As technology evolves, cybercrime becomes more sophisticated. Well, according to a study done at the University of Maryland there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds. Worrying, right? What should be more troubling is that 95% of cyber security breaches are due to human error. This means we largely contribute to all the annoying pop-up ads, lost data, hacks, and general privacy intrusion. Luckily, there is a solution. Well, experts note that the war on cyber-attacks can only be won if the user is educated on cybersecurity. Below are suggestions that will suggest you to make safe yourself.
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Use Different Email Addresses
Using different email addresses is an excellent way to prevent third-party services from monitoring your online activities. Hackers will use your email address to send phishing emails to demand something from your contacts or dish out personal information. You can make it hard for attackers by creating different email addresses for different accounts. Do not risk using the same address for your social media accounts with personal information. Additionally, moving from humble passwords to using robust passwords will keep the criminals at bay. In addition to strong passwords, you can layer your security using two-factor authentication. This means the hacker cannot get to your account without the code generated key that has to be put in the time of login.
Use A VPN
One way to stay safe on the internet is by hiding your IP. Did you know any online activity conducted with a VPN app running and connected to a server is encoded? Yes. VPNs create a secure private tunnel for you to send your data. You can securely access restricted websites and safeguard your browsing movement from snooping eyes and public WI-FI. Remember, VPN is not limited to data; if you are sharing sensitive voice conversations, you can encrypt them with your VPN.
Use Antivirus Software
Cybercriminals are always looking for a crack in your cybersecurity defenses. If you do not have any protective security installed, you risk picking up viruses and other malicious activities that can wreak havoc on your computer. One of the common ways to protect yourself from cyber threats is using antivirus software. The software looks for threats, monitors all programs’ behavior, then blocks and removes any malware as quickly as possible. There are quite a good number of antivirus software in the market. McAfee internet security, Norton antivirus, AVG internet security, and Avira internet are the most common ones.
- Do not rely on free antivirus software; most of them lack key security features. Always ensure your antivirus software has identity theft protection, mobile security, and data security support options.
Browse On Secured Websites
Am sure you have across websites with different URL in your browser—some with an http URL and others with an http(s). The only difference between http and https is the S in https that means secure. Https websites are powered by a secure socket layer, a standard security technology that establishes an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. Your guess is right. Websites with https URL encrypts the data transmitted between the server and your browser and also protects the transmitted data from tampering. In essence, you are safe from third-party services and viruses. Looking out for this feature is very important, especially when accessing websites that request personal information like credit cards, medical information, etc.
On the other hand, if you own a website, it is vital to secure it with an SSL. It will increase your customers’ trust, visibility to your site, and prevent hackers from tampering with your customers’ data. One of the most excellent SSL certificates in the market is Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard, which will help you secure online data transition between the server and the browser.
Hide Your Location
Perhaps you have heard of concerns about digital location tracking. Location tracking is often used to pinpoint an individual since it shows the precise location of individuals, i.e., at home, the supermarket, etc. Most of us might not be aware that apps use or sell this information to help target ads and other purposes. Ever gone to your location setting, only to realize some applications tracking your location even when not needed? Well, that’s business for some of these apps and also a threat to your online security. It would make sense to have your location on when using apps like Uber or Google maps. When on such apps, you can change your setting to allow location “While using.” For other apps, you can switch the permission to “Never.” Turning your location services off when browsing will help keep third vendors stalking your movement away
Clear Your Browser History
As common as this sounds, clearing your browser history is one of the easiest ways to win the online security battle. It is simple. Keeping records of every site you have visited can be accessed and stolen by third party vendors for targeted ads and cybercriminals to customize their online attacks. Heard of the phishing scam? Where individuals receive and click on fake websites links that look familiar to the ones they know? Most people have fallen victim to the fraud and dished out sensitive login details, i.e., bank information. All these happen because someone is monitoring your browser without your knowledge. Scary, right? Clear your history and live nothing to cyber attackers.
Technology continues to revolutionize, and our lives will continue to be shaped by it. Unfortunately, with every good thing, there are challenges in the digital space that comes in the form of our virtual security. There is no one method to stay safe, but use the steps we have shared to help keep cyber predators away.