With cybercrime on the rise, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant about your online security. People are becoming victims of identity thefts, ransomware, and other malicious attacks daily. In fact, according to FTC, someone in the US becomes a victim of identity theft every 14 seconds, which results in $16 million in losses every day.
You can do several things to protect yourself from becoming a victim of cybercrime. This blog post will cover various topics, including how to keep your computer safe, protect your privacy, and stay safe while using social media. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to staying safe online:
1. Use A Secure Password Manager
A password manager is software that helps you generate, store, and securely manage your passwords. This way, you only need to remember one master password to access all your accounts.
Most password managers come with a strong password generator. This feature creates long, random passwords that are nearly impossible to crack. You don’t have to remember these complex passwords, as the password manager will do it for you.
2. Only Connect To A Secure Network
Cybercriminals target public Wi-Fi hotspots to steal people’s personal information. Only connect to secure networks when working on your laptop at a coffee shop or using your phone at the airport. That means the network should require a password and show a padlock icon next to its name. This way, you can be sure your data is encrypted and safe from prying eyes.
3. Use A Multi-Factor Authentication
Usernames and passwords can usually be guessed, even when strong or unique, so it’s important to use multi-factor authentication (MFA). With MFA, even if someone knows your password, they won’t be able to access your account unless they have a second form of identification, such as a fingerprint or code sent to your phone.
There are many MFA options available, so find one that’s right for you and make sure to enable it on all your online accounts. MFA is an extra step that takes a few seconds but can go a long way in protecting your online data.
4. Keep Your Software Updated
One simplest and most effective way to improve online safety is to keep your software up-to-date. Operating systems, browsers, and apps are constantly updated with new security features and patches for vulnerabilities. By ensuring you have the latest version of each, you’ll be better protected against the latest threats.
Updates can also be automatic, so you don’t have to remember to do them yourself. The default setting is fine for most people, but you can adjust it to suit your needs better. So, there’s no excuse for not keeping your software up-to-date.
5. Use A VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a server in another location. This makes it much harder for anyone to track or intercept your data, whether it’s your ISP, government, or hackers.
VPNs are especially useful when using public Wi-Fi, as they can help protect your data from being snooped on by others on the same network. There are many VPNs to choose from, so be sure to research to find one that’s right for you.
6. Confirm Site Security
Always ensure the URL for the website you’re visiting starts with “HTTPS” instead of just “HTTP.” Almost all websites have an SSL Certificate, which encrypts information you input on the site, like your credit card number or home address.
If a website doesn’t have that “S” at the end of “HTTPS,” it’s not secure, and you shouldn’t input any sensitive information. You can usually tell if a website is safe if there’s a padlock icon next to the URL in your browser. If you see that, it means the site has an SSL Certificate and is safe for you to use.
7. Install Antivirus Software
There is no excuse for not having antivirus software in 2022. If you are one of the people who still think they don’t need it because they are careful, you are wrong. Mistakes such as accidentally clicking on a malicious email attachment or visiting an infected website can cost you dearly. It only takes one instance, and your whole system could be taken over by malware.
When it comes to online safety, a few measures are necessary to keep you safe, such as using a secure password manager and only connecting to a secure network. Stay alert and be cautious of what you share online, and you’ll be one step ahead in keeping yourself safe while enjoying the internet.