In today’s digital age the retail infrastructure of the world is quickly transforming from being cash-oriented to credit cards and one-click payments. These new digital forms of payments have made things very easy for the people and also have mad things faster for them. Not only with the transactions, you can now find almost every form of communication being digitized. However, this growth in digitization has led to increased risks of Illegal attempts to steal user information, using someone else’s credit/debit card details for online transactions, or hacking into someone’s social media accounts. These increasing number of cyber threats are a reminder for everyone that computer hackers are here to stay and even growing more sophisticated in penetrating firewalls and networks.
This has made it important for people to seriously care about these cyber threats and safeguard their online presence. If you’re wondering how you can do it, here are some of the effective tips that could protect you from the cyber threats.
Tips to protect yourself from cyber threats
Before getting on with the tips that could help you stay away from the cyber threats, you should first know what these threats are and how do they impact you.
What are cyber threats?
By definition, the possibility of a malicious attempt to damage or disrupt a computer network or system is called as a cyber threat. However, if we put this in simple words, cyber threats are those that tamper or steal your online identity by hacking into your device or network or even get access to them. These threats are generally malicious codes that affect your system or network.
Types of cyber threats
There are many types of cyber threats that you need to be mindful of. Here are some of the most common threats.
- Wiper attacks
Protect yourself from cyber attacks
Keep your gadgets updated with the latest updates and patches
One of the easiest and efficient ways of protecting your gadgets from being attacked is by updating them regularly, applying the new patches, and installing the new software fixes as soon as they become available. Most of these new updates and patches contain improved security features that help you block the attackers automatically. While it’s true that updating your system will save you from all the attacks, but these updates make it very difficult for the attackers to get into your system. The same thing applies to the smartphones as well. Most of the new updates come with security updates that improve the security of your smartphone.
Use different passwords for different accounts
It’s a basic thing that you need to take care of while settings your passwords. If you set the same password for all your accounts and if any one of them gets revealed to someone then chances are all your accounts get vulnerable. To avoid this, use different passwords at least for all important sites like email, social networking, and online payment accounts. Prefer random text over meaningful words as password since they are very difficult to guess and attackers might find hard to crack in.
Secure your PC/Laptop
Activate your firewall
A Firewall works exactly as the name suggests, it checks and monitors all the incoming and outgoing online traffic on your PC or laptop. If your antivirus doesn’t include a firewall, make sure you have windows firewall Activated. This will add an extra layer of security to your PC or laptop and make it less vulnerable to attacks.
Use Antivirus or Anti Malware
To prevent malicious substances from infecting your system install a good and updated Antivirus. Generally, it’s seen that people don’t use an antivirus or use an antivirus that has been expired and provide very little less protection against attacks. This is why it’s recommended that you invest in a good antivirus or anti-malware software and install it on your system.
Stay away from cracked software
It’s recommended that you don’t install cracked software or apps, as there are chances that they might also install some other malicious software on your system. However, if you want to install a cracked software choose custom installation mode instead of standard installation mode. This’ll let you undo installation of any other software that is stuffed inside the crack. However, remember to try to stay away from the cracked software that might have some hidden malicious software in it.
Use an on-screen keyboard while using a third party computer
If you are using a third party computer, like in an internet cafe or at a place that you’re not sure about, it’s always recommended that you use the on-screen keyboard instead of the physical keyboard. This is because many of these computers have physical keyloggers in them that capture all the data entered by you using the physical keyboard. However, if you use an on-screen keyboard there are no chances that the keyloggers will capture what you type on the screen.
Check the URL before logging in to any website
Attackers sometimes create a fake login webpage that looks similar to that of the standard websites. These fake web pages are designed in such a way that if you fill in your details including your password they go directly to the attacker instead of the intended website. This is one of the most common cyber threats that people are subjected to while logging in to any website and is known as phishing. To identify fake web pages, check the URL of the webpage. Fake web pages have a different URL than that of the site you intend to visit.
Download software from authentic sources
This perhaps is a very basic thing that everybody knows about. However, it’s seen that people tend to download software from unauthorized sources to get their cracked version. These software downloaded from unauthorized sources might be modified by the attackers to steal user information or could also provide the attackers remote access to the system they are installed in. This is why it’s recommended that you stay away from unauthentic sources while downloading software or even apps for your smartphone.
Free WiFi is not always a good idea
The most number of cyber threats are recorded coming from the unsecured free public WiFi connections that are basically breeding grounds for attackers. Therefore it’s recommended that you don’t use public wi-fi for transactions and other important things that might get stolen. Remember, if not properly configured, every wifi is vulnerable which is why you need to review and modify default settings and password for your personal WiFi as well before using it. Never use public wifi, if you have some personal /secret information on your personal/office laptop, they are vulnerable. This will save you from a lot of these cyber threats.
Secure mobile devices digitally and physically
Be aware that your mobile devices and smartphones are also very vulnerable to viruses and hackers.This is why you need to take care of their security very seriously. Hackers always look for a chance to get into your device and steal all the important personal information that could prove disastrous for you. To make sure your mobile devices stay safe from all the attacks, make sure you download all the apps from authentic sources and encrypt all your personal data that you think might be very valuable.
These are some of the tips that could help you stay away from the cyber threats and attackers. If you have any other tips that can help people stay away from cyber threats, please let us know in the comments below.
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