It has never been more critical to enforce best practices in online security; with data breaches now prevalent and hackers becoming more advanced, we are facing endless safety traps that can spell disaster every day.
Sure, it takes a while to learn some online security techniques, but there are so many easy things you can do today to improve your personal security.
Step 1: Keep the code up-to-date
Yes, it can be a pain to upgrade technology. It can let you twist your thumbs for half an hour while you’re waiting to finish installing this, but don’t let that put you off.
Such updates often provide critical online security fixes that serve as replacements to any possible vulnerabilities, stopping hackers from exploiting those holes. When hackers become more advanced and find new ways to access personal information from people, it is important to make sure that every piece of software on your computer, mobile, and your home IoT devices, is fully up-to-date.
Step 2.Use a password manager
We all feel our passwords are super secure: for example, you’ve taken the name of your dog, converted a few letters into numbers, and sprinkled into a handful of different symbols. But these passwords are not secure; in fact, a hacker can use techniques such as credential stuffing to crack your password in seconds— particularly if you repeatedly reuse it.
This creates completely random, unique passwords for each account by using a password manager. This reminds you of them so you don’t have to. The master password is all you need to recall. Which means they can’t use that combination to bypass your other accounts even if a hacker finds your key after a data breach.
Step 3. Watch what you share on social media
If you’re too honest, though, you might end up giving hackers or phishers the details they need to create a compelling con. Think about the information we post on social media— your birthdate, the names of children, the name of the mother, how many pets you have, where your favorite holiday spot is, your address, phone number, etc. You can create a pretty detailed profile on a person by searching your social media — all of which can be used to steal your identity and compromise your security online.
So, make private all of your social accounts. Don’t post your email address, phone number, or birth date. So just be careful about posting details you wouldn’t want to know about hackers. Because it might be used against you.
Step 4: Be vigilant when shopping online
We don’t think twice about buying stuff online nowadays. In fact, we’re also willing to buy items from companies we’ve never heard of — all because of some great Instagram images.
Once you complete a purchase, when entering your credit card information, make sure you see either a locked padlock or a key symbol in your browser (indicating the page is HTTPS vs HTTP), as this indicates that the site is encrypted and safe. Double check the URL itself as well (for example, hackers like to set up fake websites: c0ach.com vs. coach.com). And wherever possible, to complete the transaction, using third-party payment services such as PayPal.
Step 5: Do not click random links in emails
Most of us are likely to be proud of our abilities to sniff out dubious emails and deal that sound too good to be true, but people are still falling for it. More than 200 million phishing emails are sent every day by hackers, messages that look nearly identical to the real thing — with some syntax gifts or an incorrect domain address (for example, [email protected] vs. [email protected]).
Never click on an email’s random connection, even if it comes from a trusted source, like a relative. Switch over the connection and see where it’s taking you. It takes only a few seconds to fall for a phishing scam, but it’s an online security mistake that can kill you financially.
Step 6: Always use a VPN when connected to free public WiFi
Free public WiFi is so vulnerable that can put our online privacy and security. However, use a VPN can prevent your sensitive information exposed to hackers. Never forget to connect a VPN service when using a free public Wifi.