“True cybersecurity is preparing for what’s next, not what was last.” —Neil Rerup
The world is going digital and not everyone in it has good intentions. A single vulnerability is all that an attacker needs. With most of our work happening on the Internet, the risk of cyberattacks is constantly on the rise. Even the most powerful institutions and companies are being targeted by cybercriminals. Attacking unaware users on the internet has become so much easier for them as well.
If you are connected to the Internet for the most part of your day, you must take the necessary precautions to protect your data and privacy. In addition to your financial information, cyber-attackers can also steal your identity. Every user of the Internet who is unprepared for an online attack is at the mercy of the criminals. However, if you follow the advice provided in this article, you’ll reduce your chances of being attacked, and discover some effective tips to protect your data from cyber-attacks.
1. Use Strong Passwords
Every account you have on the Internet must be protected using strong passwords. As a rule of thumb, always follow the recommendations that show up when you are setting a new password. Jumble up the things, but use a combination of upper and lower case letters. In addition to this, use special characters to create a very strong password. With that said, it is unwise to use the same password for two different accounts. Doing so may double your risk of being attacked by cybercriminals if any one of those accounts is compromised.
2. Opt for Two Factor Authentication
Nowadays, most of the services that require you to open an account online provide the extra step of security. By opting for two-factor authentication, you can ensure that no unauthorized user can access your account. What it basically means is that other than your username and password, you will also need to complete an identification check to successfully log in. You can prove your identity using another password, fingerprint, or by answering a personal question. In addition to this, you may also receive a text message on your registered mobile number.
3. Install Antivirus and Firewall
This step tops the list of cybersecurity 101. Installing antivirus software on all your devices can help you fend off malicious attacks, malware, trojans, and viruses. Having a trusted antivirus program installed in all your systems is vital to prevent malware and viruses from stealing data, damaging files, or quietly spying on your actions. Most antivirus software notifies the user when a suspicious file is detected in the system. While antivirus software helps you detect and delete malicious files on your computer, a firewall helps you stay safe and secure on the internet.
4. Update Your Software
Most of the reported cyber attacks happen on systems that continue using outdated versions of software. All types of applications and software are updated regularly by the developers with patches that solve potential security risks. When an update patch gets older, cyber attackers get more time to find vulnerabilities in the code. The devices that use outdated versions of the software are at a greater risk of being attacked, so you need to update your software as soon as a new version is out. In addition to this, you can turn on the option of automatic updates to stay on top of things.
5. Do Not Click on Suspicious Links
The most common way for cyberattackers to get into a system is through malicious emails and links. Quite often, unaware users fall into the trap by clicking a suspicious link that directs them to a dangerous site. These attacks are most commonly known as phishing scams. In addition to emails, a phishing scam may happen through phone calls and flyers as well. You must always be aware of unsecured websites and authorized promotional emails. With that said, you should never click on an untrustworthy link on the internet.
6. Secure Your Mobile Device
Since our mobile phones are almost always connected to a Wi-Fi network, these devices are extremely prone to mobile malware. To increase your mobile device’s security, it is crucial to have a strong password. Additionally, you must always install applications from trusted sources. With that said, always update your phone’s operating system whenever a new version is available. Security experts suggest backing up the data from your mobile regularly to help you recover sensitive information in case your mobile is ever lost or stolen.
Compromising sensitive information is not desirable for anyone. With most transactions happening online, always use strong passwords for your accounts and enable two-factor authentication. To have antivirus and firewalls installed on all your devices is vital as well, and as a rule of thumb, always update your software on time. Whenever you are using the internet, never click on suspicious links. With that said, you must stay vigilant about your mobile device’s security, to get yourself protected from any cyber-attacks.