Straight from a Hollywood script, your online identity can be stolen, or worse, have your life savings disappear in just a flash. However, unlike your favorite movie star, you might lack the expertise or resources to hunt down the attacker. And since none of us wants these things to happen in real life, we suggest sticking to these eight simple cybersecurity tips.
1. Update Your Software Frequently
Keeping your operating system and programs up to date with security patches is one of the best ways to protect yourself against ransomware. This helps eliminate significant vulnerabilities that hackers can use to access your gadgets.
2. Using Anti-Virus Software
Thus far, the most widely used means of protection against malicious attacks have been anti-virus (AV) software. This software prevents malware from accessing your system and potentially corrupting your data. You only need to install one AV program, which you should source from a reputable vendor.
3. Incorporate Multi-Layered Verification
When used with the conventional username and password method, two-factor or multi-factor authentication may further increase the safety of a user’s accounts. If you use two-factor authentication, you’ll need to provide a second piece of proof of identity, such as a PIN, a second password, or even a fingerprint. Multi-factor authentication involves adding two or more forms of verification.
4. Avoid Public Wi-Fis
Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks unless you have a virtual private network (VPN). With a VPN, all the data exchanged between the VPN server and your gadget is encrypted. As such, a hacker will have a considerably more difficult time accessing your device’s data.
5. Check Your Online Accounts and Credit Records for Changes
With the increasing number of security breaches, customers take extra precautions to protect their online accounts. One way to do that is to place a credit freeze, which lets you protect your credit using a secret PIN. This PIN can then be used when applying for credit.
6. Safeguard Your Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
Any information a cybercriminal may exploit to determine who an individual is or where they live is considered PII. It might include their name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number, or any other information that can be used to track their physical or digital whereabouts. Ensure that you reveal as little information as possible on social media and also adjust your privacy settings on your accounts.
7. Don’t Click on Random Links
Hackers usually send malicious links through emails to try and get you to send your data. They can do this using bank statements, password recovery emails, flight bookings, etc. If you click on any of these links, you will be redirected to a website that looks strikingly similar to the original. They will prompt you to sign in or enter sensitive data onto the site. If a hacker obtains your login information, they will have full access to your account.
8. Make Use of a Password Manager
Password managers are applications that centrally store and organize users’ multiple login credentials. You will have a single “Master Key” password that will grant you access to these passwords. As such, you won’t need to remember or write down all your complex passwords.