If you’re being honest with yourself, do you really believe your systems are completely safe from online security threats? It’s impossible to be 100% safe in today’s technology environment because things are constantly changing, and new threats pop up every day. Even the most advanced security systems get breached, so you can never consider yourself foolproof from attacks.
That doesn’t mean you should just give up and make it easy for attackers to harm your system or network. If you take a few basic precautions, your home or business is much less likely to fall prey to scammers or hackers. Putting good security measures in place will save you from monetary losses and humiliation when private data is exposed or important information is lost. Here are 6 tips to greatly improve your online security.
1. Strong passwords
Passwords are the most essential way to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data or systems. For some reason, many people still prefer to use weak passwords that are easy for hackers to bypass. If you’re just using your birth date as a password for all your accounts, you are not taking your security seriously. A password is weak if you’re using any of your personal information. Criminals can easily find out information like your phone number or address and use that to guess your password. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts because that multiplies your losses if a breach occurs on any of your systems.
2. Two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is becoming more common today for additional security. This way, if a hacker manages to get past your password screen, they are still locked out. This is because the website or system will send a code to your phone that only you can use in the event of accessing the information. This greatly improves your security.
3. Keep software up to date
Most software that you interact with on a daily basis provides regular software patches that address security holes that hackers can exploit if they are not fixed. Common programs like your operating system or office productivity software should be set to automatically install updates as soon as the developers release them. These updates might temporarily interrupt your daily activities, but the risk of skipping them is too great to allow.
4. Take care with mobile devices
Your smartphone and tablets contain sensitive data, and many users conduct activities that provide credit and bank information with these devices. People tend to overlook the security of these devices, but they should consider these devices as being just like the equipment they use at the office. Apps that you download onto your smartphone can gain access to a lot of information on your device, so you must pay attention to what permissions you’re granting. Make sure that the apps you download are well-known and trusted.
5. Take care with emails and attachments
Email scams are not as numerous as they used to be, but they are still a daily occurrence. The most ingenious schemes can look identical to trusted messages from banking or government institutions. Therefore, you should never click on links within emails or attachments unless you are certain of where they came from. If anything seems unusual, it probably is something you should avoid.
6. Choose the best security software
There are a lot of free, lightweight antiviral apps available today, but it’s worthwhile to find the strongest security suite that you can afford that protects all the aspects of your system online and the data in your hard drive. An effective security suite protects your computers from all types of malware and online threats.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it won’t happen to you. It’s best to assume that you are a target and take action to mitigate the threats that are popping up every day. Always remain mindful when surfing and clicking on messages, and take time to set up strong passwords with two-factor authentication. You’re not only considering your own safety, but you have to consider the safety of your customers and family members as well.