Rookie Guide for Securing Your Digital LifeNovember 22, 2021 No Comments
Featured article by Caroline Jones, content writer
We have never been more dependent on the internet and the services supplied via it. However, with this increased use of the internet comes an increased risk of becoming a victim of a cyber-attack.
Modern cybercriminals have an extensive range of practices, tools, techniques, and technologies at their disposal that they can use to endanger your digital life. The key to defending yourself against them lies in understanding the biggest cyber threats and ensuring that you stay secure and anonymous online.
No matter how much you know about security threats and cybercrime, there is always something new and different. Regardless of what type of protection you’re using, cybercriminals will always find a way to get their hands on your privacy, financial security, safety, personal data, etc.
While it’s almost impossible to make yourself cyber-attack-proof, you can make it as hard as possible for hackers to get your vital data.
Assess what information is vital
You first need to assess what personal information is vital to your online safety. It can be anything from your finances to safety, privacy, and other credentials.
Think about what actions can give away vital data regarding your safety, privacy, and finances. Try to limit sharing that data online to minimize the risks of a cyber-attack. Assessing vital information will significantly reduce the chance of personal attacks.
Try to remember all the websites you’ve recently visited and the information you left there that could put you in a vulnerable situation. That might include your credit cards, physical identification, financial, online banking, social media accounts, home network, personal computer, and mobile devices. Each of these items might expose your digital life to a risk of an attack.
Get yourself familiar with mobile threats
Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones can expose owners to various cyber-attacks as people tend to keep a lot of their personal information on their devices. This data can endanger their digital identities in several ways.
If your device is stolen or lost, you could face many different problems. Because of that, make sure your device is always locked with the most secure method possible. Whether it’s going to be a passcode, a password, or a 4-digit PIN number, a fingerprint lock, or facial recognition, the only thing that matters is to protect your information and digital identity.
Always check for the latest updates for your phone and regularly back it up. You can ensure additional protection, privacy, and anonymity by creating an encrypted backup of your mobile data to your desktop computer.
How web browsers and personal computers expose you to cyber threats
Since so many people are forced to stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak, there is a significant increase in the number of computer users. So many people are now working remotely from their homes and nearby cafes.
It has created entirely new security risks. Aside from a chronic lack of proper security preparation, many computer owners simply don’t have adequate malware protection. Other common problems include:
- The OS isn’t updated with the latest security patches. Many users fail to update their operating systems, being completely unaware of all the risks they are exposed to. That’s why most of them are being actively exploited by malware, ransomware, and spyware. Turning off regular updates is a serious vulnerability in your security system.
- Computer users can’t tell malware from regular software. In most cases, the malware was installed by the users themselves, although it mostly happened accidentally. Most users tend to click on many things on the internet they don’t know anything about.
Malware usually gets in through cracked and free software downloads. Make sure you avoid those or at least find out how to protect yourself and what actions to take to stay safe if you use them.
- Older or outdated web browsers can infect your computer via malicious links and web advertisements – if you’re using an outdated web browser, there is a high risk of getting infected by viruses and malware.
Here are some quick fixes to help you mitigate these problems:
- Regularly update your system and your web browsers.
- Turn on automatic updates.
- Use a built-in firewall on your OS.
- Regularly back up your data by putting it in the cloud or using full-disk encryption.
Lastly, try to avoid free Wi-Fi as much as possible. If you must use it, enable a VPN to keep your online activities, private data, and identity encrypted, safe, and secure. A Virtual Private Network should be the protection you rely on to stay safe while browsing online.
In the digital age, people tend to spend a lot of time online. Since there’s no way around it, you must understand that the online environment puts certain security and safety risks on you, just like your regular environment does.
In the case of your digital life, the things you do online and the information you share can put you at risk of getting attacked by cybercriminals. You can save yourself a lot of trouble by taking some time to get familiar with cyber threats and solutions you can use to mitigate them.
About the Author
Caroline Jones is an enthusiastic writer, gamer, and foodie, interested in helping people and becoming a veteran in all things technical. Cybersecurity is her passion, and the fight for digital privacy is one of her favorite subjects to dig deeper on a regular basis.
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