Last Updated on January 4, 2022Home » Blog » Personal Safety and Security » Online Security »
Tips to Protect Yourself Against Cyber-Attacks
Guest Post By: Michael Dehoyos
I’m willing to bet that you have heard of someone who has fallen victim to a cyber-attack – maybe you have even experienced it yourself. In 2021, cyber criminals are more sophisticated than ever, so it’s essential that you ensure your defense is robust. Read on for ten tips to ramp up your protection against cyber-attacks.
1) Start With Passwords
Let’s start with the basics: make sure your password is strong. It might seem obvious, but sometimes simple is all you need.
In this instance, “strong” means not easily guessable, either by a person or a program. Do not underestimate the power of a strong password.
2) Get An Antivirus
Downloading a trustworthy antivirus program is another essential step in your arsenal against cyber-attacks. Antivirus programs stop viruses and other malicious software from infecting your computer, and there are many (paid and free) to choose from, including Avast, AVG, Norton and McAfee to name just a few.
3) Be Wary of Phishing
Phishing is when cyber criminals lure unsuspecting victims into providing data such as passwords or credit card details by posing as a legitimate person or organization. One common trick is pretending to be Amazon and sending an email containing a link that is disguised to look like an Amazon link; however, if you look closer, you’ll see that the link does not lead to the real website. If you enter your details in this website, the phisher will have access to them.
“Be vigilant when clicking links. To be certain, type the website you want to visit in the URL bar yourself, bypassing the need to follow the link,” advises Sammy Reese, tech writer at 1 Day 2 write and Write my X.
4) Protect Your Router
Make sure your wireless router is password protected. Without a password, anyone in your area could access the internet via your router, from neighbors to hackers. More than just being annoying, a hacker could use this connection to gain access to sensitive data.
5) Keep Up to Date
Updates to software often contain fixes for identified security flaws, so by not keeping your devices and programs up to date, you are putting yourself at risk. “Setting your devices to update automatically is a great way to ensure you’re never left behind,” says Irma Cobb, business writer at Brit Student and Next Coursework.
6) Try Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security alongside the traditional username and password. A common method is sending a code to your phone. This means that, even if a cyber-criminal has access to your login details, they can’t gain access to your account.
7) Back Up Your Data
Always ensure that any information that is important to you is backed up somewhere other than your computer. Aside from being useful if your device unexpectedly goes kaput, it removes all the power from hackers who favor ransomware attacks. Instead of being tempted to give in to their demands, you can simply use the data you backed up.
8) Be Secretive Online
While it’s normal, and sometimes even encouraged, to publish personal data on social media websites, it pays to be careful with the information you give out. Seemingly innocuous details, such as the name of your pet or which sports team you support, can be used by hackers to guess passwords. Ensure all your social media profiles are set to private and think twice about the information you put online.
9) Cache Clearing
Your cache contains a whole wealth of information about you and your browsing habits. Ensure your cache is cleared and your cookies are deleted regularly to reduce the amount of information your browser holds about you.
10) Don’t Save Your Passwords
As tempting as it may be, do not allow your browser to store your login details for websites. While this may save a few seconds here and there, it means that the data is ripe and ready to be extracted by malicious software. A password manager that properly encrypts your data is a safer option.
Keeping safe online can seem overwhelming, but just implementing some of the simple steps above could massively reduce your chance of being stung by a cyber-criminal.
Image source: Pixabay.