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  • Writer's picturePauline Handy

Personal Cybersecurity Checklist

Are you doing everything you can to protect your personal information and important data? Criminals are targeting your data using increasingly brazen and sophisticated methods.

Woman holding mobile phone and typing into computer keyboard

Whether it’s by online fraud, identity theft, cyber extortion or a data breach, your data could easily end up in the hands of a cybercriminal.


Now’s the time to take responsibility for your personal cybersecurity. Use this personal cybersecurity checklist to update your knowledge of best practices and minimize your risk of becoming a victim.


  1. Use unique passwords for every account and device. Create passwords that are difficult to guess.

  2. Change your passwords often (at least once per year) as a safety precaution.

  3. Use two-factor or multifactor account authentication.

  4. Install security software and run automated software updates.

  5. Install antivirus protection.

  6. Back up your data regularly.

  7. Protect your personally identifiable information, like your date of birth and Social Security number.

  8. Open email attachments only if they come from recognized contacts.

  9. If you receive an email from someone you know with only a link in the message, don’t click on the link until you verify the email with the sender.

  10. If an email looks fishy, delete it without opening it.

  11. Ensure home smart devices have security protections in place. Read your owner’s manuals and install security updates as recommended.

  12. Shop only on secure, reputable websites. Secure websites display “https” and/or a padlock icon in the address bar.

  13. Don’t make online purchases over public Wi-Fi.

  14. Install mobile device apps from trusted sources only.

  15. Update the operating systems and apps on your mobile devices frequently to ensure you have the latest fixes and security protections.

  16. Don’t send sensitive information via text or email.

  17. Monitor your bank accounts and credit reports.

  18. Consider obtaining personal cyber insurance.

One way to protect yourself against many cyber risks is to obtain personal cyber insurance. Even the most vigilant and web-savvy people face ongoing risks. Personal cyber protection can often be added to a homeowners, renters or condominium policy. It can also be purchased as a stand-alone policy.


Contact an insurance professional at V.F. McNeil Insurance to discuss personal cyber coverage. We're a local, Trusted Choice® independent insurance agency located in Branford, Connecticut. Contact us online or by phone at (203) 481-2684.

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