Recently, there has been an increase in the number of cybersecurity articles and digital security blogs popping up on the internet. This is because several illegal entities have stepped up privacy breaching techniques.
The thought of a hacker getting a hold of your personal information is scary. Imagining a business being attacked by a cybercriminal is probably scarier. This is because personal information could be used by information hijackers to perpetrate identity theft.
Also, sensitive data belonging to a firm that has been hacked would lead to penalties like a ransom, increased insurance fees, and possible closure of the business.
Different Ways your Information can be Attacked
Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attack
A MITM attack is one performed by a hacker, usually on public Wi-Fi. The cybercriminal would seek to spy on the information of users of the free Wi-Fi by placing his/her device in between the device and the recipient of a message.
Malware is short for malicious software. It is frequently used by hackers to destroy data on a device or control the system remotely.
Ransomware is an advanced form of malware that encodes the information on a victim’s system. Once this is done, the hacker contacts the victim to ask for a ransom. In 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attacked big organizations like FedEx and the UK’s National Health Service. In 2018, ransomware shut down Atlanta City’s municipal government data.
Cybersecurity Measures to Protect your Devices
Get a VPN
A Virtual Private Network is a security device that allows you to receive and send data to servers through an encrypted connection. How VPNs work is by preventing all forms of spies including hackers, the government, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), advertisers, and so on from tracking your online activity.
Using this service will protect you from a public Wi-Fi hack. While connected to a network that a cybercriminal has hijacked, you would be able to use services such as logging in to social media and email accounts, online banking accounts, and other internet accounts you have without fear of being spied on.
A VPN also improves your internet privacy by changing your IP address. This way, personal information about you such as your location wouldn’t be available to anyone on the internet. This feature also provides an added advantage because you would be able to beat geo-restrictions on the internet.
Upgrade your Software
Security teams constantly patch loopholes in software that can be exploited by cybercriminals. One of the best ways hackers use to sneak in malware on a user’s device is to find vulnerabilities in a program.
To protect your device from ransomware attacks, you need to update every program on your device. Never forget to install updates released by your operating system’s provider too.
You can switch on automatic updates for your device in the ‘Settings’ area. Also, remove all obsolete browser extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins that haven’t been updated in a long period.
Utilize Safe Password Practices
One of the worst ways to have your device hacked by a cybercriminal is to have your password guessed. At any period in time, your device could get lost or stolen. If the device lands in the hands of a malicious person, you certainly wouldn’t want your data exposed to that individual.
Implement strong passwords with at least eight characters. These passwords need to be a blend of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. Always use a different password for each account.
Also, avoid writing your password on paper that can be accessed easily or any other visible material. If you’re finding it hard to create or remember your passwords, use a password manager.
Activate Multi-Factor Authentication
A multi-factor authentication is a form of account security that protects your device or account in case your password falls into the wrong hands. On a device with multi-factor authentication, additional detail would be required before your device or account can be accessed.
A detail like a fingerprint, another password, or a dynamic code would be needed to log in.
Avoiding Phishing Emails
A phishing email is an email that requires a user to take action on a fake website masked to seem like a legitimate one. For instance, if a hacker wants your internet banking details, he/she would send an email requiring you to take action on the account.
The hacker then redirects you to a login page that looks exactly like your internet banking service’s login page. Immediately you fix your login details to the hacker, he receives it and uses the information to log in to your account.
You can prevent your accounts from being phished by ignoring emails from senders you don’t know. Also, hackers try to create urgency by sending a subject line like ‘Your Account is under Attack’. They typically target online financial accounts.
Hover your arrow above every link you intend opening before clicking to ascertain if the link is legitimate or not. Phishing pages usually have misspelled or wrong domain names.
In recent times, hackers have doubled their efforts to get a hold of our data. Neglecting the digital security level on your devices could potentially lead you into trouble. This is why you need to follow the cybersecurity tips listed in this article.
Try to use strong passwords, a virtual private network, avoid emails from senders you don’t know, and update your software.