Technology is evolving and making life easier every day. Today, people communicate, bank, and do a lot of other things online. Technology has been a blessing and a curse because it comes with cybercrime, which people need to prevent by all means.
The main challenge for many people is knowing how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are devising more advanced hacking techniques, and you can never be sure you are safe. This article looks at the top 8 ways that you can use to protect yourself from hackers.
Let’s get started.
1. Avoid Public WiFi
Many people have lost sensitive data and even money because they connected to public WiFi. Therefore, it is very fair to say that public WiFi is not safe to use. Consequently, you should never log in to your social networks, email, or do mobile banking over a public network.
There are lots of hackers lurking on public networks. To avoid being their next victim, verify that the WiFi is secure to use. One sign that shows a public network is secure is HTTPS. However, that also doesn’t guarantee you 100% protection, but it is safer than one indicated as HTTP.
2. Use a Firewall
Another thing that you should consider is setting up a firewall. Firewalls are great for information security as they can help prevent people with malicious intent from accessing networks. Setting them up can be a daunting and time-consuming process, but the effort is worth it.
The best thing about firewalls is that they sometimes come pre-installed on devices. For instance, devices that use macOS and Windows come with firewalls, so you only need to enable them.
In addition, many people opt to install a third-party firewall for more security, which is also an excellent option to consider.
3. Backup Sensitive and Essential Data
Backing up sensitive data is no longer an option but a necessity. It would help if you prioritized it always, regardless of how secure your data is. The best thing about data backups is that you can always access your data if you lose a copy to an attacker.
You can decide to use internal or external backup solutions depending on your needs. Many operating systems provide users with internal backup solutions. You can consider having an external backup facility for better data security if an attack gets severe and destroys the entire system.
It is also vital to manage networks properly even after backing up your data. Protection of industrial control systems (ICS) involves proper vulnerability management. This is because of the sensitive data industrial systems handle.
Operational technology cybersecurity is broad, and working with leading ICS vendors can help you achieve your goals better. In addition, they can help you set up the best security software, hardware, and practices.
4. Update and Patch All Devices
It is always important to patch and update all your devices. However, one thing that makes people vulnerable to attacks is using outdated software and applications on their devices. Cybercriminals are always looking for such devices because they are easier to hack than those installed with updated software.
You need to update your software regularly to be safe. Software providers release security updates to close down any loopholes that attackers can exploit. Ensure that you keep up with the latest security technology by patching and updating your devices with the latest security features.
5. Use Antivirus Software
Cybercriminals have long used viruses to affect computer performances and destroy sensitive data. Therefore, it would be best to always safeguard your computer and network from them, and using antivirus software is one of the best ways to do it.
Antivirus software helps protect the transmission and replication of viruses. It also can help block spam and ads that could be carrying viruses with them. You can also protect yourself from hackers and data thieves or even protect your computers from malicious removable devices.
6. Add Multi-Factor Authentication on Your Accounts
Attackers can find your details in the most unexpected ways. For example, you could be at risk if one accesses your login credentials to essential accounts. Thankfully, you can enable multi-factor authentication to ensure that they do not access your accounts even with the correct login details.
A multi-factor authentication feature requires someone to enter a code before logging into an account. The code often gets sent to an email or SMS to a phone number linked to the account. The attacker can’t access your network if they don’t find the code.
7. Manage Your Passwords Well
Password management also determines how safe you will be online. Different password management practices can expose you to hacking. Checking the list of common passwords and avoiding them may help to protect your system. For instance, many people use the same password on two or more of their accounts.
But then, this gives an attacker access to their entire network if they have the login credentials. It is also advisable to use a password manager for password storage. You can also disable the password autocomplete feature that could also expose you, should an attacker handle your computer.
8. Be Skeptical About Links and Attachments
Spam links, messages, and attachments are no big deal until you click on them. Cybercriminals use such links to trap employees and other people who do not have sufficient cybersecurity training. They use enticing words and hide their real identity with reputable brand names to gain trust.
But then, a single click can give attackers access to a network. Thus, it would help if you were careful about what you click on and verify its authenticity before anything. If you have employees, train them on phishing emails and how they can identify them.
As mentioned earlier, you can never be 100% sure that you are safe in today’s online environment. But it would help if you put some effort into blocking the little backdoors that hackers are likely to exploit. In addition, you need to keep up to date on cybersecurity issues and use the several privacy tools available out there.
New threats emerge every day, meaning new cybersecurity solutions are needed too. You, therefore, need to do regular assessments to determine if there are new threats that could affect you. The tips in this article can help you improve your online security and use the internet safely.
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