The Internet is peppered with horror stories of individuals who have had their lives ruined by hackers. Bad actors are lurking in cyberspace all the time. They manifest in different ways, including viruses, adware, malware, ransomware, Trojans, and other malicious code. Unfortunately, this code routinely infiltrates operating systems via banners, links, images, videos, and email.
Cyber security threats can destroy careers at the click of a button. Hackers can easily leak personal information, including financial data on social media, and through hacked servers. It’s a brutal assault on our cyber security. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to safeguard your Internet activity. Let’s take a look at ways you can boost your online security.
The Top 10 Tips for Personal Cyber Safety
1.Keep Your OS and Software Up-To-Date
An important thing you can do to maintain your cyber security is keeping your operating system and software up-to-date. Updates include your computer’s operating system and any browser plugins, applications, or programs. Hackers routinely discover new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in software. As soon as a new vulnerability is discovered, hackers will create code to take advantage of it. Keeping your software up-to-date makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your system.
2. Always Use Strong Passwords
Another important tip for maintaining your cyber security is to use strong passwords. Secure passwords contain a minimum of eight characters and a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or easily accessible personal information like your birthdate, the names of your children, or your pets. If possible, use a password manager to generate and store strong passwords.
3. Never Click on Unknown Links & Attachments
Hackers commonly gain access to systems by tricking users into clicking on unknown links or attachments. These links and attachments routinely contain malware or lead to phishing websites. Therefore, never click on random links and only download attachments from trusted sources. If you’re unsure whether a link or attachment is safe, don’t click on it.
4. Enhance Your WiFi Security
Hackers can gain access to your system by taking advantage of public WiFi networks. All of your traffic is sent over an unencrypted connection when you connect to a public WiFi network. As a result, anyone on the same network can intercept and read your traffic. If you must use public WiFi, connect to a VPN first. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates a tunnel and encrypts all your traffic, making it more difficult for hackers to eavesdrop on your activity.
Web application security references many different methods of protecting web applications, web servers, and web services, including APIs from Internet-based attacks. WiFi security systems identify normal, serious, and critical web applications. It’s impossible to eliminate all security vulnerabilities from web applications. By implementing an all-encompassing WiFi security system, it is possible to encrypt communication networks through wireless routers, select a strong password, and disable remote access.
5. Always Use Two-Factor Authentication
Whenever possible, use two-factor authentication to protect your accounts. Two-factor authentication (2-FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter both a password and a code transmitted to your phone whenever you try to log in. So even if a hacker manages to guess your password, they won’t be able to log in without having access to your phone.
6. Steer Clear of Phishing Emails
Phishing emails are when cybercriminals go fishing and try to gain access to systems. These emails usually appear as if they are from a legitimate source, but they contain malicious links or attachments. Be cautious about the emails you open and click on. If an email looks suspicious, don’t open it. Instead, delete it immediately and empty your deleted emails.
7. Regularly Back Up Your Data
Another critical tip for safeguarding your personal cyber security is regularly backing up your data. If your system is ever compromised, you’ll still have a copy of your data. There are many different ways to back up your data, including cloud storage services, external hard drives, and USB flash drives. You can easily access backups once the security vulnerability has been rectified.
8. Never Reuse Old Passwords
A big No-No from a personal cyber security standpoint is to reuse passwords. Once a hacker breaks into one of your accounts, they will have access to all of your accounts using the same password. To prevent this, use a different strong password for each online account. That way, you never run the risk of one password being compromised and affecting all of your accounts.
9. Always Use Encryption
Whenever possible, use encryption to protect your data. Encryption is the process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format. This complicates everything for hackers. They will not be able to access any of your information as they won’t be able to log into your accounts. Many applications and websites offer encryption by default, so be sure to take advantage of it. SSL encryption protocols (secure socket layer) are routinely used nowadays.
10. If You Don’t Want Information Leaked Online, Don’t Share It Online
Last but not least, be careful about what you share online. Hackers can use personal information against you in a variety of ways. For example, they may try to blackmail you or use your information to commit identity theft. Therefore, be careful about what photos, videos, and personal information you share online. Only share this information with people who you trust.
By following these tips and sensible advice, you can help keep your cyber security strong and make it near impossible for run-of-the-mill hackers to access your system. These top 10 tips will certainly beef up your cyber safety and allow you to browse the Internet with peace of mind.