The recent proliferation of new devices, such as smart appliances, tablets, and smartphones, has opened up individuals and organizations to even greater risks online. It’s no wonder why the Internet can sometimes feel like one of the most dangerous places in the world these days. Malware, scams, hacks–they’re everywhere. They’re actually more prevalent now than ever, while the whole world is on quarantine because of the coronavirus threat.
A private user, a small business, or even a large organization can be a target for cyberattacks. Yes, cybercriminals don’t discriminate; anyone can be a target at any time, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Always think about your security and privacy before connecting online. Here are some essential cybersecurity tips on how to surf safely:
1. Make Use Of A Firewall
A firewall, of course, is one of the essential cybersecurity protocols that enterprises follow. It applies to private individuals, too. So, what’s a firewall? It’s actually an electronic barrier used to block any unauthorized access to computers. It often comes together with different comprehensive security software available in the market. You should definitely be using a firewall despite how secure your network you think is. By doing so, you can ensure that webcams, thermostats, and other IoT (Internet of things) devices, as well as all other types of devices connected to your Internet network, are secured. Hackers often find a vulnerable entry point to an entire network through IoT devices since they lack important security measures. A firewall can help prevent these breaches.
2. Turn And Keep Privacy Settings On
Hackers, like marketers, have evolved and become smarter these days. They can now learn more about you through your social media usage and browsing patterns. What can you do to counter this? Or, is there anything you can do, considering the fact that social media has already become an integral part of people’s lives around the world?
The good news is that, yes, you can do something about it. Take charge of your essential information by turning on the setting on your mobile operating system and web browser that enables protection for your privacy online. Settings, like the one mentioned, exist, although it can be hard to find since these companies actually want your personal information for marketing purposes. Facebook, for instance, has this privacy-enhancing setting available, too. Turn these privacy safeguards on and make sure you keep them enabled no matter what happens.
3. Come Up With Complex Passwords
The best way of keeping your financial and personal information safe when surfing online is, still, by creating strong and unique passwords. You probably have heard it a lot of times before, but complex passwords for your critical accounts are really effective. It’s essential to note that reusing your passwords means hackers can actually take one leaked data from an initial, separate attack and utilize it to access your other accounts. That’s why creating strong and unique passwords is crucial, especially in an era of widespread hacks on corporate systems. These cyberattacks, as you probably already know, only take one database breach to reveal thousands of user passwords. If you can utilize a password manager that can help you in creating and storing strong passwords for different accounts, the better.
4. Practice Safe Browsing At All Times
Don’t visit dangerous places online, like how you wouldn’t want to walk through a notoriously dangerous neighborhood. Again, cybercriminals have become smarter these days, and they know that some people will sometimes really be tempted to let their guard down by dubious content when searching for it. That’s why they use lurid content as bait these days, and it’s effective. One careless click inside the Internet world that’s filled with hard-to-see pitfalls could not only expose your personal data, but also infect your computer or any other device with malware. Don’t give the hackers any chance–resist the urge and always practice safe browsing.
5. Carefully Check What You’re Going To Download
Malware, these days, can already be disguised as an application. It can be something that checks the weather or the current traffic condition. Others are even a popular game. That said, always carefully review what you’re going to download online if you don’t want apps or programs that steal information or carry malware to get inside your devices. If you don’t trust the website or if the app looks suspicious, no matter how good it might seem to be, don’t be tricked into downloading it.
6. Make Your Internet Connection Secure
Before providing important information, such as your bank details, when purchasing online, make sure that you’re connected to a secure network. If you really want to upgrade your Internet browsing safety, consider using a VPN or a virtual private network connection. A VPN will enable a secure connection for you, specifically between an Internet server and your computer or any other device. It prevents anyone from accessing or even only monitoring any data you’re exchanging.
Aside from the things mentioned above, keeping your security software updated is another step you can take to protect yourself from cyberattacks. Turn on automatic updates, so you always have all the latest security patches. Also, run regular scans to detect malware and get rid of them immediately.