In our connected world, we are all tasked with the critical responsibility of keeping our Internet-enabled products safe and secure. Remember, one compromised product not only impacts the owner, but anyone who’s information is on it.

That’s why it’s never been more important for businesses and consumers to be proactive in bolstering the security of their products. Too often, cybersecurity is introduced as a means of responding to threats instead of preventing them.

Here are 10 best practices to make sure you are on the offense against the threat of an attack:

1. Understand the Threat
The stakes of a cyber attack in our connected world are too high for negligence. In order to prevent an attack, you need to understand the risk at hand. This means erasing the mindset that an attack won’t happen to you and acknowledging that you are a target to hackers.

Only then can you develop an effective strategy to preventing one.

2. Password Management
Strong password management is more than just making your passwords long and using a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters. It also includes not recycling passwords between accounts, changing passwords regularly, and never saving login credentials in a web browser.

3. Always Choose Two-Factor Authentication
A password should only be the first step to accessing your account. Two-factor authentication adds a second layer of protection to help ensure that no one can log into your accounts even if they find a way to obtain your password.

4. Keep Your Software Up to Date
Never procrastinate when it comes to installing software updates for your operating system and applications. These updates often include critical security enhancements that can protect your product from the latest schemes used by cybercriminals.

5. Choose Your Wi-Fi Wisely
Free public Wi-Fi is incredibly convenient when you’re on-the-go, but it also presents significant vulnerabilities. Never join a public network that’s not familiar to you. For example, if you’re in a coffee shop or hotel, check with the staff to verify the name of the network before connecting your product. Additionally, avoid doing secure work such as online banking while using public networks.

6. Be Careful What You Click
Never click a link in a suspicious email or text, and always check the URL of the website the link is taking you too. Cyber criminals will often buildout websites around misspellings of a common website URL.

7. Backup your Information
Backup data on your products regularly. In the event that you are affected by a cyber attack, you will need to erase and re-install the entire system.

8. Monitor Accounts for Suspicious Activity
Be sure to regularly review account activity on your products and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. If you see something unfamiliar, it could be a sign that your product has been compromised

9. Never Leave Your Products Unattended
Never lose sight of your products when you’re in public, and make sure to lock them up when you leave them at home.

10. Share Carefully
Be cognizant of personal information you share on social networks, and make sure to double check your privacy settings. Cybercriminals can obtain a surprising amount of information about you just by scrolling through your digital profiles.

For additional cybersecurity safety tips, please visit the Global Cyber Alliance or the National Cyber Security Alliance.