Let’s face it. Most people are lazy when it comes to cybersecurity. They confidently browse through the web, thinking nothing bad will happen to them. But the reality is quite different.
Millions of people suffer data breaches every year, and they’re vulnerable to crimes like:
- Phishing scams. Hackers may send you emails or messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as your bank or a well-known company. This is done in an attempt to trick you into giving them your personal information.
- Malware attacks. Scammers often use malware to hack into your computers and phone. This type of malicious software can allow them to steal your precious data, monitor what you’re doing on the web, or even take control of your device.
- Password attacks. Hackers can use various techniques to try to guess or steal your passwords, such as brute force attacks or social engineering tactics. In fact, computer programs can check between 10,000 and 1 billion passwords per second. An impressive amount, right?
- Ransomware attacks. Bad actors can use ransomware to encrypt your files and demand payment in exchange for the decryption key. Remember the famous WannaCry ransomware attack?
Keep in mind that this is only a couple of examples. The harsh reality is that hackers want your money and data. And they’ll do anything to take it. Here are some tips on what you should do to protect yourself in all aspects of your life:
Table of Contents
Protect your finances
Instead of going to the bank, we open an app on our phone or a website on our laptop. If a hacker gets a hold of your account, they can make transfers, purchases, and withdrawals. These steps should help you protect your finances:
- Use strong passwords
- Use a protected network to log in
- Don’t share personal info with anyone
- Turn on multi-factor authentication
- Don’t save your payment information
- Look for an SSL certificate on websites
- ATMs and gas pumps are often equipped with skimming devices. Be extra careful here.
Protect your identity
We live our lives on social media. That’s why you should be careful when you log in with such apps to unknown platforms. You might give hackers your login info, and cybercriminals might try to perform identity theft. They can do tax fraud and take loans under your name. The tips below will help you protect your identity:
- Wipe your old devices
- Don’t give personal information via email or phone
- Fill out only the required fields on online forms
- Your Social Security Card should be kept at a secure location.
Protect your belongings
Cybercrime transitions into real crime when you’re not home. Hackers are criminals who can break into your home if they know you’re not there. They can find your IP address and monitor when you’re online and offline. That’s why most break-ins happen during the day. Your IP leaks through your router and every device connected to it. So, make sure you use a VPN for every smart device. This includes a Firestick VPN for streaming and protection for your wireless printer. Here are some more tips to avoid being robbed when you’re not home:
- Don’t advertise when you’re going on vacation on social media
- Tell your neighbour to collect your mail
- Set automatic timers to turn on a few lights at night
- Don’t post photos from your trip until you come back home
- Use a VPN on all of your smart devices
Protect your business
Businesses are a better target for cybercriminals compared to individuals. Firms deal with sensitive data. And when you account for the costs of regulatory fines, business disruption, and financial loss, it’s easy to see how data breaches cost millions of dollars. This doesn’t include the invisible things like trust and relationships with clients. To avoid data breaches in your business, you should:
- Encrypt your data (have an SSL certificate on your website)
- Don’t post employee personal data online
- Implement a cybersecurity training program
- Perform routine phishing tests
- Backup your data
Protect your employability
All it takes is one slip-up on social media to ruin your reputation forever. Influencers and celebrities know about that. But it can happen to anyone, and it can affect your employability. Your online reputation is important, and here’s how to protect it:
- Be mindful not to share controversial things
- Correct errors that employers can see in a background check
- Delete your old and unused accounts
- Make your social media accounts private
- Think twice before you post anything
Remember to protect your privacy by blocking trackers and third-party access. You never know what kind of threats will exist in the future, so try to be safe from all sides.
A Few Final Words
It goes without saying that protecting yourself when browsing online is crucial. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to steal your money, data, and identity. Be vigilant and proactive when it comes to your online safety.
Don’t wait for a data breach or cyber attack to happen before you take action. Stay informed about the latest threats and security measures, and always be mindful of the information you share online. By taking the necessary precautions, you can protect yourself, your finances, your identity, your belongings, your business, and your employability. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.