Did you know 2,200 cyberattacks happen every day? Here are a few wWith the rise of internet usage, security risks have also increased manifold. That is why most businesses invest in cybersecurity measures to protect their systems. Also, the significant uses of mobile devices or smart devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets increase the vulnerability of security.
Besides, the increasing usage of social media platforms, where most individual’s personal information is available online. It has, therefore, become a challenge to protect your personal information and yourself online.
Ways to secure yourself online:
- Password Hygiene
The practice of ensuring your passwords are unique and difficult to guess is called password hygiene. Creating strong passwords enables you to protect your identity online. Good password hygiene is about creating strong and unique passwords for your account. You should avoid the temptation of using passwords that are easy to recall or using the same password on multiple accounts.
Avoid using passwords that contain your first name, last name, spouse’s name, or child’s name. You should also not use your address, phone number, company name, or other identifiers in your password. Using words or numbers that someone could associate with you could leave you prone to hacking. For greater security, use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols in your password.
Installing antivirus software is also one of the methods to strengthen online security. Antivirus software will protect you from computer viruses, but there is so much more that can be done aside from that. For instance, Trojan horse programs seem like legitimate programs, yet they are able to steal your personal and sensitive information.
Ransomware encrypts files on your computer, preventing access, and you would ask to pay a ransom in order to restore your files. Malware bots have the potential of data and identity theft, phishing, and giving out key information, such as passwords and bank information.
Antivirus software could protect you against all of these activities. However, not all antivirus software comes with ransomware protection. You can consider choosing one that comes with ransomware protection to give you an added layer of protection. Antivirus software would only be considered as effective when it is updated. So, do ensure that you regularly update to remain secure online.
- Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication requires users to provide multiple verification factors to gain access to an online account, an app, or VPN. For instance, to log in to your online account, you will need to provide a username and password. You will also need extra information, such as a One Time Password delivered to your mobile or email to log in. Some multi-factor authentication systems may also use an RFID generator or biometric scanning before it grants access to the account.
Your username and password could be vulnerable to hacking. However, it is going to be extremely difficult for a hacker to get their hands on all factors, such as an OTP or biometric scan. The function of Multi-factor authentication ensures that you remain safe online.
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is another effective way of staying secure online. VPNs mask your online activity and location, preventing hackers from eavesdropping on your online activity. It works by routing the information send and receive through a secure virtual tunnel between your device and a VPN server.
By using VPN software, your internet traffic goes through the VPN internet connection, websites and even your internet service provider can’t log your web browsing. The VPN server mixes your web traffic with others in the server, so your IP address matches your VPNs. It makes it complex for others to monitor or collect information online .
- Backup key information
Data loss can happen anytime, from hard drive failure, ransomware attack, theft, or human error. Despite that, 30% of people have never backed up their devices. 113 mobile phones are stolen or lost every minute, and 1 in 10 computers get infected by viruses every month.
Backing up important information, whether it is your vacation photos or your confidential files, is extremely important. When your data is backed up, you can quickly and seamlessly restore your device in case of data loss. Regular backups are necessary for online safety. Having a backup strategy is not a one-time exercise. It must be a part of your cyber hygiene to remain safe online.
- Update everything
Whether it is your operating system, antivirus, or other software, do ensure that you update regularly. Skipping software updates might lead to the computer vulnerable, putting it at the risk of theft- money, credit, identity, and other cybercriminal activities.
Often companies release security patches to fix bugs that could otherwise leave your system vulnerable and open to hackers. Besides security patches, software updates could include some new or enhanced features, giving the software or application better compatibility with different devices.
To conclude, staying secure online may seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be one. Educating yourself about potential threats and being alert will keep you protected online.