“We are all now connected by the internet, like neurons in a giant brain” This quote by Stephen Hawkins quite effectively describes the working and potential of the internet in the modern era.
With continuous advancement, the internet of things has become as integral a part of our lives as bread and butter. Many of our daily routines and duties are based on the usage of the World Wide Web. With this ever increasing need, the traffic over the internet is increasing exponentially. This exponential increase in traffic inevitably leads to an increase in the number of cybercriminals over the internet.
Ever increasing number of E-commerce markets means a higher number of potential victims of cyber crimes. In order to tackle this major threat, cybersecurity has become a necessity for people!
Let us consider the most important cybersecurity measures that you need to be aware of to protect your privacy.
Stronger updated passwords:
The first and foremost step that you need to consider is to secure your data and social media profiles with stronger passwords. We have an array of services these days which require passwords for authentication of the right personnel to access them. They include access to your computers, bank accounts, and mobile banking services, access to your social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc. as well.
It is advised not to use personal information such as birth dates or nicknames as passwords because this info could easily be extracted and used against you. For information that is highly sensitive, changing the password on the periodic basis is a fairly good practice. It is important that there are multiple passwords for various individuals which gives them access to specific files rather than having a single password for everyone and everything. This way, there is less vulnerability of important data.
Up-to-date threat detection and protection:
With the advancing technology, new and improved threats including viruses, worms and Trojans have been developed to counter and penetrate through advanced protection system. It is of utmost importance, firstly, to obtain a dependable anti-virus and anti-malware system and secondly to keep them updated with the most current definitions. This will enable the security software to detect intrusions, old and new, in the shortest of times so they can be quarantined and eradicated accordingly.
Windows firewall is your first line of defense against external intrusions where hackers might try to access your information or computer systems. You need to be certain that the firewall is enabled while you are connected over a network and also that it is updated with the latest definitions. Firewall plays an integral part in your system’s protection especially for people who do not have a dedicated security system installed. Major triple play companies are offering exclusive security suites for their internet users for dedicated support.
Know what you are downloading:
With the improving data networks, the data speeds offered by various companies are also getting more and more impressive. A number of prominent internet providers such as charter spectrum are offering data speeds of up to 100 Mbps which gives us even more incentive to download stuff over the internet. But the higher the incentive to download stuff, even higher is the risk involved in accidentally downloading malicious software including viruses. You have to make sure that you download data from trusted websites only. If Google or your antivirus program deems a web page as suspicious, you should avoid surfing on it or downloading any content from it. You need to be particularly aware when downloading free software over the internet. Such programs often have viruses attached to them which are either invisible or pose as harmless data files for general users. Once you start downloading the file, it gets access to your system and helps the hackers get access to personal data or simply corrupts your files thus making them unusable.
Some software asks us a series of questions before starting installations. It is important to be thorough and rather than skipping through the information, you should give it a proper read as there is often additional free software offered during the detailed installation process and a number of them include adware or malware files with them.
Avoid opening suspicious files:
Some malicious files are specifically designed to bypass various security filters and settings, guising themselves as important system files which even the advanced security systems are often unable to locate. Make it a common practice never to open files that you aren’t familiar with. These files may be sent to you as attachments via certain emails as well. If you are unfamiliar with the nature of the attachment file in a certain email, avoid opening it. More often than not, you aren’t intimated to download them and yet they might be present in your computer system lying dormant.
A fail safe practice is to regularly check your computer system for viruses and any form of malware via security software such as an antivirus system so that they can be detected before harming any of your data and thus eradicated accordingly. If you are unfamiliar with how to properly use your security software, you can always google it or watch a tutorial on YouTube regarding how it’s done.
Physically secure your devices:
In order to protect and safeguard your data, it is also important to be diligent enough to be aware of your laptop, mobile phones, and personal computers so that they might not end up being stolen thus exposing your personal data for illegal use. You should make sure never to leave your laptops in cars or any other type of transports. When you’re at an office, always make sure that you lock your computer and laptop when you have to leave your desk for any reason whatsoever.
These were among the most important measures you need to address to ensure effective cyber security. These measures will help you keep your data including your identity safe from any threats and risks. Feel free to comment below, if you would like to add additional steps which need to be considered for cyber safety.