Cybersecurity has never been as important as it is considered now. As we spend more time on the internet, we tend to share more of our data online.
Indeed, with the outburst of global pandemics, we face a situation where everyone stays at home and carries out various tasks through the network. Schoolchildren, students, teachers, moved their activities online. At the same time, most of them use software that is not sufficiently protected.
Imagine the situation when a student has to prepare a report or write an essay but the topic is completely incomprehensible. What would he or she do in such a situation? Of course, the internet is always a magic wand for anything you need – from mathematics homework to essays and projects. However, how not to get caught on a hook and avoid getting viruses on a computer from suspicious websites? This article shares with you a couple of useful tips.
Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
One of the most important cybersecurity tips for defending against ransomware programs is fixing outdated software. This means both the operating system and applications. Such a method helps eliminate critical vulnerabilities that hackers may use to access your devices. Here are some simple tips to get started:
- Ensure automatic system updates are enabled for all devices.
- Turn on automatic security updates for your desktop web browser.
- Update web browser plugins periodically.
Always Use Two-Factor Authentication
This piece of advice is not difficult to implement but the level of security you get cannot be overestimated. This function is available on most platforms – from social networks to forums and banking applications. This is an additional security measure that will not be superfluous.
Even the strongest password alone is not enough to achieve maximum protection of personal data. With two-factor authentication, every time you try to log into the system you’ll need to enter an additional code.
You receive this code by your phone number or email, whatever is more convenient. Thus, even if fraudsters find out your password, they will have to go through the second stage of verification, which is much more complicated.
Be Careful With Links
Email links or links sent via phone numbers are a common tool used by hackers to make people reveal their protected information. This is often carried out in the form of bank documents, flight bookings, password reset emails, and so on.
When a user clicks on one of these links, they are taken to a fake site that can be very similar to its real analog. Of course, the website will perform its usual process asking to log in or enter personal information. Once the hackers obtain this information, they will gain access to the user’s account.
So, remember to think twice before opening any links. If it seems suspicious to you, it is better to stay away from the message or even delete it.
This piece of advice is closely related to the previous one. Indeed, nowadays phishing scams are more dangerous than ever. When attempting to phish, an attacker forces the users to reveal personal data, click a malicious link, or open an attachment that infects the user’s system with malware. 90% of ransomware attacks are due to phishing attempts.
The following are some important cybersecurity tips to avoid phishing schemes:
- Don’t open emails from strangers
- Check which links are safe and which are not – hover over a link and look where it leads
- Look through emails sent to you carefully. Verify the source they came from and check if there are grammatical mistakes
Limit Your Activities When Using Public Wi-Fi
We often have to use public Wi-Fi. Working or studying while in a shopping center or cafe is not a rarity nowadays. But what if dozens and hundreds of people are connected to one network? Exploiting the weaknesses of such a crowded hotspot is way more efficient and enticing for hackers.
The first step to ensure protection is to disable the option to automatically connect to Wi-Fi. Ensure this option is disabled on your phone, tablet, and laptop. By doing so you reduce the risk of connecting to an unwanted wireless hotspot.
Apart from that, you can use software that establishes a secure internet connection, such as a VPN. This will keep your connection safe no matter where you are. Indeed, thanks to VPN, your traffic goes through anonymously and attackers will have a much harder time intercepting your connection.
People tend to neglect and avoid this step not realizing how helpful it can be. But no one is safe from deletion or damage of important data. Of course, when this has already happened, it is too late to do something. So, it is recommended to secure yourself in advance.
Backup is the process of creating a copy of important files on additional devices. Therefore, such copying serves as a kind of reserve that will help restore the necessary data. In addition, the backup is also useful in case the main device is not available.
Geolocation is enabled by default on most smartphones. But it is better to turn it off if you’re not using a navigator or maps. Why? Of course, the first reason to do this is to make sure you are safe and free from tracking. But apart from that, this step will help you in some other way.
Marketing companies have learned to use geolocation to generate specific offers for their users. If the owner of the smartphone indicates the location on Instagram or Facebook, the information is used to form advertising offers. If you turn off geolocation, you will notice a decrease in the amount of intrusive advertising.
Use Good Antivirus Programs
This tip is more relevant to Windows machines, although the days when the antivirus was not needed on Mac OS and Linux are long gone. Don’t hesitate to buy a good antivirus and don’t use free antivirus programs. Companies that develop expensive antivirus programs care about their reputation. They try to respond quickly to threats by constantly updating their products.
Cyber attacks are expected to increase in frequency and complexity in the coming years. So, being aware of how to protect yourself from threats is a prerequisite for online safety.