The best way to combat cybercrime is by not becoming a victim in the first place. To that end, here are our top tips to simply secure your digital world.
- Don’t download anything to your computer, tablet, or smartphone that you were not expecting to do when you got online.
- Bookmark all of your most visited websites. Just as with phishing emails, cybercriminals build websites that look like your credit card company or bank. Tricking users into clicking a link and visiting a phony website, hackers steal your sign-in credentials or infect your computer with malware or ransomware. By bookmarking, you ensure that your most trusted sites are accessed through your browser only.
- Ensure that your operating systems are set to update automatically. By having the most updated version, you ensure that you have the best defense available from your device manufacturer.
- Block popups on your web browser as they may contain rogue links and clickbait.
- Regularly back up your files.
- Use a browser that allows you to take your bookmarks with you between devices.
Be Password Savvy
- Don’t use names or significant dates as passwords. It’s easier for a hacker to guess your password after doing a little research on you, so it’s always best to avoid this mistake.
- Use a passphrase instead of a word. A passphrase is like a password only it’s composed of a combination of words strung together.
- Create a strong passphrase by using at least 12 characters, upper and lower case letters and special characters. The length is key to making a passphrase secure so the longer, the better.
- Use different passwords or phrases for different accounts.
- Use a password management tool.
- If you use a password management tool, like LastPass, never use your master password for other accounts.
Use Two Factor Authentication
- A two-step verification process is where you use a password or passphrase and a PIN code, most often sent to your smartphone. It can be used to log in to online banking accounts or email. You can set it up for a specific site only, or alert if you are trying to access your account details from a different IP address.
- Read the terms and conditions and research new apps before you download them to your smartphone. Recent evidence suggests that many popular Android apps can leak sensitive data. Retail, finance, and travel apps were highlighted as potential risks.
- Use touch ID or facial recognition functions if available. Not only are they extremely useful in securing your device, but they also make it easier to access.
- Never use public Wi-Fi networks to access your private accounts via your smartphone or any other device.
- Keep your smartphone operating systems and phone apps updated.
- Read up about Phishing, Smishing and Social Engineering, so that you are better equipped to spot a potential rogue email.
- Pass on your knowledge to friends and family to better protect them against cybercrime.
- Choose wisely about the amount and type of information shared on social media to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime. Social media platforms provide one of the main pools where hackers often go looking for the next victim. By merely browsing hashtags on Instagram, you can easily find out where a person lives, when they are away on vacation or attending an event.
- Don’t share private information on your social media pages if you have used the same as passwords. We’re talking birthdays, pets names and special events.
- Hackers use social media to determine how much ransom their victims can afford to pay. They base this on what they share, like the car they drive or the clothes they wear.
Many of the simply tips above can be implemented today, increasing your defense against cybercrime.
The experts at Simply Secure are industry certified professionals, delivering cybersecurity solutions in the Miami – Fort Lauderdale area