We all live in an era where we wake up every day to see a new impossible turned into reality. Most of what we have learned is through the internet, and whatever we will learn in the future will also be through the internet.
From ordering food to making billions of dollars, connecting with friends and family around the globe, and knowing their exact pin locations. From learning and teaching online to running full-fledged businesses, there isn’t much we can’t do with the internet.
But, as amazing as the internet is, there’s a dark side to it as well, which comes in the form of malicious attacks, viruses, malware, and phishing.
With billions of people around the globe connected to the internet, some take advantage of it, like stealing personal information and using it for monetary gains.
Most of us store important information online, from our mother’s maiden name to credit card details and house location. We often do not realize what we’re putting up online until it’s too late.
As cybercrimes are reported at a concerning rate, keeping yourself safe from data breaches, and online identity theft becomes crucial.
Once these details are entered online, regardless of the site asking for them, you’re at risk. If you’re concerned about keeping your personal information safe online, we’ve highlighted a few ways to help you protect yourself online from cyber threats.
BEWARE AND PROTECT
Having your guard up is often enough to protect and prevent. But how can we do that without being aware and updated on malicious software and hacking techniques?
Malware primarily attacks our phones, tablets, and desktops and infects them with the virus. But the alarming aspect is that this malware is becoming increasingly sophisticated.
To take the right measures, we need facts and figures to strengthen online security. We believe it is essential for people to start reading up on online protection and consider studying cybersecurity.
In an evolving era of e-learning, registering for a Cybersecurity management online program is easy. For any interested candidate, this degree offers extensive knowledge about online threats and ways of circumventing them and strengthening defense systems. Moreover, finding employment after earning a degree in cybersecurity guarantees job security because it is one of the fastest-evolving industries.
Back to online protection, you must install antivirus programs on all your devices and use a firewall to control which programs have access to the internet. Your firewall can prevent an infected program from penetrating a secure internet connection, protecting your data from prying eyes.
One of the most crucial ways to keep your smartphones and computers secure is to update them with the latest software version and security patches.
1. STRONG AND UPDATED PASSWORDS
Keeping strong passwords with symbols, alternating caps lock, and random numbers is one way to keep your accounts safe. But make sure that none of the random numbers coincide with any numbers in your personal information, i.e., your birth date, your house number, or your pet’s date of birth.
Keep changing your passwords often. While memorizing complicated passwords is challenging, you can use a password manager to take over and keep your passwords and accounts safe.
Also, it would be best not to repeat passwords. If you are using the same password for more than one site, you are making yourself vulnerable to attackers accessing multiple spaces with one piece of information. Having different passwords for different accounts is vital because if one account is compromised, the others remain safe!
2. PHISHING AND SMISHING
This is the most prevalent threat. Phishing and SMiShing use emails and text messages that trick you into clicking on malicious links. These links install malware on your device or take you to some spoofed webpage.
These webpages will ask you to enter your credentials, and you will probably end up doing it because the spoofed webpages closely imitate an authentic website.
You may be able to protect yourself against these scams if you are careful and alert. Do not respond to texts which show urgency. Look up their content or sending source; if it is unknown, don’t respond. Avoid clicking on any additional links provided with it. Call your bank or merchant directly.
3. BE CAREFUL WITH PUBLIC WIFI
In today’s world, it is tough to go for a single hour without using the internet. In public, we always look for ways to access an internet connection when our mobile data is unavailable.
But it is better to wait than to suffer!
Avoid using unknown or random WiFi in public. They are almost always unprotected. Moreover, public places like airports, amusement parks, and shopping malls reduce security to allow access to everyone. So if you need to go online, avoid using personal information like your banking details.
Another excellent idea would be to use a VPN before starting your work. Why? Because it encrypts all your messages and data on both the receiving and sending ends.
4. TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
Two-factor authentication asks you to verify yourself after you have logged in with your username and passcode. It may send a code to your email ID or phone number, or you may be asked a security question.
Turn 2-FA on whenever you can to prevent an unauthorized party from accessing your account.
5. KEEP YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION PRIVATE!
Even though it makes us happy to share our lives and celebrations online, not everyone viewing your personal information is a friend. Hackers use this very information to figure out passwords and enter your accounts.
This is a golden opportunity for hackers to find your passwords knowing the date you’re celebrating, either a birthday or anniversary. Also, it would be best to avoid sharing your address, full name, or any important details regarding your immediate family.
You are still vulnerable to online threats if you are not taking appropriate measures to keep yourself safe.
At times, it seems there’s no end to online threats, but with patience and understanding, you can keep yourself safe.
By using stronger passwords, firewalls, antivirus programs, and security updates, you can maintain an online presence that’s safe from hackers and the like. Take note of the tips we’ve mentioned above and if you think we missed something, let us know in the comments box below.