When we think about safety and security, we often picture the outside world, not the comfort of our own home. Yet, the reality is that being online poses a much bigger risk than we realize. Our data is everywhere, our personal information. And if you run a business, the stakes are even higher. Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to lower the risk of being exposed to cyber-attacks and other unpleasantries.
1. Create a strong password that is not easily cracked
Having a password is the first barrier to break through if you want to gain unauthorized access to another person’s information. For this reason, a strong password is vital for everyone. Sadly, far too many recycle the same passwords or use personal information like date of birth or initials, which is easy to guess even for an outsider. Visit passwordhero.com where you get a strong password with a simple click, made up from random words, numbers and symbols – it’s the safest way.
2. Set up two-step authentication
One of the best ways to minimize the possibility of having your information stolen is to link your phone to your account. This could for example be your work email, social media accounts, shopping accounts and more. With two-step authentication no one can access your account even if they manage to get your password because you need to authorize the log-in from your phone first. For this reason, many businesses and individuals are using two-step authentication to stay safe online.
3. Use a VPN to enhance safety on your network
Another great hack is VPNs. Perhaps you know them as that handy little software that enables you to stream movies from another country’s streaming service? Well, it’s much more than that. VPNs also help prevent others from seeing what you do when you are online by encrypting your data, which improves privacy and minimizes unwanted attention – and the ability to stream content worldwide is a nice bonus.
4. Be careful what you download – and what you share
Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are increasing, not just against big businesses and governments but also against normal people. This, according to the Economist, has heightened the sense of unease amongst online users. While we can never be completely safe anywhere, we can still improve our odds by being responsible. Most people wouldn’t share very sensitive information with a stranger on the street, and you need to apply a similar caution online. Don’t overshare. Don’t download documents from untrusted sources.
5. Keep yourself up to date on the latest scams
No matter what you use the internet for, it’s good to stay tuned in on the latest cyber security news. If you use Windows as your system, then you can find all the up-to-date news on sites like TechWhiff and you find similar tools for Apple-users. Not only does it enable you to get tips and advice, but it may also alert you to new threats to be aware of. So, make sure you stay tuned in and read blogs, news and industry advice.