5 Cybersecurity Tips To Keep Safe Online
We are living in an era dominated by technology that is more mobile and connected than ever before. We’ve all shared our favourite holiday pictures and memories in our social circles, ordered those trainers we wanted and had our favourite takeaway delivered to our door on a Friday evening.
As new technology comes around, new cyber security protocols will also emerge. And older protocols will start to show their flaws and weaknesses. They are more exposed to vulnerabilities that hackers and cyber criminals can target.
Here are five tips you might want to consider to stay safe online.
Use Strong Passwords
To protect yourself against brute force attacks and in more serious cases identity theft, consider using a strong password or passphrase string made up of a mixture of alphanumeric characters and symbols. Remember to make sure that you have a distinctive string for each online account you have personal information associated with. Lengthier strings can be difficult to remember but a password manager or vault can be used to safely store these credentials, instead of writing them down or containing them in an unprotected document.
Have 2-Factor Authentication Enabled
While passwords are the first line of defence in account protection, 2-factor authentication, or 2FA, is an extra layer of security that is highly recommended. If an attacker does guess your password then 2FA will kick in, blocking access to the service they are trying to use – unless a verification code or phrase is provided. The code or phrase can be sent either as an SMS message to a linked phone number or through an authentication app. It is always randomised so no two codes will be the same.
Always Update Your OS & Apps
Your favourite apps and your device operating system will from time to time, release updates and security patches that can address known vulnerabilities that would otherwise expose your system to an attacker. It is important to always make sure these are on the latest stable versions.
Use A VPN On Public Networks
Pubic networks are almost everywhere in our favourite restaurants and shops and allow us to quickly connect and browse information about products or services as well as the rest of the Internet. While these networks have improved their security over the years, it is still recommended to always use a VPN to stop your traffic from being exposed from anyone else using the same network. Your IP address and location are safely masked using a VPN. It is not recommended to communicate sensitive data on an unencrypted protocol and the consequences can be disastrous if done.
Use Privacy Focused Apps
There are a whole bunch of apps and software for your devices that focus exclusively on privacy and do not ‘sell’ your data on. They put you firmly in control of your data choices. Search engines such as DuckDuckGo and instant messaging and social apps such as Telegram and Signal are worth installing and should help to prevent your personal information from being captured and misused.