals to access all of your connected devices. Secure your Wi-Fi network, and your digital devices, by changing the factory-set default password and username.
  2. Double you login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.
  3. If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense is to stay on top of things by updating to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. If you have the option to enable automatic updates to defend against the latest risks, turn it on. And, if you’re putting something into your device, such as a USB for an external hard drive, make sure your device’s security software scans for viruses and malware. Finally, protect your devices with antivirus software and be sure to periodically back up any data that cannot be recreated such as photos or personal documents.
  4. Know your apps. Be sure to review and understand the details of an app before downloading and installing it. Also, check to make sure the vendor or creator of the app is reputable. Be aware that apps may request access to your location and personal information. Delete any apps that you do not use regularly to increase your security.
  5. Keep tabs on your apps. Most connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved—gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources. Delete any apps that you do not use regularly to increase your security.

Stay safe everybody and protect your part of cyberspace in an increasingly connected world! For more information about how you can do your part, visit www.cisa.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month. For other resources to keep your identity and money safe, check out our Security Center.

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