Today, we share so much of our private information publicly online, exposing us to more potential cyberattacks than ever.
While cyber threats come in many shapes and forms, what is clear, is that we humans are on the frontlines of it all, making it crucial for us to learn to identify these threats in an effort to mitigate them!
When In Doubt, Toss It Out
There are a lot of bad actors out there sending out phishing emails in hopes of stealing your passwords and infecting your computer with malware, including that Nigerian prince that emails you from time to time.
Protect yourself against these threats by becoming familiar with some of the most common phishing tactics, and keep an eye out for any incriminating clues, such as poor grammar/spelling, a sense of urgency, dubious links or any unjustified requests for personal information or money transfer.
When in doubt, toss that suspicious email out.
Secure Your Login
I can't stress this enough: get yourself a strong password!
Hackers want nothing more than to access your emails and bank accounts. At times, they may force their way into your account, through a brute force or dictionary attack, and at others they may simply acquire your password through a major data breach.
Did you know that there are many ways for malware to find its way onto your devices? This includes a suspicious link, a compromised website, and even an infected USB stick.
That’s why keeping your machine clean and protected is very important. Use a reputable antivirus, don’t procrastinate on your software updates, and make sure not to plug unknown physical devices into your computer!
Turn Off Special Functions
Make a habit of turning off your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera, and location services on your devices; these functions can be an open door for hackers looking to invade your privacy. It might sound daunting, but checking your settings from time to time could end up saving you from losing all your personal data or catching a nasty virus.
If you’re not sure about the authenticity of the site you are about to browse, make sure to use the private mode of your internet browser. Private mode doesn’t store browsing history or cookies, meaning that much less of your information could be recorded and stored. This tactic is especially advisable if you often use public Wi-Fi networks at cafes or hotels.
To Sum Up
The internet has all kinds of fun and useful things to do, but it also has all kinds of malware and privacy risks. The secret to using it safely is to remain one step ahead of the threats! That’s why a few good habits, a dose of common sense, and of course, a great password manager, can go a lonnnnng way towards staying safe on the worldwide web!