Security is one of the most important issues of the digital universe. As billions of people use the Internet every day, it’s getting increasingly difficult to protect everyone and prevent hacker attacks. In such circumstances, it is up to individual users to take care of their own safety.
However, years of experience in this field taught us that the vast majority of people still make amateur mistakes every day, thus giving hackers more than enough opportunities to activate. That’s why we decided to give you a hand and make a list of the fundamental online safety suggestions.
Keep reading to see the magnitude of digital attacks and see the list of eight cybersecurity tips every Internet user should follow!
Cyber Threats: definition and stats
By definition, a cyber attack represents the deliberate exploitation of computer systems, technology-dependent enterprises, and networks. The main purpose of a cyber attack could be anything from identity thefts to phishing and spyware.
Although it sounds complicated, the truth is that cyber attacks happen all the time. We prepared for you several stats to prove these claims:
- Global cybercrime damages are predicted to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021.
- A hacker attack happens every 39 seconds.
- The number of new malware variants for mobile increased by 54% in 2017 and the figure is getting higher ever since.
- More than 24 thousand malicious mobile apps are blocked every day.
- The average amount demanded after a ransomware attack is $1,077.
- Almost 50% of data security breaches are caused by acts of malicious intent, while human error and system failure account for the rest.
8 online security tricks you must learn
After a brief introduction, it is time to check out the most important part of our post. Without further ado, here are the top eight cybersecurity lessons you need to learn.
1. You are a target
When people talk about cyber attacks, they almost never mention it could happen to them as well. In their opinion, this is the kind of incident that happens to other users only. Needless to say, such an attitude could soon make you a victim of a malware attack.
With all the stats and reports we mentioned above, you must understand that everyone can become a victim. Our fellow colleagues at the assignment service the UK and UK Careers Booster experienced this problem first-hand a couple of years ago and they keep their security systems to the maximum ever since.
The point is clear: if you are not paying close attention to online safety, rest assured hackers will exploit your weaknesses sooner or later. But if you embrace the right mindset, you will remain protected.
2. Create strong passwords
A surprisingly large number of Internet users use weak passwords when creating online accounts. A study reveals that as much as 86% of people are using passwords already leaked in other data breaches and available to attackers in plain text. This is a beginner-level mistake that you cannot afford.
Although it’s boring, you must create strong passwords for each account separately. Don’t use the same password for all emails, social profiles, and other digital accounts. Avoid the usual suspects such as ‘qwerty’, ‘123456’, ‘password’, or ‘letmein’.
Instead, you should use complex constructions and combine numbers, capital and small letters, and other symbols. Besides that, don’t forget to update passwords after a while to keep security to the maximum.
3. Use a reliable antivirus system
Professionals who do most of their work on laptops or desktop computers simply have to install antivirus programs. That way, you won’t have to worry about all those malware attacks and losing your business files (not to mention confidential documents).
Data security specialists at xpertwriters.com say the best-performing antivirus software fulfill a whole set of quality indicators such as:
- High malware identification rates: They are able to recognize over 90% of malicious software.
- Paid plans: Free programs can protect you to some extent, but never 100%.
- User experience: A good antivirus system is easy to use and intuitive.
- Multi-device licenses: It allows you to protect different devices simultaneously.
4. Beware of public Wi-Fi networks
This may be a huge disappointment for some users, but public Wi-Fi systems are way too dangerous to take any risks. According to some reports, all Wi-Fi networks are vulnerable to hacking. Such networks enable users in your proximity to access information stored on a device you are using.
It’s a dream come true for hackers who act as middlemen between your device and the connection point. Instead of sending information to the network, you actually transfer data to the hacker. They can discover almost everything that way – from email accounts and credit card information to phone numbers and passwords.
5. Don’t fall for scams and frauds
Online universe is filled not only with hackers but also scammers who want to steal your personal information and money in a less delicate manner. For instance, over 90% of malware is delivered directly via email. In such circumstances, your job is to be clever enough not to click suspicious links.
If you notice a mistrustful message, feel free to neglect it or at least to explore it before taking any action. Let’s say scammers sent you an email requesting an urgent payment. It may come from a credible address, but you should always double check it by calling your partner to check whether it’s a credible request or not.
6. Be careful with social media
At the same time, you should go easy with social announcements and follow a couple of basic rules:
- Don’t make friends with anyone, especially if you see a totally strange profile. Stick to your friends, colleagues, and family members.
- Don’t make your posts publicly visible. For instance, thieves can see you are far away, and they can steal stuff from your house.
These rules can save your money and personal information, but they can also help you protect online reputation.
7. Use reliable online shopping platforms
Another cybersecurity tip is to think twice before conducting a purchase online. We recommend you stick to reliable online shopping platforms such as eBay or Amazon because they offer almost everything, and you don’t have to worry about possible malware attacks.
On the other hand, suspicious eCommerce websites will probably offer you sensational prices, but don’t fall for this trick. It’s just their way of attracting victims and stealing credit card information, so don’t be greedy and avoid making a mistake like this.
8. Back up data regularly
Sometimes the smallest mistake can cost you a lot online, which is why you must back up data on a regular basis. Antivirus systems and strong passwords can protect you from 99% of cyber attacks, but you can never be sure 100%. Therefore, it is essential to keep your digital information safely stored on external memory. That way, you don’t have to be afraid of malware attacks, ransomware, or any other online security concern because you can recover everything quickly and without serious consequences.
Although it seems like a minor issue, cyber threats occur on a daily basis. Hackers target inexperienced and careless users, but you definitely don’t want to become a victim of a malware attack. We made a list of eight cybersecurity tips every Internet user should follow, so make sure to remember our suggestions and protect yourself from dangerous security breaches.