Cybersecurity has been at the forefront of people’s minds for years now. This is hardly surprising considering it seems that major cyber crimes are committed every month or so. Such attacks end up either costing millions of dollars or setting loose sensitive information.
In this day and age, you can’t afford to be too careful with your cybersecurity. This is regardless of whether you feel like you have nothing to hide. To increase your chances of remaining safe and secure, here are the top tips to follow:
Don’t Underestimate Your Chances of Getting Hacked
Yes, the first point is as simple as that. If you are being honest with yourself, you may imagine that you are unlikely to be a target of hackers. After all, you may not be dealing with sensitive information that other people could want. Despite this, there is a good chance that you could become a victim of cybercrime without any warning at all.
There is also the fact that you may actually be the keeper of important information, although you may not realize it. Essentially, any details tied to your identity and finances can be worth quite a bit of money. And, considering how much you rely on technology, many of these details may be stored on your computer, smartphone, or another digital device. Thus, it is important to take the necessary steps to safeguard your information.
Limit Access to Personal Devices
Are you really aware of just how many people have access to your personal devices? If you often leave your smartphone, tablet, or computer unattended in public areas such as offices, then this number could be higher than you expect. You should also think about how well protected these devices are as well.
Do you make an effort to password protect your devices? If so, how many people have you shared your password or fingerprint privileges with? In case this ends up being a rather long list, you should rethink your strategy. Ideally, only one – maybe two – other people should have access to your personal devices. Even then, it should be someone that you trust completely.
Only Access Private Networks
It is best for you to only ever access the internet over a private network. Understand, when you do this all the information about your online activity is encrypted. Therefore, no one can see the sites that you visit, the details that you input, or anything else that you might be doing.
This isn’t the case with public networks, however. Here, such activity can be seen by virtually anyone who is willing to snoop through your online doings. So, if you need to carry out anyone online banking or use a website that requires credit card information, wait until you are at home, on a private network.
Practice Surfing Security
When selecting an anti-virus or anti-malware software, check to see what kind of protection it offers you when you are surfing the web. There are some programs that monitor websites and prevent you from ones that appear to be risky. In doing so, you are able to protect yourself from various unsavory websites.
Even with these measures in place, it is still important to be aware of the websites you visit. Sites that are unsecured or unencrypted can still pose a threat. For one thing, it can provide cybercriminals with access to user information. Furthermore, it can also increase the risk of downloading malware onto your computer.
Of course, with the internet, it isn’t just cybercriminals that you need to worry about. Even seemingly trustworthy sites could be tracking your online movements and storing that information for their own financial benefit.
This is why one of the best things that you can do is to get a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for yourself. Such technology will obscure your computer and networks actual address, safeguarding your sensitive details. Thus, no one will be able to track you as a result.
Be Aware of the Most Common Security Risks
It is easy to get caught up in the latest, most sensational cybercrimes that you can forget about older operations that are still ongoing. Case in point is phishing scams. Now, while you may be on the lookout for online threats, are you paying the same kind of attention to the phone calls that you receive?
Probably not! Well, what you need to keep in mind about these kinds of attacks is that they don’t always take place over email. It is also just as possible for cybercriminals to contact you over the phone to get access to the kind of sensitive information that you need.
This is why it is important for you to track such activity whenever it does pop up. For instance, if you do receive an odd call, trace the number back to see where it originated from. You will then be able to determine whether it was a legitimate call or not.
Use Strong Passwords
You might imagine that this would be customary by now but most people tend to get a bit lazy with their passwords. Now, this is understandable. After all, if you have to keep accessing a particular portal or website multiple times, you are going to want an easy-to-remember passcode. Unfortunately, this could also make you a target for hackers.
So, always try to make your password as complicated as possible. The first rule of thumb – keep it long: focus on phrases rather than words. Secondly, switch it up. This means alternating with uppercase and lowercase letters. Also, throw numbers into the mix, making it even harder to crack.
It can be tempting to use a phrase or term that you are familiar with. However, this can increase your chances of getting attacked as well. Thus, you should try to keep it as random and as nonsensical as possible.
Since it can be tricky to remember all these crazy passwords, use a password manager. This is an app that will store all your passwords safely, requiring you to remember just one.
These are the top steps you can take to avoid falling prey to the most common cybersecurity threats. Although some of these strategies can seem tiresome, they will end up paying off in the end! So, make sure to follow them.