Hackers are constantly finding new ways to hack into networks to steal sensitive data and use it for their own gain.
That’s why companies have such a big focus on factors such as vulnerability remediation processes and open source security scan procedures to find security risks.
Cybercriminals also target individuals, which makes it important for you to know how to keep yourself safe when you’re online. Hackers use malware and phishing as ways to infiltrate devices and gain access to your personal information.
Tips for safe online surfing
There are several ways you can better protect yourself online and we’ve outlined some of the best approaches in this post. After reading, we hope that you’ll be left feeling more confident about preventing your devices from being hacked.
One of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe online is to use antivirus software. Antivirus software is incredibly effective at protecting you against malicious content from being sent to your devices.
When malicious malware is given access to devices, it provides hackers with an access point to see and use a lot of your personal information which could end in disaster.
Antivirus software from reputable companies all have similar safety features.
Be sure to only use one antivirus software. This software helps to detect malicious activity and prevent it from accessing your devices.
Firewalls are an effective safety measure that blocks out viruses that hackers may attempt to send to your PC.
Carrying out regular updates to your devices is vital for ensuring that hackers have a more difficult time accessing your data. Ransomware attacks have become an increasingly popular tactic that hackers deploy when targeting individuals and companies.
Making sure that your software and operating systems are up to date means that any security vulnerabilities that were found in the old versions have been patched.
Hackers often target devices that are out of date due to how they often have weak areas that can be easily accessible.
An easy way to prevent this is to set updates automatically. Whenever the latest update for your device is ready, it will install and update itself. You can also implement the same approach to your browser by setting security updates to be completed automatically.
If you use any plugins on your browser, such as Java, be sure that they are also regularly updated.
Authentication is incredibly important to increase your security. Setting passwords alone sometimes isn’t enough to keep hackers out.
Multi-factor or 2-factor authentication are features that you can use to make it more difficult for cybercriminals to access your data.
Two-factor authentication involves you using a username and password, but with an extra step before being granted access to the account.
Once you’ve entered your username and password, you then have to enter another code or password to confirm that it’s you.
Multi-factor authentication involves a similar process. However, you’re provided with multiple prompts that you must enter correctly before being able to log into an account.
As mentioned above, authentication processes can be used as methods to increase your security. Setting strong passwords, to begin with, will also make it more difficult for cybercriminals to hack into your account.
It’s best to use passwords that are at least 8 characters long. Your passwords should include a minimum of one uppercase and one lowercase letter, as well as symbols and numbers.
It’s also important to make sure that you never use the same password more than once.
It’s also recommended to change your passwords once a year. Not to mention, make sure that your passwords aren’t written down or saved anywhere.
Instead, choose passwords that you can personally remember easily from memory.
Securely Using Mobile Devices
Mobile devices are becoming a more common device for hackers to target. This is mostly because of how much information we keep on our mobile devices nowadays.
One of the ways that people end up getting their mobile devices hacked is through installing apps from untrustworthy sources. So, be sure that you’re downloading apps from sources that can be trusted.
Make sure to regularly update your mobile device’s software. Old operating systems are more vulnerable to being exploited by hackers.
Furthermore, it’s best to avoid sending sensitive information through emails and texts from your phone.
Hackers can infiltrate messages and emails and use your personal information to gain access to your accounts.
Backup Your Data
It’s important to regularly backup your data to keep your online information safe. Security teams often keep one copy of their data on the cloud, one copy on a local device, and another copy on an external hard drive.
This is good practice for important personal data as it means that if hackers gain access to one of these types of media, you still have backups available.
Furthermore, if hackers gain access to your device, you may have to completely restore the device in the process of fixing the issue. If you haven’t backed up your data, you’ll likely lose everything.
Phishing scams are one of the most common ways that cybercriminals hack into devices. It involves a hacker impersonating someone or a company in an attempt to gain your trust and have you send them sensitive information.
Sometimes, this can be in the form of having you click a link that contains malicious content that can infect your device with malware. This is a common way in which ransomware attacks happen.
So, a good rule of thumb is, if you’re not sure about the validity of an email or text that you’ve received, don’t click on any of the links.
Instead, ring the company and check if what is being said on the email or text is legitimately from them or not.
Another easy way to identify phishing scams through emails is to check the email address of the sender. This is a big tell-tale sign that the email has been sent from a hacker.
Furthermore, phishing emails often contain grammatical errors which is another red flag to keep an eye out for.
So, that concludes our post about some of the best tips that you can start using to keep your data safe online. Hopefully, the information has helped minimize the chances of your personal devices coming into cyber-attacks.
If you are learning cyber security, please read our post about what programming should you use for cybersecurity.