We all know that the world is a dangerous place. But, sometimes we forget just how dangerous it can be until something bad happens to us. The same is true for cyber security. We often don’t think about it until our computer has been hacked or we’ve lost money to a scam. In this blog post, we will discuss six things you should know to keep yourself cyber-safe!
About cyber security
When it comes to cyber security, most people only think about their computer being hacked. However, there is so much more to it than that. Cyber security encompasses everything from the devices we use to connect to the internet (computers, laptops, smartphones, etc.) to the websites we visit and the way we store our personal information. It is a broad term that includes everything from anti-virus software to firewalls to password management.
While it is not always possible to completely protect yourself from all cyber threats, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. There is a possibility to look for and join one of the best cybersecurity bootcamps out there. These are short, intensive courses that will teach you the basics of cyber security and how to protect yourself online.
The importance of cyber security
With the world becoming increasingly digital, it is more important than ever to be aware of cyber security threats and how to protect yourself from them. According to a report by Juniper Research, the cost of data breaches is expected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2019. This is a huge increase from the $1.3 trillion estimated in 2015.
Also, when you need to protect your computer from viruses and other malware, it is important to have up-to-date anti-virus software. However, even the best anti-virus software cannot protect you if you are not careful about the websites you visit and the email attachments you open. Before you decide to open or ignore an email attachment, you should always verify the sender. If you are not expecting an attachment from the person, it is best to delete it. Similarly, if you are asked to click on a link in an email, you should hover over the link to see where it is going to take you. If the URL looks suspicious, do not click on it!
1. Use strong passwords
One of the easiest ways to keep your accounts safe is by using strong passwords. Use a strong and unique password for each of your accounts. A strong password is at least 8 characters long and includes a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessed words like your name or birthday. You can use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to help you keep track of your passwords.
2. Don’t click on links in emails from people you don’t know
Phishing scams are one of the most common ways that hackers gain access to people’s accounts. They’ll send you an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate company or organization, but the link in the email will actually take you to a fake website where they can collect your login information. Be very careful about clicking on links in emails, even if they look legitimate.
When in doubt, go to the website directly by typing the URL into your browser rather than clicking on a link. And, be sure to check for typos in the URL. Hackers will often register domains that are very similar to legitimate ones in order to trick people.
3. Keep your software up to date
One of the best ways to protect your computer from malware and viruses is to keep your software up to date. When new security updates are released for your operating system and applications, make sure to install them as soon as possible. For instance, the WannaCry ransomware attack that hit millions of computers in May 2017 took advantage of a security flaw in the Windows operating system. If people had installed the security update that Microsoft released in March, their computers would have been safe from the attack.
4. Use a secure browser extension
There are many browser extensions that can help you stay safe online. One of our favorites is HTTPS Everywhere, which forces your browser to use the more secure HTTPS version of websites whenever possible. The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
In addition, AdBlock Plus can help you avoid malicious ads and pop-ups. It’s available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera. If you use Chrome, you can also check out uBlock Origin.
While the free version of Malwarebytes is not an extension, it’s a great program to scan your computer for malware and remove any that is found. Once you install it, make sure to run a scan at least once a week.
5. Be careful about what you share on social media
Social media is a great way to connect with friends and family, but it’s important to be careful about what you share. Avoid sharing personal information like your address or date of birth, and be cautious about clicking on links shared by people you don’t know.
On the other hand, you can use social media to your advantage by using it to stay up-to-date on the latest security threats. Following companies and organizations that focus on cyber security will help you stay informed about the latest news and updates.
6. Use a VPN
A VPN (virtual private network) is a great way to add an extra layer of security to your online activities. A VPN encrypts your traffic and routes it through a server in another location, making it much more difficult for anyone to snoop on your activity or steal your data.
One of the most useful features of a VPN is that it can help you access geo-blocked content. For instance, if you’re traveling outside of the United States, you can use a VPN to connect to a U.S.-based server and access sites like Netflix or Hulu that would otherwise be unavailable.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep yourself safe from the many cyber threats that exist today. Remember that the best defense is always a good offense, so stay vigilant and informed to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim.