In the present climate, securing your online content and protecting against cyberattacks is something that all digital users should take seriously. Here are ten practical steps to staying secure online.
Do Not Take Chances with Passwords
The easiest way to become a victim of cyberattacks is to have a bad password. When it comes to passwords, three golden rules apply.
- Do not set flimsy passwords that are easily hack-able.
- Do not use the same password for all your online accounts.
- Change passwords regularly.
“In terms of what is a robust password, employ a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols and avoid spelling out words which you are easily associated with. Random combinations always work best,” advises Trevor Holmes, a data manager at Brit Student and 1day2write.
Employ Multi-Factor Authentication Practices
However, a strong password may just not be enough to prevent cyberattacks. Therefore, employ a two-step process which includes some sort of biometric recognition fingerprint scanners. Thankfully, you can easily install these on your mobile devices. In fact, many new models come with Fingerprint scanners already installed, Any sort of two- or three-step process is obviously more secure.
Be Vigilant With Email
Email is still the most effective way for hackers to hit you with cyberattacks. Therefore, the first step here is to use a secure email account that uses approved spam and malware filters. Additionally, you must remain vigilant against unknown senders and downloading unrecognized files which could contain all sorts of nasty viruses.
Do not Click on Unknown Links
Another way in which cyberattacks occur is through links that hackers can send from recognized email addresses.
“Be aware of emails from addresses within your contacts list that show up with just a random link. In this way they can execute malware programs which compromise your data,” warns Bruce Jacobs, a tech writer at Australia2write.
Use Antivirus Software
It is incredible how many people do not use antivirus programs, which are proven to protect against many malicious bugs (but you also need to be clear that no software is full-proof). As well as paid versions, a lot of free versions will do the job adequately. However, it generally is better to be vigilant about the services each program offers and make the best choice for yourself.
Backup your data
Backing up your data is simple common sense. Regularly backup your data, either to the cloud, or an external hard drive. This will secure your data in the event of a cyberattack. Additionally, backing up your data means you can regularly clean your device. This will ensure that you will be less compromised in the case of cyberattacks.
Regularly Clear Browsing History and Cookies
Again this is logical. If you do not erase your caches and cookies from your machine, you are leaving a virtual trail all over the internet. This will compromise your data during cyberattacks.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allow you mask your true IP address, which stops snoopers from locating you and potentially accessing your valuable data. This is particularly useful if you are using an unsecured public network, such as in an airport or the mall.
Do not Leave Accounts Open
One of the easiest ways to execute successful cyberattacks is to have most of the work done for you. Do not leave accounts open or remain logged in for long periods, and close all background applications when you are not using them. In addition to being the most basic security practice, this will greatly increase your device’s performance.
Educate Yourself and Your Family
Keep yourself up-to-date when it comes to the newest scams and cyberattacks, and follow best practices as recommended by professionals and digital specialists. The truth is that hackers and cyber-criminals are consistently evolving their approaches, and that means you need to as well.
Employing these simple practices will go a long way to avoiding cyberattacks. Be aware that nothing is full-proof when it comes to securing your online content. However, most people suffer as a result of lax practices and simple mistakes which can be easily guarded against. Finally, make sure that you continue scanning the horizon for potential threats and educate your family and friends against these threats. As an online community, we must continue to remain vigilant against the threat posed by a minority of individuals, ensuring we continue to enjoy a safe and enjoyable online experience.