Are you tired of hearing the same old tips on cybersecurity over and over again? Why not learn a few new tricks instead?
Cybersecurity is a topic that we’ve heard all about over the last few years. We all know that there are some pretty ingenious cybercriminals out there waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting. It’s why everyone with a lick of sense creates and uses password access when they want to log into their systems. We all do this because we understand the importance of internet security.
Well, here’s a bombshell for you – cybercrime is a booming industry. If our measures were so effective, why is it that we’re still seeing large scale attacks? According to Statista, the figures that we’re looking at here are staggering.
If you look at the chart Statista drew up, you’ll see that the largest hack of recent years left three billion Yahoo users’ data exposed. That is old news, but take a look at some of the breaches for 2018.
For example, in November 2018, 500 million clients at Marriott had their personal information exposed. This just goes to show that cybersecurity is not something that you are ever able to slack off with.
For Every Action, There is an Equal and Opposite Reaction
It is one of the most basic laws of physics and is particularly apt here as well. In cybersecurity, the action might be a new vector of attack by a hacker. The reaction might be to create a defense against that vector of attack.
Interesting, But What Does It Have to Do with Me?
It’s fairly simple – if you’re still using the same old anti-virus software and passwords that you created five years ago, your system is probably at risk. Artificial intelligence is being built into all sorts of programs to ensure that they are more efficient. This includes viruses and other software hackers.
Basically, if you want to keep your data safe, you need to do more than just type a quick little password and hope for the best. But don’t worry, we’ll give you detailed instructions below on keeping your computers safe.
Start with Your Anti-Virus Program
If your computer is running on Windows, find the Windows Defender App and ensure it is installed if you don’t have a big budget. This app is free and highly effective. Alternatively, look for software from known brands like Norton, Symantec, and so on.
You need to ensure it’s not only installed, but also set to update automatically every day. These updates can run in the background and won’t interfere with performance. Making it automatic means that you won’t forget ever again to update it manually.
Updates are an essential part of making your computer more secure. Every time the program updates, it gets the definitions for any new viruses that might be doing the rounds and so can block them.
Naturally, it’s also essential to ensure that the program is set to scan your system both in real-time and according to a daily scanning schedule.
Cyber attacks can take many forms and so you need to educate yourself as to what those forms are. Most of us are aware that we shouldn’t click on a dodgy link and that we should check emails out carefully before we even think of downloading attachments or clicking a link.
The truth is, however, that phishing emails are just one small way that people can get your information. There are plenty of other scams that are a lot more well-hidden. Take, for example, the scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica and Facebook a little while ago.
The app was a fun and simple series of questions. You know the type – you’ve seen them thousands of times on Facebook before. The difference here, though, was that the app was working in the background. You had to authorize it to move to the next step.
What you wouldn’t have realized, though, is that through this authorization, the app was able to access all your information and that of anyone who you were friends with. And here’s where it gets scary – those people may never even have used the app, but their information was collated anyway.
So one of the most important things that you can do for your safety online is to keep up to date with the latest tricks cybercriminals are using.
Don’t Just Rely on Your Password
If it’s a good one, your password goes a long way toward protecting your data. There’s only so much it can do, though. If you click on the wrong link and accidentally download a virus, your system is breached.
Have secondary lines of defense in place as well. Start by encrypting personal information stored on your computer. If you need the data but don’t need to access it straight away, it might pay off to secure it on an external drive so that it’s stored offline.
While we’re on that topic, backup your entire computer system regularly. That way, if the system is breached, you at least still have access to the data.
Consider Two-Factor Authentication
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that this is a pain in the butt. But I advise putting it in place whenever possible. With two-factor authentication, a message is sent to one of your devices, often your mobile phone. This will have a code that you’ll need to type in to complete the sign in process.
And while it’s annoying for you, think how annoying it is for the guy halfway around the world who spent an hour figuring out what your password was.
The second reason to get this implemented is that you then get a notification every time someone has tried to access your computer. That should prompt you to do a full security overhaul, change your passwords, and so forth.
Overall, being safe online is not all that hard. It means making yourself as difficult a target as possible. Sure, all the extra measures take more time, but isn’t it worth to know that you’re a lot better protected online?