Living in the connected world has undoubtedly improved our lives in fresh and extraordinary ways. However, it acts like a double-edged sword, given the harm it can bring to us and our loved ones. These dangers and risks are real, as we often see various companies falling prey to breaches or colleagues becoming victims of hacks. With that, it is vital to keep your cybersecurity in check at all times. So, check these online rules and tips to improve your security posture and ensure your family stays safe online.
Educate your family about the threats and dangers
Not all people are aware of the risks and threats of the online world. Teens and kids are the weakest links as they have less understanding of the danger online. To avoid them from being targets, educate them about all suspicious activities, malware, security protocols, and security networks. Advise them not to avoid downloading apps from dubious sites, or refrain from accessing sites that require their information. Afterwards, inform them why they need to do so, and the possible effects cyberattacks can bring to the family. Equipping everyone in the family with the proper knowledge is the first key to optimum cybersecurity.
Keep your personal information private
One common mistake people do is sharing their personal information, such as birth dates, credit card numbers, address, phone numbers, or SSN, online. Avoid them as those doing so put you and your family at risks of cyberbullying, stalking, burglary and even harassment. You can also be a victim of identity theft, and your information can be used to commit fraud and other crimes. Always be to protect your privacy if you want to steer away from those situations.
Protect your computer
Update your security software, including your operating systems, apps, and browsers. An excellent way to do this is by setting them to update automatically at your preferred times. It keeps the technology of your up to date to combat the latest online threats, lessens the possibilities of getting malware or bad programs, and protects your family from hackers who want to access your computer system.
Utilize complex passwords
Using complex passwords is an old-age rule that reduces the risks of any hacker guessing your password, and taking over your criticals account, and reaping whatever benefits it can serve them. Ideally, a password should be long, containing upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Yes, your favorite dog might be adorable, but never use his or her name, or your birth date, other personal information, or dictionary words as your password. The more complex, unique your password is, the better security it gives to your account.
Backup data regularly
Ransomware is malware prevalently used by cybercriminals today. If your fall computer, unfortunately, gets affected, the attacker will lock or encrypt your data, and demand a ransom to restore access through a decryption key. Authorities recommend not to pay the fee as there is no guarantee that the perpetrator will give back your information anyway. Instead, always back your data regularly, and advise them to do the same. Not only you can get your information back in case of any malicious attack, but you can also recover data in the event of accidental deletion or hardware or software failure.
Use your mobile devices smartly
Mobile devices can be at the same risk of cyberattacks as computers or laptops. With people spending more time using tablets and smartphones, online culprits are also becoming smarter by creating new ways to target users, involving text messages or SMS. With that, avoid responding to unknown numbers and have your phone system and security software updated regularly to keep it safe from dangerous malware and apps.
Free offers, online quizzes, and surveys are very enticing. However, the majority of them are only tactics made by attackers to get your personal information. Don’t engage into reckless clicking. Assess the site first, and evaluate if the offer seems legitimate. If it’s requiring too much details or the prize or deal is too good to be true, close the page and never give away personal information.
Practice safe surfing
Shopping online is convenient. With a few simple clicks, you get to purchase any personal stuff, household supplies, or important item you need, and have it delivered at your door. Yet, it requires you to input your financial information, or perform your online banking. If you’re unlucky, you might be surprised to see unauthorized charges on your account the following day. To avoid such scenarios, always check the security of the site you’re accessing. The URL shows always be “https” and not “http,” and a lock icon should always be present in the address field. Be also wary of phishing sites that may copy legitimate websites.
Those are some helpful cybersecurity tips. Always have regular conversations and instill these practices in your family to ensure your safety in the digital age.