5 Essential Personal Cybersecurity Tips

Living in an ever more networked society with increased reliance upon computer networks across the board, it is hardly surprising that people have found ingenious ways to twist these networks to their advantage at the expense of others. Here are some essential tips for keeping your information safe.

Create Strong Passwords And Change Them Regularly

Clifford Stoll once implored people to “Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months”. Credit to Cybertalk.org for the quote there. Stoll had a point. Many people use basic passwords that are remarkably easy for hackers to compromise using clever assumptions or brute force password generator attacks.

What is more, once one account has been compromised, you should treat all your passwords as useless and immediately change them. Strong passwords have absolutely nothing to do with you or your family and contain a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. They do not resemble any of your previous passwords.

According to Fortune Business Insights™, the global security solutions market size was USD 249.65 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 483.62 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.84% during the forecast period 2021-2026.

Backup Data

When your computer becomes infected with a virus, it is relatively common for a hard drive to corrupt or for you to lose files through other means. Always back up your data if you want to avoid this rather painful consequence of a security breach. Most modern companies encourage employees to back their data up using cloud storage solutions.

Use Trusted Antivirus Software

It should go without saying that a good antivirus software package is essential. The best antivirus software is regularly updated so that the latest kinds of attacks can be countered. They also have a team of real cybersecurity experts on hand, ready to help customers with complex problems.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is dangerous territory. Hackers can easily use public networks to scan for and then infiltrate vulnerable devices. Some of the most lucrative hacking attacks ever have been carried out with the help of public networks. Use extreme caution when accessing public Wi-Fi. If you have sensitive data on your laptop or phone, don’t bother using a network that is not password protected.

Be Careful With Emails

One of the most common methods hackers use to break into accounts and steal information is phishing. Phishing involves the sending of an email link or attachment that seems legitimate. It could purport to be from your boss or your internet service provider, for instance. Once you click on the link or download the attachment, you might be prompted to put in your password. This means that you have essentially given it away. Even worse, a downloaded file might install malware onto your computer that allows hackers to access all of your files.

The key to avoiding phishing attacks is to be very careful with your emails. If you are being sent an attachment or link without prior arrangement, make sure to double-check with the purported sender whether they actually intended to send you anything. Use your antivirus software to scan any downloads – even if you are confident that they are legitimate. It is better to be safe than sorry, after all.