The internet has brought in wonderful opportunities but has also invited the risk of data breaches into our houses and compromising our personal information. The number of malware available over the internet is high, and one fraud email or lost smartphone can cost more than just the material value. It takes one download; one clicks to compromise your entire data and companies can be run into the ground because of this. Here are ten habits that will help prevent you from falling prey to such malware and improving your digital security.
- Be aware of what application or link you are clicking or installing
One-click can lead to your system being hacked, so be absolutely sure of the sender and whether it is a verified email or not. Application reviews and the creator should be looked into to prevent inviting a virus. The freedom to click and save anything from the internet on to your phones comes with risky conditions and if not taken care of, can cost you heftily.
- Use your own devices
Logging into other people’s phone, being unaware of the tracking device or security on their device can put you at risk too. Especially with online payments, use your phone for complete confidentiality and never give remote access to your computer. You never know what the other person has installed on their device and precaution is always better than being a victim to cyber-attacks.
- Be conscious of your surroundings
Do not let strangers peer into your phone, especially while giving out personal details, check your surroundings before inputting any details. Lock your devices when you step away and keep a lookout or an authentication process to block out strangers from trying to break in. Do not write your passwords down, and even if you do, don’t let that paper lie around. Protect your USB drives and hard discs as those are easily accessible and readable by any hacker.
- Digital footprint
Look out for suspicious behaviour and monitor your account regularly to avoid being hacked. Every online site that has your information and where you may have an account is equally important and thus needs to be kept track of.
Delete accounts you are not using and keep an attack of where all you might have accounts while creating unique and strong passwords for the same.
- Security Updates
Make sure all your systems and devices are up to date. Wherever a security issue is flagged, a software patch is available and can fix the flaw. While constant notifications and reminders about software updates might be annoying, they are really useful in keeping your device safe and secure from malware and potential threats.
- Securely and safely connect
Following simple cybersecurity tips can go a long way and help protect your devices from a breach. Do not connect with unsecured networks and connections; they can unknowingly take over your device. It might be tempting and an easy solution. Connect to only private, known networks, especially during online transactions or sharing sensitive information. Using a VPN can help you to secure and not disclose your location while using public networks.
- Secure all your devices including your mobile
Your desktop is not the only device that needs security; your smartphone is equally at risk is not more. Get into the habit of securing and checking your smartphone’s settings every once in a while, and strong passwords. Use a different, unique, strong password for the important applications on your phone, have VPN options wherever necessary and use biometric caution for sensitive applications like banking. Turn off your Bluetooth manually, do not have your GPS always on and do not connect to public Wi-Fi networks automatically or download anything without complete prior knowledge.
- Back up your Data
Storing your data elsewhere can help you recognise threats, not be at a loss if anything is deleted or manipulated. Backing your data up in physical locations or on clouds with absolute security is a must. Sometimes cyber attackers can encrypt or manipulate your data rather than stealing it, so it good to be careful and take precautions.
- Respect browsers security warnings
Browsers warn about suspicious malware and activity, and it is important to pay heed to these warnings instead of just dismissing them. Do not overlook these warnings or visit malicious websites which invite trouble. Do not download programs from unverified sites and use VPN if it says your IP is getting tracked.
- Extensions and CMS
Download and enable extensions only from the official website and avoid downloading any others, especially from not trusted and not verified sources off the internet. CMS such as WordPress is targeted often by cyber attackers to attain and use it for malicious intentions. Do not share your credentials and create strong, unique credentials for all platforms.
In this age riddled with ransomware, digital threat and identity thefts, online security is a must and cannot be taken for granted.
With new cyber-attacks being developed every day, it can sometimes feel as though no amount of security is enough, but the trick is to be persistent and aware of all precautions. It is possible to reduce the number of threats as well as the level of risk posed by them to a minor level by keeping these simple guidelines in mind. Good security habits go a long way in protecting your devices and data. None of these things is particularly difficult to practice, but keeping a check regularly along with updates and new inventions should be the best solution. Although applications loom larger and have higher data breach probabilities by spying over daily online interactions than traditional websites, that implies being a responsible user over all your devices and having verified anti-virus solutions installed. Hackers are always trying to grab your personal information or take advantage of you using your financial resources which can turn very ugly. To prevent all of this and be a better responsible consumer and citizen, it is advisable to keep these principles in mind and not let yourself fall victim to the world of cyber-crimes.