Hackers always seek new ways to collect your most sensitive data through cyber-attacks. It’s not easy to stay safe, but you can block 99 percent of potential attacks and browse with confidence with a little preparation. Here are 10 key tips for keeping your computer and other devices safe:
Assume you are a target of cyber-attacks
Cybercrimes are easier if the victims are confident they could not be targeted by cyber-attacks. The first step is to understand that you are a target and that you can take active and passive steps to reduce your risk.
Change your habits to improve your security
Cybersecurity software security is just half the fight. Even if your computer can not be hacked, you can still be tricked by a cleverly disguised phishing email or scam website to download a virus or give up personal information. Learn how to identify suspicious and malicious online activities so that you can secure your own greatest weakness.
Protect your devices
You can give other people access to sensitive data if your devices are lost or stolen. Hackers can even take responsibility for their own hardware, so learn how to tell if your laptop camera is hacked.
Learn how to create a strong password
You are asking for trouble when you use “password123.” For a more secure password, use the upper case, lower case and numeric characters. Choose something unexpected that makes sense to you, but nobody else–it’s almost impossible to imagine.
VPNs and antivirus programs are powerful tools to keep hackers out. Not all VPNs are the same, however. Free services can be appealing, but they generally keep traffic logs of their users to earn ad revenues. Some full feature VPNs, such as NordVPN, cannot guarantee logs and make them available to some of the most private VPNs.
Knowing where your Internet comes from
Public Wi-Fi is notoriously insecure, while schools or work networks can monitor your traffic. Always track the connections and understand the risks of public networks.
Malware can spread in many ways
There’s a reason why they are called “viruses” –they’ve been made infectious. It just doesn’t suffice to monitor incoming downloads or file shares –USBs or even CDs can carry viruses from computer to computer.
Software updates are important
If a software or operating system developer finds vulnerability in their product, they release an update to patch it as soon as possible. Updates can be troublesome, but they help to keep you safe.
Backup your data
The “nuclear option” to remove a virus is to reset your device or wipe it and re-install the operating system. Prepare your most important data for this possibility –and make sure it is not infected when you return it to your system.
Learn how to recognize suspicious activities
Not all cyber-attacks can be recognized as such immediately. Some hackers can content themselves with using their devices or accounts in a botnet. Others won’t attack you by cyber, but they’ll steal your identity to disappoint others. All these activities, while subtle, leave a trail of suspicious messages or unauthorized links that are often identifiable and used to secure your account.