It’s no coincidence that Halloween and National Cybersecurity Awareness Month fall together! Phishing and fraud efforts peak over the holidays, starting in October and continuing through January. While data threats are undoubtedly spooky, these tips from Computer Troubleshooters can help you boost your personal cybersecurity!
Boost Your Personal Cybersecurity With These Tips
As online and offline lives merge, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re protecting your online identity and information. So what can you do to protect your data from hackers, malware, and other threats? Read on to find out!
Follow Best Practices for Passwords
With password generators and managing software, there’s no excuse for using the same password across multiple sites anymore. Protect your data by updating passwords and following best practices when doing so.
Cybersecurity principles apply everywhere, but different platforms and sites offer various tools. While most sites provide two-factor authentication, other security tools that can vary. For instance, Gmail offers security checkups while Facebook will let you set trusted contacts.
Lock Down Your Social Media
Once something is posted online, it will always be there. Not only can this impact your reputation, but this information can also be used by hackers to find ways to access your account. If you aren’t very active on a social platform, be sure to log in regularly to check and make sure that you haven’t been hacked.
Check Privacy Settings
On that note, assess what is available on your public profiles. Often, hackers will use information from these sources, such as your birth date, education, interests, to try and get into your accounts, steal your identity, or commit other crimes.
Know What Access Your Apps Have
Read the fine print on apps. Yes, it’s dense, lengthy, and confusing, and that’s probably why 91% of people don’t read the terms. Unfortunately, it’s also where shady businesses hide their true intentions. Many free apps make a profit by sharing your information with other parties.
Before you hit accept, check to see if an app is asking you to share your location, age, phone number, or other information. Also, take the time to read reviews, research the developer online, and be wary of anything free and filled with ads.
Spot and Avoid Phish
Hacking often occurs through the contacts you trust the most. Phishing remains a common way for hackers to get into your account and can appear to be an urgent looking email or message from a friend, colleague, or institution. If a link in an email, post, tweet, private message, or online advertisements looks at all suspicious, don’t open it. Some of these hacks can bypass two-factor authentication, so it’s vital to go to the source directly to confirm the message.
Update Software, Browsers, and Operating Systems
Developers are continually tweaking software to stay ahead of hackers. If possible, set your devices to update automatically when new versions are available. Staying updated is one of your best lines of defense against viruses, malware, and other threats.
Backup Your Data
It sounds simple, but 65.1% of consumers report that they or a family member lost data last year. As we all carry more and more devices, it’s harder to back everything up. For that reason, it’s crucial to make sure all of your important information is syncing to the cloud. Having your data backed up off of your devices is the easiest way to recover your files in a ransomware attack.
By staying vigilant about your cybersecurity, you can prevent serious problems down the line. Are you feeling haunted by a security threat? Contact your nearest Computer Troubleshooters office to create a personal plan for keeping your data and network safe.