In the digital age, people have accounts for everything; social media, financial institutions, e-commerce websites, and many more. This expanded interaction with the world wide web has resulted in individuals granting certain companies and websites access to all kinds of personal and sensitive information. Generally speaking, people trust that these companies and websites have implemented sufficient security measures to ensure that the data they have entrusted with stays out of the wrong hands.
Trust is not enough, not in this day and age. While there is nothing that can guarantee one’s data will not be stolen there are some simple measures one can take to greatly reduce the chances of this occurring. Here we will look at 10 tips one can use to secure themselves against cyber-attacks.
1. Set Quality Passwords:
Easily guessed passwords in the most common error people commit. A weak password can lead to unauthorized access and, eventually stolen data. Setting a hard to guess password, one that uses a combination of both letters and numbers as well as symbols when allowed, is the first step in ensuring cybersecurity.
2. Enforce Email Security:
Personal email accounts are often the target of phishing scams and virus-laden software. It is best to use a reputable email service provider who has a robust scam and virus detection software incorporated.
3. Stay Away from Unknown Links:
It is common for hackers to send links coming from email addresses that may look legit or otherwise from a known address. These links download malwares onto one’s computer and can lead to stolen data.
4. Hide Network Details with A VPN:
VPN services have become very popular over the last decade as internet users have become more informed about the security dangers web use entails. The protection a VPN offers is 2 fold. First, because all info is routed through a server in a separate location a third party actor cannot know where one is accessing the internet from. Second, all information that passes through a VPN is encrypted, meaning the information is hidden from the eyes of others.
5. Perform Scheduled Data Backups:
In the unfortunate event that a piece of malware corrupts one's machine beyond repair, having a data backup will ensure that no files are lost. This is especially true in the case of a ransomware attack. In these kinds of attacks, a malicious actor gains control of one's computer and refuses to relinquish control unless they are paid a specified amount. In these cases, the hacker is counting on the fact that the victim does not want to lose all their files and data. If they are already backed up this is no longer an issue.
6. Use Antivirus Software:
Antivirus software services usually have the most up to date database of malicious software and viruses civilians can get a hold of. Having one of these programs running in the background, or scanning attachments and web pages, is a great way to help keep oneself safe from cyber-attacks.
7. Install Security Tools:
There are many applications and software that improve one’s level of cybersecurity. For example, Brave browser blocks Scripts and Cross-site traffickers.
8. Clear Browsing History and Cache:
Cookies and Cache do make websites load quicker but they come at a cost, a lot of data is stored in these files. Malicious actors can gain access to the information stored within these files. One can either clear the cache, history, and cookies or use private browsing mode, a browser option that stores none of these items.
9. Use an Account Manager:
Using an account manager is a good tool for those who find themselves signing up for many websites, newsletters, or services. With an account manager, one can add an email address that they use for all websites whose safety they are unconvinced about.
10. Use Multi-Factor Authentication:
Multi-factor authentication is a method of verification in which the user is granted access to an account only after they have completed two or more methods of authentication. An example of this could be a site that requires both a password as well as verification code one receives via a text message.