Nowadays cyber security is a burning issue for most of the users. People search for information about how to provide additional protection to their computer, mobile phone, laptop, online data. Very often you could see such queries as “How to make a strong password?” or “What are the best Internet security tips?” etc. If you want to be more cyber aware, then this article can be of a great help for you.
9 cyber security advice you should know about
1. Update your software regularly
Do not ignore pop-ups on your screen with a reminder to update your software. If you want to keep your computer safe and make it a secure storage for all your data, then it is necessary to allow software updates. If you do not do this, your computer will become vulnerable to malware and hacking. Software vendors release software updates to eliminate security risks in their existing products, which may be susceptible to hackers at any time. As a rule, with each new update, the developer improves the system, protecting it from more and more new ways of hacking.
Therefore, it is worth doing this every time your OS offers to install new updates. It’s good that they are usually installed automatically over existing ones. In addition to software update, always choose a quality and reliable vendor for security products.
2. Do not trust free Wi-Fi with your data
If you are not protected by anything while surfing the Internet, then intercepting your traffic will not be difficult for an experienced hacker. With the help of special programs, the hacker can easily intercept your traffic even through your smartphone or tablet. There are a lot of Internet security tips, but the one that you need in order to protect yourself against intercepting your traffic is a Virtual Private Network (or VPN) that will provide one or more network connections over the existing one. With VPN, no one can read your traffic as you simply encrypt it.
3. Use strong password and minimize the number of attempts to enter it
If you think that passwords like 123456 or QWERTY are strong passwords examples, then you are wrong.
Don’t want to upset you, but a hacker will crack your system code with an ease. That is why you must use strong passwords. How to make a strong password you may ask? Well, it is the one that consists of numbers, alphabets, and symbols. If your passwords are strong, it is a difficult task to crack them. Besides, the hacker will check all passwords in a random order until one of them opens your account. This means that your account is insecure even with a six-character password, creating millions of unique combinations. Remember that a password cracker program can pick up your passwords in minutes. Thus, you must limit the number of attempts at all stages of the authentication process. This moment is as useful as creating a strong password for your system.
4. Enable two-step authentication
Two-factor authentication is one more cyber security tip that could be counted as a sufficiently reliable protection of any accounts today. How it can help? Well, it can dramatically reduce the possibility of using accounts by unauthorized people. It works quite simply – in addition to entering a password, you are required to enter a temporary one-time code that can be received via SMS or using special applications or even devices. Without this code, an attacker, will not be able to log into your account and mess things up, even if he/she knows your password. It can also help even if you get caught in a phishing attack. Besides that, many popular services, including Gmail and Facebook allow you to enable this mode.
5. Ensure protection of all the sensitive information
However, on the top of cyber security tips list is encryption. What is encryption? It is a transformation of information that makes it unreadable to other people. So, encrypt all valuable files, documents, and letters. It will be a rather handy thing to do in order to protect your data against hackers who intentionally try to steal it. Cryptography allows you to safely store, forward and open encrypted documents – in any form and on any device. On the Internet, there are huge numbers of tools for encryption. Choose only trusted applications to encrypt your files locally. The most important is that if a third party suddenly gets your files, then it will not be able to view them since the decryption key is only yours.
6. Use special tools to encrypt cloud data
If you still doubt whether to use cloud services or not the answer will be – definitely. However, there should be a wise use. The solution here is to use data encryption. However, you need to understand that there are various kinds of encryption and they are not alike. Many services shout that they have the best encryption algorithm but at the same time modestly keep silent about the fact that they themselves can access your data at any time. Therefore, the best option is to encrypt/decrypt data on your side, thus, the cloud always deals only with the encrypted content.
With the help of such file encryption software as CloudMounter, you can seamlessly make any popular cloud as a secure storage. Thanks to this app you can stop worrying about the security of your online data as it allows you to encrypt files on the most popular cloud storages, including Box, BackBlaze, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
Even more, you can access all your cloud storages and remote servers through Finder, as CloudMounter makes it possible to connect them to your Mac as if they are your local drives. In addition, the app doesn’t store any of your credentials, as they are securely kept in the MacOS Keychain. Encrypt files with an easy and make them unreadable for people without a decryption key.
7. Install Firewall and Antivirus software
Next in the list of Internet security tips will be Firewalls and Anti-Virus software. Firewalls are designed to prevent unauthorized access to the private network. You can set a list of rules to determine which traffic is allowed and which is prohibited. A good Firewall should monitor both incoming and outgoing traffic. As for Antivirus, it plays an important role in preventing malicious attacks. The main idea of any antivirus software is to block viruses and malware not letting the latest to enter your device and compromise the data. It is highly recommended to use one antivirus software and the most trusted one.
8. Work wisely with your mobile phone
Modern smartphones and tablets contain well-developed functionality and can compete with stationary computers. And similar to computers they are also vulnerable to cyber attacks. So, how to make your phone a secure storage? Here are the basic safety tips when using a mobile phone:
- Use antivirus software for mobile phones;
- Do not download applications from an unknown source, as they may contain malicious software;
- Do not send your personal information via text messages/emails, etc;
- Providing a personal mobile number only to people whom you know and trust;
- Bluetooth should be turned off when not in use.
9. Have a scheduled backup of all your data
Make sure all important information is backed up. Backup data is a safety copy of the system that will allow you to recover the data, missing from the attack, as well as guarantees that in case of data loss files can be restored. As a rule, extortion programs allow deciphering the data after the paying ransom, but in the case of WannaCry, there was not a single case of decryption. The only hope of companies affected by the virus is a pre-made copy. And pay attention to the fact that you should always store data in different places physically separated so that hackers cannot access everything at once. Besides that, backups need to be updated regularly.
Forewarned is forearmed. Bear in mind the above tips and tricks and stay protected.
Version 3.4.546 (7th Sep, 2018) Release notes