As an individual, it is important to take cybersecurity seriously. Cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new ways to steal personal information and assets. They may use malicious software (malware) or phishing emails to gain access to sensitive data. Additionally, they can exploit weaknesses in people’s passwords and other account details. In this article, we will discuss 10 ways to protect yourself from cybercriminals.
10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Cybercriminals
1. Use strong passwords and change them regularly
Cybercriminals often use simple passwords that are easy to guess or crack. Passwords should be long (think 10 characters or more), contain both numbers, letters, and special characters, and you should change them every few months. Use the iStratus password vault to save all of your passwords in one secure location.
2. Enable two-factor authentication for accounts
Cybercriminals can guess or crack passwords, but two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security. This requires users to input a code sent via text message or email when logging in. We know this extra step can be frustrating but consider this. According to Microsoft, two-factor authentication “prevents 99.9% of automated assaults on its platforms’ websites and other online services.”
3. Use encryption
Encryption scrambles data so that it is unreadable to anyone without the key. Many financial services and websites now offer encryption, so take advantage of this whenever possible. And encryption is no longer just for big companies. With iStratus encryption is available to you as well.
4. Update software regularly
Cybercriminals often exploit weaknesses in outdated software, so make sure to keep all your programs and apps up to date. No matter how often the requests come in to update your computer, it is important to take the time to do so.
5. Be wary of links and attachments
Cybercriminals may try to infect your computer with malware through links or attachments in emails or social media messages. Don’t click on suspicious links or download attachments from unknown sources.
6. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Cybercriminals can track your online activity, especially when you’re using public Wi-Fi networks. Using a VPN encrypts your data and helps protect your identity by making it harder to track where you go on the web.
7. Back up your data
Cybercriminals may try to deploy ransomware that could lock your files and folders until you pay a fee. Backing up your data regularly means that, even if the worst happens, you’ll have an extra copy of all your important information. We recently heard from a man who lost all of the photos on his phone to cybercriminals. Because he had not backed them up he ended up paying a thousand dollars to have them returned.
8. Don’t overshare
Cybercriminals are often able to access personal information through social media posts. Exercise your right to privacy and don’t share too much on the web.
9. Be aware of phishing scams
Cybercriminals may try to trick you into giving up passwords or other sensitive information by posing as a legitimate company via email or text message. Be vigilant when it comes to emails and messages that ask for sensitive data.
10. Monitor your credit reports
Cybercriminals may use stolen information to open up new accounts or lines of credit in your name. Regularly check your credit report for any signs of suspicious activity.
Remember that cybersecurity is not something to take lightly. It’s essential to protect yourself and your assets against cybercriminals. Cybersecurity is an ongoing battle, but with vigilance and awareness, you can stay one step ahead of the bad guys.