Cybersecurity is not just important; it’s necessary. People today have no choice but to spend a vast majority of their time and lives online. Whether it’s work, a business, shopping or even entertainment, online has become the easiest option to turn to.
But just like nothing good is ever perfect, the online world has a darker side as well. Helpful and efficient as it is, it is also a little dangerous. The biggest downside of surfing the internet is that it can give hackers and cybercriminals a way to get into the information stored on your devices.
Whether you’re using a cell phone or a laptop, everyone has information on their devices that they wouldn’t want to land into the wrong hands. These could be essential documents like client files, your bank documents and access information to different accounts.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it was possible that this information forever remained only yours and you didn’t have to fall victim to hackers and malware? The good news is that it can be done. There are specific security measures that you can take to make sure that you are safe online and that hackers can’t gain access to your data.
Let’s go over them one by one.
Use strong passwords and a password manager
One of the best ways to make sure your accounts and PCs are safe from hackers is by using strong passwords. These are harder to crack and will keep your data protected. One of the best ways to make sure that your passwords are strong is to use a password generator.
These are especially designed to generate complex passwords that have a lower chance of getting cracked by hacking software. These password strings contain capital letters, small letters, numbers and special characters that make them harder to crack.
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However, one downside of using strong passwords like this is that they are harder to remember. If that is a problem for you, too, using a password manager could solve your problem. These not only store your passwords securely so that you don’t have to remember them but will also let you share access with your team and colleagues without having to spell your credentials out.
Make use of two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is another great way to make sure that your device and data are secure. This process involves adding an extra layer of security to your account access as the second part of your password.
So, for example, to complete the log-in process, once you enter your password, you may send a text to your cell phone with a one-time pin code that will let you get access to your account.
The idea of this is that even though a hacker might make an intelligent guess about your password or manage to crack your password using special software, there is a lower chance of him also having access to additional information, like security passwords or your cell phone messages.
Use a firewall
Firewalls are a software tool designed to create a barrier—a coded wall—between your information and the world outside your device to keep your data safe. Most operating systems like Windows and Macs have built-in firewalls that prevent unauthorized access to your business and send notification alerts on any access attempts detected.
To use the firewall, make sure it is enabled before you go online. Another way you can use a firewall is by purchasing a hardware one from providers like Fortinet and Cisco. If you own a business and are looking for extra protection, you can always get an added business networking firewall.
Install and update good anti-virus software
There is just escaping computer viruses. There are criminals whose full-time job is to get into people’s computers through viruses and malware, steal their data and make money off of it. There are, however, anti-virus programs that you can use to secure your operating system.
Some viruses can easily be detected given some tell-tale signs like your device suddenly slowing down or files getting deleted; however, others aren’t this obvious. Anti-virus software will detect viruses and get rid of them and prevent them from ever infecting your computer again.
One important step that you’ll need to take when you install anti-virus software is to keep updating it as soon as updates come out. This will ensure that your computer security is up to date and is all set to battling new viruses.
Create data back-ups
While this is not a step for protection, it’s a step that will undoubtedly help you lessen the blow if your computer does get hacked or virus-infected—especially if you’re a business. Most cases of hacking result in data loss, which can lead to you spending millions of dollars in retrieval and recovery.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you’re creating data backups. Good operating systems like MacOS and Windows have their backup utilities like Time Machine and File History, which make ideal starting points. Ideally, if you’re a business, your data should be stored on a secure hard drive.
Use a VPN
If you’re looking for an all-in-one security solution, one of the best tools that you can use is a VPN. These cover up any loose ends in your security by letting you connect to the internet through a proxy, via a remote and secure server, hiding your original IP address.
Once your IP address is hidden, you can rest assured that your browsing and online activities are private, completely anonymous and can not be traced back to you. That’s not all, though. If you are a windows 10 users, apart from hiding your IP address, a VPN for windows 10 will also encrypt your communication with the internet.
A VPN adds an extra layer of security by turning any data exchanged into uninterpretable jargon so that even if a hacker does manage to get into your device, they can’t make sense of any of the data.
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