With most people being online for most of the day, whether for personal reasons or work-related tasks, cybersecurity is more important than ever. As the internet evolves and new technologies are created, new ways of scamming people or stealing important data come up too.
Despite rather widespread awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and the prevalence of malicious online attacks, most people do little to nothing to secure themselves against these potential security threats.
Here are a few simple ways of securing yourself against malware and bad actors on the web.
Making unique passwords
Repeating passwords is something a lot of people do, even if they know it’s inadvisable. Although remembering all your login credentials for all the different sites you’re on can be a herculean task, it also makes you very vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Using extremely generic passwords is also not a good idea as it makes hacking into your account very simple.
Unfortunately, masses of tech users adopt the same approach and this has been proven with research conducted by the likes of ExpressVPN into the most common passwords used globally.
With variations on terms like ‘passwort’ and popular football teams such as ‘Juventus’ highlighted as some of the most commonly used passwords in countries like Germany and Italy, it’s perhaps no surprise that confidential and sensitive information is so easily acquired by bad actors on the internet.
Use password managers that can help you keep track of all of your passwords or random term generators whenever prompted to change your passwords!
Avoiding messages from unknown sources and unverified sites
Phishing scams are really common and they’re getting better at what they do. These scams usually involve a fake website, which looks like a legitimate e-store or business, being used to make people enter their sensitive personal and financial information into fields present on the site.
One of the easiest ways of checking whether a site is real or not is by using URL checkers. One can never be too careful because these scams are ever evolving.
Using multiple e-mail addresses
Having a different email address to use to sign up for services and products is also a helpful way of ensuring your safety. Having multiple e-mail addresses makes sure that not all of your data is in one place. It can also help keep promotional messages and other spam messages with suspicious attachments separate from essential personal communication.
Authentication and privacy settings
A lot of sites sell your data to advertisers. Oftentimes, a company’s policy about privacy or selling of data is hidden in the fine print of user agreements, which an overwhelming majority of people do not go through at all. Sometimes, you can check your privacy settings on a site or an app and explicitly instruct them not to sell your data.
If your photos are publicly available on the internet, you should keep in mind the possibility of someone stealing them and pretending to be you or someone else. Anyone who keeps your photos without your explicit consent should be reported immediately. Turning on two-factor authentication for messaging apps is also important.
There are very simple and rather obvious ways in which you can safeguard yourself against cyber-attacks. Oftentimes, people don’t take this advice to heart, but doing so can make you a great deal safer while online!