As the years go by, cybercriminals have been ruthless in finding new ways to scam or hack users on the Internet. The Internet has become a necessity for many; most of us have become entirely reliant on websites, apps, or emails, so it is no surprise that activities of cybercriminals have evolved as well, creating more hacks and scams. With our sensitive data being entered online via banking or shopping activities, sometimes daily, we must remain vigilant and learn to practice good habits in how we can protect ourselves from any potential threats.
Below are some tips on how you can protect yourself from threats online:
Be wary of ‘free download’ links
You may encounter them through phishing emails or while browsing the Internet. Always ensure that the program or app you’re installing is legitimate and if you receive a suspicious email, avoid clicking any links. Always think twice before running any free software on your device.
Choose effective and unpredictable passwords for your online accounts
Using your birth date, pet’s name, or anything predictable as your password is a complete no-no. The best practice for choosing a password is the inclusion of numbers, letters (lower and uppercase), and symbols. It doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as being creative with different characters.
Check your WiFi settings
Unsecured networks are one of the most significant security risks, and if your network is not adequately secured, you could easily get hacked. Never leave your encryption status set to open and ensure that your WiFi router at home has a password. When it comes to public WiFi connections, make sure your device has an additional security layer such as a VPN software.
Enable two-factor authentication process
Whenever you sign up for an account online, primarily to sites that need payment details, ensure that you enable two-factor authentication. When accessing the account, you will enter your password, plus an additional verification step, which can be a one-time access code to your mobile phone. This process adds a security layer that will protect you and your private information from being hacked.
Install antivirus software
For extra security, invest in antivirus software. They will be able to protect your PCs, laptops, mobile devices, and tablets. All these devices are susceptible to malicious threats and hacking if not protected.
Keep your devices updated and back-up your data
Ensure your devices are up-to-date and installed when prompted; not only do you get the latest features, but most of these updates provide security patches. Be prepared for any situation and have all your files and photos backed up; one-click could result in disaster and losing your important data.
The best way to avoid being a victim of cyber crime is to prepare for any situation you can encounter online. Double-check your security settings and always be on high alert anytime you are online.