Many dangers lurk on the internet, such as malicious hackers, phishing scammers, malware, viruses, and other malware-infected sites. But with so many bad actors out there trying to steal your data and ruin your life, what can be done? Fortunately, there are many things that you can do and all of which are effortless to implement. Following this post’s recommendations will help you prevent data loss and other online harms.
Use A VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network technology that provides security and privacy to businesses and individuals by establishing private connections over public networks. The VPN protects data by encrypting all data before it leaves the device, then decrypting it once it arrives at its destination. A VPN can create secure links between two networks over the internet. It can help to keep your data private, maintain your anonymity online, and unblock content that may be restricted in your country of origin, among other things.
There are loads of options available to you, but you should ensure that you select a high-quality provider and opt for a paid service rather than a free one. It will also depend on where you live, which will dictate how many local servers it utilizes. For example, a VPN provider like NordVPN provides California locals and tourists with premium security features throughout the state. However, due to their worldwide availability, those providers can also offer data protection in the entire country and globally if traveling beyond the borders. They are worth the small outlay and protect you against snoopers looking in on your online activities.
Backup Your Data
Backing up data is the only way to protect it from unexpected hardware crashes and other disasters. Regular backups will prevent data loss and business interruption by ensuring that you can always return to the last good state. It is essential to back up your data at regular intervals for long-term preservation because it takes a lot of effort and time to reconstruct it from scratch after a disaster has occurred. Data backup has taken on another dimension with the onset of ransomware attacks over the past decade.
These attacks target your data and encrypt it, only providing you with the key to unlock it once you have offered them payment. This ransom is typically paid via cryptocurrencies, making it all but impossible to track the perpetrators. However, if you have your data safely backed up, you can simply nuke your device and reinstall your information afresh.
Use A Robust Password
In this day and age, having a solid password is not merely a good idea; it is essential if you want to keep people out of your business. Your password must be at least eight characters and a mixture of numbers and symbols, making it as random as possible. All of these passwords can be confusing, but password vaults can help you keep all your passwords in one place securely, so you need only remember one.
Use 2FA Where Possible
Alongside your secure password, you should use 2FA when feasible. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of protection for your accounts. After entering your username and password, you’ll also need to enter a code that’s either sent to you via SMS or generated by an app (an app being the more secure option). If this seems like an extra step, you can always restrict it to your most important accounts, like social media, data, and banking, etc.
When 2fa is enabled, you will be required to enter your password and the second piece of information, such as a code sent to your phone. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account, as they would need to know your password and access your physical device.
Keep Your Device Software Updated
If you are the kind of person who delays updating your computer or mobile device, you should stop this and get into the habit of updating them as soon as updates become available. They are usually free and include vital patches to the software that protects it from recent trends in cyber security. Not only that, but the more devices that are kept updated, the more secure everyone becomes.
Report Suspicious Emails
Phishing attacks are designed to look like a genuine company asking for your sensitive information. Many people fall for these scams because they look so professional. Nonetheless, there are some warning signs that they could be fake, such as threatening legal action, asking for sensitive data like account numbers, or simply bad spelling and grammar. You should NEVER send your sensitive data via email and if you are even remotely suspicious, report the email to the company they are pretending to be.
Hopefully, this post will provide you with some simple, realistic tips to follow that will help you stay safe online. Most of it is common sense, but the simplest things can often have the most impact when it comes to online safety.