The internet has become riddled with malicious links and viruses. Data breaches are more frequent, and users are more vulnerable than ever before. When one click can cost thousands or even millions of dollars, users need actionable to-do’s to help them stay safe online and be cyber smart.
We developed ten security tips from our experience within the security industry for businesses and individuals. With these personal cyber security tips, you can become more cyber smart.
1. Safeguard your personal information; don’t share personal info.
When malicious hackers can’t find a security vulnerability, they’ll attack in other ways, so beware of Social Engineering. This type of attack is more on the user’s mind than on the device to gain access to systems and information. Cybercriminals develop creative ways to dupe users, especially with publicly available information online and over social media.
2. Think before you click; double-check and verify links.
Clicking Without Thinking Is Reckless. Malicious links can damage several different ways, so be sure links are from trusted senders before clicking. If you can click doesn’t mean you have to; it can cost you a hefty sum.
3. Be careful with public WiFi; use secure public internet.
Connect Securely. You might want to connect your device to an unsecured public connection, but it’s not worth it when you weigh the potential consequences. Only connect to private networks, especially when handling sensitive information.
4. Make sure your connections are secure; use a VPN.
If you are in an emergency and need to use public WiFi, please use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). When you use VPN software, the traffic between your device and the VPN server is encrypted, and it’s much more difficult for a cybercriminal to obtain access to your data on your device.
5. Ensure your connections are secure; only use sites that start with HTTP:// and have valid certificates.
When you visit a website, it will use either the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). Please make sure the latter option is enabled as it uses a layer of encryption.
Remember that while HTTPS is best used by default in general browsing for online purchases, this protocol is crucial to protect your payment. To reduce your risk of theft as much as possible, you shouldn’t give any critical information to websites without HTTPS enabled.
Look in the address bar for “HTTPS://,” to find out if it is enabled. Many browsers also show a closed padlock.
6. Verify your connections; be careful who you chat with.
If you get an email from your “boss,” verify the email address he usually uses for your communications. If a friend changed their social account, find out if it is legit before starting the conversation. It’s more important than ever to know that the persons you’re virtually talking to are really who they say they are.
7. Safeguard your connections; turn off your Bluetooth when not in use.
Devices can be hacked via Bluetooth, and as a consequence, your private information can be stolen. Disable Bluetooth when you don’t need it. If there is no reason to have your Bluetooth on, turn it off!
8. Safeguard your personal devices; use antivirus software.
As long as you are connected to the web, it’s impossible to have total protection from malware. Still, you can significantly reduce your risk by ensuring you have an antivirus and at least one anti-malware installed on your computers.
9. Be security aware; use secure passwords.
Don’t be lazy with your passwords! Put more effort into creating your passwords. You can use a tool like how secure is my password to find out how strong your passwords are.
10. Safeguard your data; maintain secure data backups.
Back up important data. Critical data can be lost in case of a security breach. To be prepared and restore your data, you should ensure your information is backed up frequently on a local storage device or the cloud.
Remember: It can happen to you
Cybercriminals do not discriminate in targeting all sorts of users. The most damaging thought you can have is “it won’t happen to me,” or “I only visit safe websites.” That kind of mistake couldn’t be undone with “ctrl + Z.”
Simple cyber security tips like these can fully help you prevent a catastrophe, but they’ve only scratched the surface of how you can be educated and protected. It’s part of CyberWarrior’s mission to educate more people so you and we all can be cyber smart.
If you want to learn more about this interesting topic, contact us.