The Internet is an essential part of our modern-day life. But while it has certainly made our lives better, it has also exposed us to a lot of new dangers. Invading someone’s personal life wasn’t as easy earlier as it is now. Hackers (and even government organizations) are out for your personal info and they have some pretty nifty tools at their disposal. However, you can take some steps to restrict how much personal information about you goes out. If you’re an everyday Internet user, there are some cybersecurity basics you have to know. Never take your online privacy and security for granted.
VPN Guru has been at the forefront of cybersecurity for a long time. If you read our posts, chances are, you already know this stuff. But a little reminder never hurts. So here are some things that you should definitely consider to keep yourself safe online.
Two-Factor Authentication System
This one is pretty basic but really important. Available widely, this feature adds an additional layer of security against password theft. With this method, when you enter your password on a new platform, the system will put another check – through email or mobile text message to confirm if the account is being operated by the intended person.
Keep Your Personal Data Backed Up by Default
Data recovery is a great way of ensuring that you are able to get back your valuable data if it gets lost or stolen. It’s best to activate the automatic backup features available on almost all platforms. With cloud backup, your important data can be recovered even if the device fails.
Set Up Antivirus and Malware Protection Software
There are several antivirus and antimalware products on the market. You might think a free software would be enough to cover your needs but it generally isn’t. Consider a good antivirus like F-Secure or Kaspersky. You should also check out some good anti-malware software solutions. If you accidentally click on a bad link or try to open an infected file, you can at least be sure that your information will not be stolen… or your computer will not go up in flames (yikes!)
Always Use a VPN to Connect to a Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi’s are free, which makes them very alluring. However, they are also unsecure and can make your data open and vulnerable for hackers. If you frequently use public Wi-Fi’s, (like at a coffee shop or your college library), you must use a VPN to protect yourself. A VPN will encrypt your data and ensure that even if someone gets access to it, they will not be able to decode it. Which means, your personal data will be safe and secure.
Be Wary of Social Engineering Attacks
Social engineering is increasingly becoming a security concern for people. This is a way for hackers to gain access to your personal info. Social Engineering is mostly done through impersonation, phishing scams, and faking credentials from renowned companies.
The only way to be secure is by being careful. Don’t entertain any audio calls, emails, or messages that ask for your personal information. Also, it’s a good idea to have knowledge about the major phishing frauds and how they occurred. Be aware, be vigilant, and don’t give out your personal info to unauthorized agencies.
Secure Your Wireless Router
The safety of your home network depends on your router settings. Ideally, you should use WPA2 (AES) encryption along with a strong password. It will make things difficult for hackers. Keep track of who is using your Wi-Fi by checking out the number of devices connected to it. Just a few tweaks can make your home network much safer. While nothing is hack-proof, your aim should be able to make things more difficult for hackers.
Know the Two Biggest Cyber Attack Methods
Firstly, you should always keep all your software updated. This will prevent any would-be hackers from getting into your system and stealing your valuable information. Secondly, you should never install a software you do not trust.
If your operating system cannot verify the authenticity of the software publisher, it is not worth the risk. These are the two main ways in which hacks are made successful and each of them is dependent on your naivety. Also, never open shady emails or install dubious software on your system.
When you open the website of your bank or credit card company, make sure the address bar says “HTTPS” and not “HTTP”. There will also be a padlock symbol on the address bar.
Watch Out for Phishing
Despite all the literature out there detailing personal online safety, a very large number of people unwittingly give away their login credentials to hackers. They are victims of phishing scams that are perpetrated through emails.
These emails are often made to look like they have come from trusted sources. They might include a link that will take you to a website that looks similar to a website you trust.
If you ever get a mail like that, always check with the official issuing authority for its authenticity. By being cautious, you can save yourself from a huge phishing scam.
Another thing to remember is to use encryption when sending personal information. This includes all your financial information like bank particulars, taxation documents, sensitive business records, and even your social security number. Try to hand these over to genuine authorities in person. Or you can use an encrypted email system such as ProtonMail. This will make sure your data is safe from any interceptors.
Top Cyber Security basics You Should Be Aware Of – Conclusion
The internet has changed our lives. It has made things so much easier and meaningful. However, just like in regular life, you have to know the things to stay away from. Make sure you practice all of the above security basics. And if you’re looking for more tips to stay safe online, here are 8 online safety tips.
Summer is an established author when it comes to everything tech. She frequently analyses various software and has reviewed many apps in the process. As a technology enthusiast, Summer has worked in many IT-related industries. She follows cybersecurity news closely and published articles related to the latest tech-trends from around the world.