10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Cybersecurity Threats
We all go online. It is just a part of modern society! However, sometimes it’s better to be safe and think before you log on. Remember, there are people out there who want to steal your valuable information. If they get their grubby hands on it, they can wreak havoc on your financial and personal life. That’s why we have put together 10 ways that you can protect yourself from cybersecurity threats.
Back Up Your Data
You may think that once you hit “save,” your data is safe. While that is partially true, you can always keep your data safer and more secure. That is why it is important to back up your data. There are multiple ways to back up your data, but we recommend you keep a safe offline copy of any of your important data. Having this backup is one of the best ways to recover from ransomware.
Limit Personal Info on Social Media
Whether you’re a social media fledgling or you’ve been soaring on Twitter for ages, make sure you are very selective on the information you put out on the net. By using only the basic information to get the account activated. By providing excessive information, you put yourself at risk.
Check Your Privacy and Security Settings
Many social networks are open to the public by default, the point is to connect, right? However, when you sign up for these profiles, the privacy settings are typically basic or turned off, and security is optional. Make sure to review what privacy and security options are available for each profile and tailor them to your needs. We also recommend you use two-factor authentication.
Utilize a Password Manager
If you have multiple accounts and multiple passwords, making use of a password manager keeps your passwords and accounts more secure. A password manager keeps track of the age of each password, lets you know what additional security controls have been applied, and helps generate complex passwords for all your accounts so you won’t have to type or remember them. You only need to remember the strong password you set for the manager. This reduces your cyber fatigue and makes your life easier and more secure.
A password manager will help you but do remember that there are still a few best practices when creating passwords. You can use passphrases, which are a combination of words that you know and a few special characters (for example, ?%&@!). A long, strong passphrase combined with 2-factor authentication is tough to crack. Make sure to change passphrases at least every nine months to one year.
Limit Your Logins
Many online services have a social login, also known as Single Sign-On. This means that you can sign up for new accounts by using your Google+, Facebook, and so on. This solves the issue of remembering multiple passwords, but it poses a greater security risk that isn’t quite as obvious.
When using Single Sign-On, most apps will request read/write access or access to your basic information that most people are actually okay with, but some apps request full access, which means access to almost everything including emails, calendar, location information, friends, family, and so on.
By using unique accounts rather than social logins, you have an extra layer of security if those accounts get compromised or stolen, it means that cybercriminals can gain access to all your accounts just by using the one stolen social login.
Know Your Digital Footprint
If you’ve never Googled yourself, it’s time you discovered what your digital footprint looks like. A digital footprint is the data that exists in cyberspace as a result of all of the actions and communications that you or others perform online.
Google yourself! This action can quickly identify potentially fraudulent accounts and then you can take action by automating digital identity alerts to alert you to your personal information found online.
Beware of Public Wi-Fi
Have you ever been to a coffee shop and asked for the Wi-Fi? This is super convenient, but it is also super risky. You’re better off using your cellular network. Why is this so insecure? Hackers will use Wi-Fi access points with common names like “Airport” or “Cafe” so your device will auto connect without your knowledge. This allows them to harvest your information.
Other tips include the following:
- Don’t select to remember the Wi-Fi network.
- Use the latest Web browsers because they have improved security for fake websites.
- Use a VPN (virtual private network) service.
- Always assume someone is monitoring your data over public Wi-Fi.
Limit Followers and Access to Social Media
There’s nothing quite like the validation of getting new followers, likes, and comments on social media. However, when using social media, be aware of the risks of liking, following pages, or allowing different applications to access your profile. Information is shared between profiles and unless your followers get revoked, they’ll continue to have access to your profile data. If a profile you follow starts posting suspicious content, report them.
Run Antivirus Scans and Install Software Updates
You can discover if you’re a victim of a cyberattack by installing or updating your antivirus software, running a full scan, patching your system with the latest security updates, or changing your password and security. These processes and techniques help prevent and detect security incidents and apply to your own personal devices (including smart TV or home security cameras) and any Internet user accounts as well. It is prudent to reboot your device periodically so that automatic updates have the chance to install.
Think before You Click
Everyone loves to click. That’s why we’re online. We want to click pictures, videos, links, emails, messages, and so much more, however; every click carries the possibility of putting you at risk. Always be aware of what you’re clicking. Do you know the person who’s sending it? If you aren’t sure, ask people whether they sent you something before clicking on potential malware.