Cybercrime is a continuous threat in the digital world not only to organisations but also to individuals. As you search, shop and connect with people online, you share sensitive information with databases across the globe, each with several security issues. Breaches in cybersecurity can have devastating consequences – when your data gets leaked, hackers can open credit cards and bank accounts using your name. And if you become an identity theft victim, recovering from it can be an arduous process.
According to experts, the pandemic has contributed to a rise in cyber threats, and there are no expectations for a drop off in 2022. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – hackers have the resources to invest in more sophisticated attacks. UK companies have experienced a 62% rise in cyber attacks since 2020, the most common threats being phishing emails and malware. This data shows an impending need for organisations and individuals to protect themselves from cybercriminals. The first step in doing this is learning how to recognize cyber threats. Once you get educated on it, it’s critical to take the necessary precautions to secure your data as best as possible. Here are six ways to protect yourself from cyberattacks in 2022.
Create strong passwords
Guessing owners’ passwords is a common way hackers access sensitive data. The easier your password is to guess, the higher the chances are for hackers to break into your computer. Thus, make sure to create a strong password to protect yourself from cybercriminals. A quality password should include numbers and a symbol and consist of 12 characters or more. Also, use capital letters and lower case.
Avoid using the same password for each of your devices and account logins. Instead, you should create a unique password for every account. This may not sound effective, as remembering so many passwords seems impossible. But the good news is you don’t have to! A password manager can do the job for you, storing all the passwords safely in one place.
Update your software regularly
You may feel impatient to wait until a software update completes, but this can increase your digital security, so it’s definitely worth your time. Software updates include new features that can enhance your software’s stability. Viruses are continuously changing, so your device’s software must adjust to improve cybersecurity.
Updates can fix vulnerabilities in your device that cybercriminals could use to access your system. Thus, make sure to keep your software up-to-date and remove the apps you no longer use from your device. Also, if your device doesn’t get updates anymore, it’s best to upgrade to an advanced model.
Use an internet security suite
Viruses can cause several issues in your system – they can slow down your device, damage and delete files and trigger hard drive crashes. Using antivirus software is an efficient way to protect your device from these digital threats, as it detects and removes viruses before they can damage your system. But the best thing about antivirus software is that it also blocks ads and spam, protects your files and data and provides security for other cyber threats. When choosing antivirus software, there are some things you should consider, such as download protection, malware scan ability, email scanning abilities and compatibility with the device you use.
Do your research and pick a top antivirus software to secure your system. For instance, Norton 360 provides protection against current and increasing malware and viruses, and it also keeps your personal and financial information safe. Moreover, it includes a VPN and a password manager, which can improve your digital security. Make sure to download your antivirus software from trustworthy sources. Many of the ones advertised online for free are actually fake, and they can download malware onto your computer rather than detecting and removing it. Thus, it’s essential to be very cautious when choosing antivirus software. It’s best to choose top antivirus software like Norton, as it’s a safe and reliable option that offers optimal protection.
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Use public Wi-Fi cautiously
Public Wi-Fi has become increasingly popular in the past years. And while using it may be tempting, it’s critical to be aware of the cybersecurity threats that it poses. Hackers can use public Wi-Fi or create their own network to steal information without users even realising it.
When using a public network, you should avoid online banking or making online purchases.
Another tip is to connect to a network where you need a password to access the Internet. Public places like stores and cafes will generally give the password to potential customers if they request it. But there’s another way to protect your device when using a public network. Setting up a VPN can provide security, as it encrypts your data.
Backup your data frequently
Backing up your data is an imperative thing to do to protect your data. If a virus attacks your system, the hard drive gets damaged, and it can lose all the critical data, including important photos and documents. Backing up your device can help you avoid this calamity and ensure your data doesn’t get lost if something unexpected happens.
There are several ways to backup your data. You can either use an external hard drive, do a cloud backup or offline backup. Whatever method you choose, make sure to back up your data frequently – ideally, you should do it every week.
Be careful about what you click
A phishing attack is a common digital threat which won’t go anywhere in 2022, so it’s critical to be aware of it. Cybercriminals use this tactic to get you to reveal your personal information. Phishing attacks can take the form of email attachments that include malicious software, and clicking such a link will take you to a fraudulent website to steal your information.
It’s paramount to ensure a link is safe before you click on it. To do this, make sure to check if the URL includes a proper domain name. You can recognize a phishing threat by checking if there are any misspelt words or unfamiliar-looking pages.