8 Tips for Personal and Business Cyber Security
The importance of cyber-security has never been more pronounced than it is in today’s data-driven world. The more time we spend online, the more we create and share our personal details and other data. If the wrong hands end up getting access to this data, it could jeopardize your financial and other crucial personal information. Hence, ensuring that sensitive data is adequately protected is essential for both individuals and businesses.
In this blog, we’ll be covering a number of tips that will help you better protect your data from cybercriminals.
Cyber Security Tips
1. Be Careful with Emails and Links
Forwarding links through emails is one of the most common and effective ways for hackers to steal the recipients’ sensitive data. Hence, make sure to cautiously go through every email from an unfamiliar source, and avoid clicking links that are suspicious. In addition:
- Know the difference between secure and unsecure links – you can hover above a specific link to try and see where it will direct you.
- Closely analyze every email. If you find any grammatical errors, get rid of the email and put the sender on your spam list.
- Remember that if a friend’s email or computer has been affected by malicious activity, their emails to you could also contain dangerous links. Hence, take nothing for granted.
2. Keep Software Updated
Outdated software – both applications and operating systems – poses a real ransomware threat. When you update your software, you essentially get rid of crucial vulnerabilities which hackers often exploit in order to gain access to your devices. So, how can you ensure that your software remains updated? Here are a few suggestions:
- Implement automated system updates on every device.
- Make sure that your desktop browser uses automated security updates.
- Make sure that browser plug-ins such as Java and Flash are never outdated.
3. Use Different Strong Passwords
While using the same password for every one of your devices and accounts might seem convenient, it’s anything but that. There is always the chance that a password gets stolen, and, if you use the same password everywhere, you are putting yourself at increased risk of data theft.
Alongside using different passwords, you also need to make sure that every one of your passwords is strong and difficult to crack. Here are a few tips to help you with that:
- You can go for a password that is user-friendly, but contains a minimum of eight and a maximum of 64 characters. You do not necessarily need to go for those insane and complex combos of upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Pick a password that you will find easy to remember but an intruder will find hard to crack. For instance, go for something that means something to Also, NEVER make your password publicly available, and avoid revealing hints to any of your passwords.
- If you forget your password, refresh it. Also, make it a habit to change all your passwords at least once a year.
4. Use a Password Manager
Since we are on the subject of passwords, let us also mention the importance of password managers. A password manager stores all of your passwords so that you will not be required to jot down or remember them. This means that you can have more complex passwords without having to worry about forgetting them.
5. Use Firewall and Anti-Virus Protection
A firewall is a vital piece of armory to have in your fight against cybercrime, since it screens out any viruses, hackers, and any other kind of malicious activity which can happen when you are online. In addition, firewalls try to ensure that the traffic that makes its way towards your device is secure and free of threats. Mac OS X and Windows are two operating software having their own firewalls, namely Mac Firewall and Windows Firewall. In addition, make sure that your router is armed with a built-in firewall designed to fend off network attacks.
AV (Anti-Virus) protective software is considered to be another effective solution to internet malice. With an AV software, you can block malicious viruses and software before it enters your device, thereby ensuring that your data remains uncompromised. It is important to turn to reliable vendors for an AV software and to ensure that there is only a single AV tool for each device.
6. Establish MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)
MFA provides you with an extra protective layer by demanding user identity verification. An example of MFA would be two-factor authentication that sends a code on your cell phone every time you try to log in to any of your accounts or devices. You will then have to enter that code on your computer as a way of confirming that it is indeed you who is trying to access the account.
7. Avoid Public WiFi Connections
Never use public WIFIs, unless you are doing it through a VPN (Virtual Private Network) – a VPN encrypts the traffic between the server and your device. This encryption makes it significantly harder for cybercriminals to access the data available on the device you are using. If you need to keep things secure and do not have access to a VPN, make sure to use the network of your cell.
8. Backup Your Data Regularly
People often ignore the importance of regular data backup in online security. Every top security and IT manager follows the backup rule called ‘3-2-1’. Here is how it goes:
- Keep three data copies…
- On two distinct media types (such as external and local hard drives)…
- With one copy stored in any offsite location (such as cloud storage).
If you end up getting affected by malware or ransomware, you will only be able to restore data by erasing the entire systems and then using your most recent backup to restore the data. So, the more recent the backup, the more data you will be able to retrieve after a cyber attack.
Remember that improved cyber-security practices often begin with little individual efforts. We hope that the information discussed in this blog will help you keep your data secure and out of the reach of those with evil intentions.