Hackers are attempting to attack your internet-connected device once every 39 seconds.
With these constant attempts to access your personal information, online browsing is becoming more and more dangerous. In fact, even connecting to the wrong network could allow access to your bank accounts, private information, ecommerce store data and contacts.
Of course, ditching the internet altogether is not a realistic option, so how can you be sure to protect yourself when surfing the net?
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a cybersecurity tip guide with everything you need to know to stay secure. Follow along to discover how to stay safe on the internet and what red flags to steer clear of.
Stay Up To Date
Updating your software can feel like a chore. From scheduling the update to learning the new layout and adjustments, this task is often the first to be ‘delayed’.
Unfortunately, staying with outdated software can actually open up your device to attack. These updates often come with security improvements. However, even if there are no notable differences, the change prevents hackers from navigating the software.
Keep hackers out by enabling automatic updates for software, security updates, and keep up with your browser plugins such as java or flash.
Antivirus and Firewall
Antivirus or AV is software that is designed to flag suspicious behaviors and malicious activity. Having AV running in the background enables your computer to block malware and viruses from flooding your system.
Installing AV software is well worth the effort, just be sure to source your service from a reputable provider. You’ll also need to ensure you only have one AV service running on your system at a time.
A firewall is build-in protection that your Mac or PC will come equipped with. This system is intended to block hackers, viruses, and other malicious internet activity from getting in. Some routers even come with a built-in firewall for network protection.
Practice Password Management
It should come as no surprise that password protection is essential to your cybersecurity. You may have heard password cybersecurity tips before, but as a refresher, here are the outlines for a high-quality password.
- Keep your passwords 8 characters or longer
- Don’t repeat passwords
- Use at least one lowercase, uppercase, number, and special character
- Choose something you’ll remember
- Don’t make hints viewable to the public
- Change your password periodically
You don’t need to make your password a confusing mess of numbers and letters. Just keep it simple, memorable, and well hidden. If you do need to write your passwords down to remember them, try using secure password management apps and avoid obvious hint prompts.
Using two-factor or multi-factor authentication will require you to enter more information than a username and password. Usually, you’ll be asked to enter an identification code that has been texted or emailed, but some apps may even ask for a fingerprint or face ID access.
These access measures ensure that even if someone were to get ahold of your password, they wouldn’t be able to proceed.
Protect Company Data
If you own or work for a company that uses online systems to store and access data, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the importance of data integrity.
Essentially, to meet FDA standards, you’ll need to ensure your data remains accurate and reliable. And of course, protecting that data is essential to the preservation of its quality.
Practice data integrity controls by taking measures such as using error detection software. Perform routine audits, and consider using a quality management system.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams
Keep your eyes and ears open for phishing scams and exercise caution when clicking on links or giving out information.
You’ve likely seen these scams before through suspicious emails or pop-ups telling you you’ve won a free trip. A dead giveaway is a requirement for credit card details or other personal information to claim prizes or deals. Avoid phishing scams by steering clear of links or buttons that contain any red flags.
Don’t open emails from strangers or accept unbelievable deals, and take note of messages that don’t sound quite right. Remember even messages from your contacts could be a result of a phishing scam.
If it doesn’t sound like something your friend would message or contains grammar and spelling mistakes, report the link.
Social media has become a fantastic way for hackers to gain access to your personal identifiable information (PII). This is the information such as your birthdate, legal name, address, credit card information, and more.
Keep highly personal information off of your social media platforms and adjust your settings to ensure only your friends can see your page. This will prevent strangers from gaining access to your information with minimal effort.
Pay close attention to the permissions your app downloads request and take a moment before clicking ‘I accept’. Many mobile apps ask for access to personal information that you won’t want to give away, so be aware of what you are allowing before you proceed.
Ditch Public Wifi
Hooking on to the cafe wifi may save you on your data usage, but using a network without a VPN (virtual private network) can put your device at risk.
When you use a VPN, any information is encrypted. Without this, your details are much more accessible to hackers and malicious attacks. If the wifi doesn’t contain a VPN, resist the temptation, and use your mobile data instead.
Cybersecurity Tip Success
Now that you know how to keep safe on the internet, you can protect your personal information while you browse. From installing high-quality antivirus software to ensuring your company’s data integrity is safe, use any cybersecurity tip to keep your information private.
Did you find this cybersecurity guide helpful? Check out our other Digital Transformation 2021 articles to discover more great tips and tricks for technology, legal, and more.