Major privacy and data breaches have been surfacing on media outlets for some time now. People are getting more and more aware of their privacy rights. But the part that gets foreshadowed by privacy awareness is data security. Security breaches can lead to severe losses, no matter whether you’re an individual or a company.
Once your data gets breached, you are at the risk of getting your financial credentials and personally identifiable information getting released and used for malicious practices. Businesses are at risk of leaking their customer’s information when their database gets breached. This can incur huge legal costs and loss of reputation.
To avoid these attacks, there are a few basic sets of rules that you need to consider while browsing the internet or using your smart devices.
Be On the Lookout for Malicious Links
Links can be found everywhere on the internet, and often these are used to lead unsuspecting users to malicious websites. Links are also frequently used by hackers for phishing attacks. When the user clicks on these links, they are redirected to fake websites that bear a close resemblance to original ones.
These are designed to lure the user into giving up their financial details or passwords. Once the hacker gets this info, they have complete access to your bank accounts or personal data stored on your accounts. The best way to avoid these attacks is to look out for links with spelling mistakes or unconventional domain extensions. Also, double-check hyperlinks before clicking on them, as these don’t always directly expose the domain address of the website it leads to.
Get an Anti-Virus Software for Complete Protection
If you run a reliable anti-virus solution alongside following the aforementioned security measures, then you can be confident that you won’t be the victim of most conventional cybersecurity attacks. An anti-virus prevents malware from infecting your device resources by working in real-time in the background.
Also, in case you get infected, anti-virus software can trace the infection and delete or disarm the malware. There are free solutions that resolve this issue. Some of the leading programs also come with great firewall solutions to keep you safe while browsing the internet.
These automatically detect phishing and malware-ridden websites. Investing in a good anti-virus program is essential in current times, and it pays off to do so.
Use Strong Passwords for Your Accounts
Using the same password for all of their accounts is one of the major mistakes users make in terms of cybersecurity. Just one breach lets the hacker access the vast amounts of data cumulated on all of your accounts. As you already may have guessed, this can have very serious consequences. The same thing goes for weak passwords that can be easily guessed or brute-forced by hackers.
Try to use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase alphabets, numbers, and symbols while creating a new password. This ensures that it won’t be easy for hackers to access your accounts. If memorizing difficult passwords for all of your accounts seems tough, then you can always opt for leading password managers out there.
Back-Up Important Data Safely
It is important to keep a backup of your data on storage that won’t be connected to insecure networks. This ensures that you always have a copy of your files in case your main device gets attacked by malicious parties. It is not always possible to prevent every form of cybersecurity attack even after following the basic security measures.
Most of the time, the only way to recover from ransomware attacks is to wipe the infected storage device, and copy previous backups on it. The reason for this is the fact that all files get encrypted by ransomware upon infection, and the hackers demand a huge sum in order to decrypt your files. Keeping a backup on hand lets you ignore these threats and keep your data safe.
Keeping Your Software and Hardware Up-to-date
Outdated software and hardware may have flaws in their code or manufacturing that act as backdoor access. Over time, these get discovered by hackers and can be used for malicious purposes. This is the reason why most popular software gets updated almost on a regular basis.
Developers push security and feature updates that patch these loopholes to create a safe environment for the user. In the case of hardware, there are some flaws that cannot be fixed by software updates, and experts recommend upgrading your hardware every 3 years as a precaution.
Enable Multi-Factor Authorization for Your Accounts
Multi-factor or two-factor authorization can be found on most leading services and provides another layer of protection besides the passwords on your accounts. This can easily prevent hacking, as even if your passwords get exposed for these accounts, the hackers won’t be able to access them unless they know the answer to the next layer of security.
Two-factor authentication can be found in the form of one-time passwords sent to your email or through text messages. These can also be personal questions that only you know the answer to. You can even enable this feature on your existing accounts on most major services.
Take Precautions While Using Free Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi can lead to cybersecurity attacks as hackers can snoop on and access the data transmitting through the network with relative ease. They can use this intercepted data to access your accounts or gather personal information on you. The best thing that you can do is to avoid connecting and using these networks completely.
But, in case you are in an emergency and need to use these networks, make sure that you connect to a VPN service before accessing free Wi-Fi. Using a VPN service encrypts the data that goes back and forth between the router and your connected device. In these cases, even if a hacker intercepts the data, they won’t get any form of information as the data packets are encrypted and anonymous.
Information and data security breaches are being reported on media outlets at an alarming rate. It is high time to consider increasing your awareness about these attacks and spread the information to friends and family.
Following the tips listed above is enough to keep you safe from most varieties of reported cybersecurity attacks, and we hope this guide has helped you to gather information on how to keep your data and yourself protected in the digital world.