The number of internet users is constantly growing, side by side with the number of cyber criminals. That’s why it’s very important that all internet users apply cybersecurity measures that will stop these dishonest people from obtaining their data.
Be Wary of Spam
Every week we receive a bunch of spam mail. Mail address providers are getting better at singling out spam from regular mail, but still, plenty of spam passes through mail filters. It increases chances that receivers will open the messages and click on the links or open malicious files.
You should only open mail that is sent by someone you know, or someone whose mail you are expecting. If you opened a spam mail, don’t panic, just do not click on any attached file or link within and you will be fine. Also, mark all spam that went through the filter as such. You can adjust the parameters and the filter will automatically move the suspicious e-mail to the junk box.
Use Cloud Storage Apps
Using cloud storages is definitely the safest way to transfer files from one computer to the other. This is especially effective for smaller files that can be downloaded fast. Use a USB flash drive to decrease the chance of catching a virus.
Newer version of Windows scans every file you download and Windows Defender alerts and solves most virus threats. Cloud storages also come with their own anti-virus software, which then doubles the protection and blocks all cybersecurity threats.
Shop Only on Reliable E-Commerce Websites
Invention of e-commerce completely changed the way we buy goods. In practice though, it should be followed by the same security awareness as the regular brick and mortar store shopping. You would never take out a wallet full of money in front of shady strangers. When buying online, the first thing you need to do is to check whether the online store you are using is secure. Here are some tips how to do that:
- Use websites owned by popular retail chains;
- Find out whether the check-out page is using SSL by looking at the address bar(It should start with “https” instead of “http”) ;
- Check whether the website is PCI compliant.
Keep Your OS and Antivirus Programs Updated
Regular updates and cybersecurity patching are the most important criteria for keeping your data safe. Most cyber-attacks are based on system cracks and exploits. Automated tools are constantly scanning a huge number of IP addresses for threats.
Each OS and browser patch closes some of these malicious sites and files and makes the whole system less penetrable. If you are have to update an app through remote support, make sure that the company has no less that excellent remote server monitoring.
Same goes for the antivirus software. More than one fourth of computers with antivirus programs have outdated versions that are completely useless. Also, users who don’t patch their antivirus programs think they are protected and do not pay much attention to cyber-security. They are opening spam mail, purchasing goods on less reliable websites, etc. All of this can lead to disastrous cyber-attacks, which can result in data loss and identity theft.
Use Strong Passwords
You should use strong passwords for every account you set up. This goes especially for the accounts that store your personal and credit card data. Many online payment websites like PayPal require their users to add capital letters or numbers to their passwords which can serve as a reminder for users on how important their password policy is.
Using unique passphrases is a great way to achieve and maintain cybersecurity. Each passphrase represents a text made out of several chosen words and they are much stronger than individual passwords. They also need to be:
- Hard to guess (you should exclude famous quotations, pet names, birthdates and song lyrics);
- Easy to type;
- Used only for one website or account;
Applying some of these tips will definitely improve your cybersecurity. They will be even more effective if you add them to the security package you are already using. Combining these will maximize your on- and offline security and prevent cybercriminals from snatching up your personal and credit card data.