Cyber threats have intensified both in numbers and complexity with the growing sophistication of the methods and tactics used by criminals in recent years. As studies and surveys have attracted much concern to increasing risks to online security, organizations and governments have worked relentlessly to improve the security infrastructure and develop new anti-cyber risks capabilities. Furthermore, it is also each individual’s duty to take appropriate steps to ensure personal protection.
Listed below are few tips to safeguard the online data and privacy by protecting yourself from cybercriminals.
Email Safety: Research has shown that 94 percent of malware attacks have been executed via emails. Over the years, phishing attacks and email scams have gained momentum, making it even more important to behave carefully while accessing and reacting to emails. Therefore, staying vigilant, especially to those seeking personal details verification, that often impersonates a known individual or a reputable organization such as a bank is necessary.
Consider twice, before you tap: More than 90 percent of data breaches are currently initiated with a click. Information is growing on both individuals and organizations using click baits for cyber attacks. These can often download malicious viruses, or even take you to questionable websites that impersonate those of reputable organizations to mislead you into disclosing personal data. So be wary of unknown connections exchanged by emails, text messages, or even on websites and forums.
Password Safeguarding: Strong and safe passwords are an essential step towards protecting the data, personal accounts, and devices from malicious attacks. Manage multiple unique passwords for each requirement, and make sure they are regularly updated for added protection. A trustworthy password management program or app may give users the ease of saving and maintaining several passwords, removing the need to store or maintain paper records.
Stick to your Own Devices: Try to restrict the usage of a computer by another user where feasible. Never disclose your credentials with others, and never allow remote access to your computer.
Secure Mobile Devices: Shielding doesn’t end at your desktop. It’s necessary to get into the habit of always securing your presence through your mobile device. Using secure passwords and biometric features make sure you turn off your Bluetooth and don’t automatically connect to any public Wi-Fi and download cautiously.
Wise Sharing: Since technology has created endless possibilities for networking and social media with millions across the globe, reckless over-sharing has blurred privacy and security lines. Hence, exercising vigilance on social media is essential for what you share and with whom. Re-examine the privacy settings and be careful about who you authorize to access your friend’s network.
Malevolent Downloads: Downloading malware and spyware to your devices could be triggered by an email attachment, or even by accessing content from a website. Once downloaded to a device, these malicious files are capable of extracting personal data, monitoring and transmitting your activities, and even executing a hostile, demanding ransom takeover. Therefore, avoiding any unauthorized or inappropriate updates, and checking documents before opening with anti-virus apps is commendable.
Safety of Browser: Browsers also monitor and store online actions of users and, in the event of a security breach, may compromise with your privacy. Disabling these monitoring functions, such as auto sign-in, auto-fill, and saving payment methods and passwords options, is, therefore, a crucial step towards safeguarding privacy and protection. Additionally, the deletion of search history, cookies, and cached files should also be performed regularly to eliminate any stored data that could reveal your online activities.
Anti-virus Checkers: Another essential move to guard against a malicious cyber-attack is to install reputed anti-virus software. This will track and recognize possible threats to your devices and act as a shield against possible infiltrations. You should be warned that unsecured websites can prevent bait-based advertisement pop-ups from clicking and also provide you with a backup feature to protect your data in the event of an invasion.
Employ a VPN: By routing your traffic through different servers, a Virtual Private Network could protect your online activities from cybercriminals. It will allow everyone to remain anonymous and provide the required security to avoid being monitored and easily targeted for illegal activity.