Keeping your private data safe is becoming increasingly essential due to the recent hike in cybersecurity attacks. For both organizations and individuals, malware attacks can prove to be seriously damaging. As more and more devices get connected through the internet, your personal data gets increasingly harder to keep safe from malicious attacks.
Your personal devices contain a vast amount of information stored in them. If you are not careful, people with malicious intent could use this data for identity theft, depositing malware on your device, stealing your payment information, and much more. If a hacker gets access to your social networks and your personal files, your private life is completely accessible to them.
There are several measures that one can take to keep their data safe from prying eyes. By maintaining proper internet hygiene, and having knowledge of the basic cybersecurity measures, you can prevent most malicious attacks. In this article, you will get to know about a few safety measures that you need to follow in order to keep your personal life and data safe from cybercriminals.
Use a Secure and Trusted Antivirus
Antivirus software can prevent most cybersecurity attacks from happening in the first place, even if the user makes a mistake, and allows malware to enter their devices. Most popular antivirus softwares have real-time protection features that prevent malware from spreading through the device.
The default firewall that comes with modern operating systems can be replaced with a better solution that you can get with a free antivirus. You don’t need to invest in a premium antivirus, there are free and reliable options available. In case you still get infected, the antivirus software can disinfect your files for you, and keep them safe.
Keep Your Device Updated
Updating the operating system and software on your device on a regular basis is one of the most important steps you can take to stay protected from the latest malware. These updates mainly patch older flaws and introduce more safety measures to keep up with the new developments in malware.
If you have anti-virus software installed, then keeping it updated should be one of your main concerns. New virus definitions are updated daily in the anti-virus software, which helps it prevent attacks or disinfect them in case your device is already compromised.
Use Strong Passwords for All of Your Accounts
With the rapid pace at which technology is progressing, hackers can access new sophisticated tools to guess or crack your passwords. Having a strong password with a mix of alphanumeric characters, numbers, uppercase, and lowercase, and symbols makes it much harder to guess for the hackers.
In case you have difficulty remembering all of your complex passwords, you can use a trusted password manager to save these for you, and enter them automatically while logging in to your accounts.
Avoid Suspicious Websites
While browsing the internet, you might stumble upon links with a huge number of pop-ups ads. These websites can often redirect you to malicious websites that inject malware to infect your device. Also, some of these websites can be phishing attacks that aim to extract your payment information or personal data.
One of the easy ways to tell if a link is suspicious or not is to check for obvious spelling errors. Next, you need to check the protocol that the website uses to verify if it’s secure or not. If you see the HTTP protocol being used, then it is a good idea to avoid those websites. Most websites use the HTTPS protocol, which is more secure and the chances of malware getting into your device are next to zero.
Keep Your Data Backed Up
There have been many new reports of ransomware attacks in recent times. When your device gets infected with ransomware, all of your files and personal data on the device get encrypted. To remove this encryption, the hackers demand a huge sum of money from the victim. Big organizations are more prone to these attacks than individuals, but if you still get infected, your data is most likely gone for good.
In these cases, having a backup of your data can be an enormous relief. You can restore all of it, and start adopting new cybersecurity measures to prevent future attacks. So, it is always a good idea to keep your data backed up at regular intervals on another location that is not connected to your main device.
Avoid Connecting to Public Wi-Fi
When you’re connected to public Wi-Fi, a hacker can intercept the data going back and forth between the router and the device. This can lead to your personal data being exposed and leave your device prone to further attacks. In case you need to use public Wi-Fi in an emergency, then avoid entering any personal data on your device for the session.
An even better way to stay secure while being connected to public wifi is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your device. When you’re connected to a VPN, the packets of data passing between the router and the device get encrypted. This makes it much harder for cybercriminals to intercept and use this information.
Don’t Save Passwords in Your Browser
Your browser may have often presented you with a pop-up that asks if you want to save the password for later use. In these scenarios, the best choice is to not save any passwords on your browser, as if the browser gets infected, the hackers can extract all of your accounts along with their passwords from your device.
Most modern browsers have this option in-built, but they are not quite secure. Your best option is to use a password manager in case you need easy access to your accounts while not having to enter your credentials every time you log in.
Don’t Expose Personal Information on Social Media
Often, when people post on their social media accounts, they can sometimes unwillingly expose too much information about their lives. This can lead to cybersecurity concerns, as if a hacker gets access to this account, they can get an in-depth knowledge of the victim’s personal life. This can have severe implications if the data is used for malicious purposes.
You should always make sure that the photos or content that you post on social media doesn’t contain any personal information that can be traced back to you. You should also disconnect your social media accounts from other apps and websites to decrease your chances of being compromised.
With the advent of modern technologies, cybercrime is set to rise even more as time goes by. But this doesn’t mean that your data cannot be protected with basic awareness and simple cybersecurity measures that you can take. With the help of this comprehensive guide, you can start taking the first steps towards better practices to keep your personal data and devices clean and safe.