It’s hard to imagine our lives without the internet. We use it to learn, communicate, work, and much more. Since we use it so much, security can sometimes be an issue. Threat actors are constantly finding new ways to do damage, leaving many people wanting to improve their security posture.
This article will give you eight essential tips to follow to stay safe online:
Set Strong Passwords
Your online accounts contain so much information about you. If someone gains access, they can steal everything from your social security number to credit cards. Your account security starts with setting strong passwords.
Here are some best practices for creating passwords:
- Longer passwords are better (over 12 characters).
- Use a combination of numbers, lower and upper case letters, and special characters.
- Never set the same password for different accounts.
Add Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
After setting a strong password, improve your account security by enabling two-factor authentication. Most websites and services allow 2FA, especially those that handle sensitive data.
2FA will ask you to provide additional input to log in. This input can be code from a text message or code authenticator. There will be no way for someone to log in to your account without access to your phone.
Avoid Using Public Wifi
Public wifi is convenient but very unsafe. Hackers may spy on your activity and even steal sensitive data like passwords. That’s why it’s best to avoid using public Wifi and opt for private connections like your home network or hotspot. If you want to continue using public Wifi, consider investing in a VPN.
Be Wary of Phishing and Scammers
Phishing is a common scam people fall for online. Hackers send legitimate-looking emails pretending to be someone else. In the meantime, they include a malicious link or attachment in the email, hoping that someone will click.
It can be hard to detect phishing emails, but you can easily do so if you know what to look for. Carefully examine the email address and ensure it’s legitimate. Look for any misspellings or poor language that may point to it being a scam.
There are many other similar scams on the internet. Be wary of ads you see on websites. Do not believe in easy money-making or crypto schemes.
Be Careful Who You Chat With
Communication is a large part of what we do online. We chat with many different people, including friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers. When talking with strangers, you must be very careful with how much information you share. Never give out sensitive information like:
- Your name;
- Where you work;
- Your home address;
- Social security number;
- Credit card details.
Back-Up Your Data
No matter how much you try to keep your data safe, you never know when it may fall into the wrong hands. In case you lose your data, it’s always handy to have a backup to recover it.
Data loss can happen for many reasons, not just a cyber attack. Here are a few common causes:
- Power or hardware failure;
- You lose the device or hard drive where the data is saved;
- You delete data by accident.
A backup will save you time and money if any of these failures occur.
Update Your Software
Software updates are often seen as a burden. However, they must become a habit if you want to maximize your online security. The apps and systems you use are constantly under threat. That’s why developers constantly push out updates - not only to improve their product but also to make it safer.
Not having the latest updates installed puts you at great risk. Known vulnerabilities can be used against you, and it’s only a matter of time before it happens.
Modern operating systems come with effective pre-built antiviruses. But it never hurts to add a reputable third-party antivirus to the mix to boost security. Antivirus software can scan all your files to detect danger. It will also block malicious files from entering your device.
There is no shortage of online dangers in 2022. With the frequency of internet use, it’s no wonder that staying safe online is a challenge. Each website you visit and each email you get is a possible exploit waiting to happen.
With that said, you’re far from powerless regarding your internet security. You can do many things to bolster your security and stay safe. Follow the eight tips in this article to ensure your devices and private information are protected.
Posted 1 month ago by Allen Brown