15 tips to protect yourself from cyber attacks

15 Tips on How to Protect Yourself Online

Computer security has become a major concern among organizations and individuals so much so that cyber security course online programs are now prevalent and easy to find. Hence the need for a quick and effective response to mitigate these attacks. The introduction of new security-related occurrences daily has led to the increase of attacks in cybersecurity. You can lose private information, data and files, including photosart videos and audio tracks. So it makes sense to back up your files regularly. Nonetheless, you can protect yourself from online attacks in the following ways:

1. Use online banking wisely

Ever since online banking is established, several threats to financial details are evident. Some of the threats you need to be aware of include malware attacks. Malware is a software code initiated with an evil purpose. Such malicious computer programs typically consist of code developed by cyber attackers. The software is designed to steal account details at the login, including your passwords. It may also involve fake website subscriptions and account hijacking. In the case of online banking, you can do it safely through the following steps:

  • First, you need to periodically review and evaluate the bank’s online policies.
  • You need to use complex login details. Always change your identification number(PIN). Avoid easy to guess numbers such as year of birth.
  • Your computer needs to be secured.
  • Your credit cards usage needs to be increased. Credit cards are more secure than debit cards.
  • Abstain from using accessing your accounts from public places. The chances of public monitoring are high. For instance, free wifi and other public networks.
  • Check your account balance periodically.
  • Regularly check emails from the bank.
  • When you suspect an intrusion, take immediate action by contacting the bank.

Infographic Provided By personal banking services company, Centier Bank

2. Mitigate cyber threats on mobile phones

15 Tips on How to Protect Yourself Online

Just like any other personal computer, a smartphone contains a certain feature that makes it easily accessible to attackers. Smartphones need to be equipped with counterattack measures. Unfortunately, most smartphone owners do not know of security shortcomings. Below are some of the ways you can secure your mobile phone.

  • Choose devices that have an emphasis on security features. Your smartphone must have a file encryption feature. This feature protects devices from malicious apps.
  • Secure your smartphone through configuration. Enable password feature in your device. Choose a complex password with a combination of characters, symbols, and numerics.
  • Ensure you are securely connected to the internet by configuring web accounts.
  • Avoid opening suspicious links and malicious pop-ups.
  • Avoid sharing your number on public websites.
  • Choose your apps keenly by doing some research on them before installing and subscribing them.
  • In case your device gets stolen, take immediate action. Report the incident to the organization and the service provider.

3. Use online gaming safely

Thanks to high-speed internet, online gaming has become available and easily accessible for you. You can find the games like car racing, Sudoku, and many others. However, you need to be very careful about the risk they come with. Some of them may contain online predators, spyware, malware, malicious strangers who may lure you into sharing sensitive information. Practicing online safety is the only way to mitigate these risks. Below are some of the guidelines for gaming-oriented security:

  • You need to identify administrator mode risks. Most of the games request for your computer to be in admin mode. This will ensure that the downloaded game is safe and authentic.
  • Be keen on firewall management. Home users can protect their devices by enabling the firewall to filter what is being accessed.
  • Play the game on the site it is located to prevent encountering malicious websites and ads.

4. Have knowledge of voice over internet protocol (VoIP)

15 Tips on How to Protect Yourself Online

VoIP involves making calls using a broadband connection through the telephone lines. Some risks come with internet telephony called spam. Many telephone users have experienced unnecessary calls and voice messages. In the case of spammers, you can use the Akismet plugin or other VOIP systems to keep known threats away from your site or device.

5. Update your computer software regularly

There is a need to keep everything updated in your software because your device will be at risk if the updates from the provider are not done more often. You should also update company’s network and your word-press core.

6. Back up Plug-ins

No matter how fortified your devices may be, hackers may have new ways of cracking their way through. Therefore you need to be prepared to quickly recover if something should happen to your important files and data. It is also advisable to keep your backup separate from the main storage. For instance, a USB flash disk or an external hard drive. Remote backup like cloud storage is available too. You can create multiple data backups.

7. Use antivirus and antimalware softwares

This is the process to equip your computers with antivirus software. Antivirus is software used to prevent, detect, and remove computer viruses. A computer virus is a program that multiplies itself by changing other computer programs and writing its code. When the code is successfully inserted, the affected files are then “infected” with the virus. The most common virus includes Trojan horses, computer worms, etc. Artists should ensure to have an antivirus installed on their computers. Their art creationsmusic creationvideo content, and live performances stored on the computer or laptop can get corrupted. This way, they may lose access to important data and files.

8. Server security

There should be a server-side firewall set aside for the option of adding a CDN and SSL. Certificate availability and hosting plans that do not require you to share the server environment with other websites are available. You can also authenticate an SSH server with the use of a pair of SSH keys. This is another option to traditional logins. The keys have more bits compared to a password. These keys are not crackable using most modern computers. The RSA 2048-bit encryption is equal to a password with 617-digit. This key pair includes a private key and a public key.

A user should check HTTPS and an SSL certificate before entering any details on the webpage. Even when you   click on a padlock in the browser, you can check whether the SSL is from a reliable authority or not. Few reliable SSL certs are Thawte SSL certificate, Comodo SSL certificate, RapidSSL certificate, etc.

9. Payment gateway security

It is necessary to ensure that your payment gateway provider and any other third party connected to your site is safe. You will also need to choose encryption standards to use for your payment gateway. If a company is dealing with customers’ private payment data, the information should not fall into unauthorized hands. Any breach evident can lead to a poor reflection of the company’s reputation. For example, a company like EBiz charge mostly to advertise their encryption standards.

10. When using instant messaging (IM) programs, be smart

If you chose to use an instant messaging program for communication, do it with great care to avoid sharing personal details online. For protection, you can use a nickname as your IM name. This ensures your name is hidden during IM. Do not allow strangers into your IM groups. At work, be cautious on how you use IM as your boss has the right to go through your messages.

11. Download VPN apps

VPN creates a secure connection between you and the internet. When you use the internet through a VPN, all your data traffic is sent through an encrypted virtual tunnel.

VPN not only helps you with security but with privacy too, so having one is always a great idea. Choosing the best VPN can be a difficult task so always check if the VPN provides free trial so you can test it out before actually considering it.

VPN is prefered when sending important E-mails. E-mail is also a tool to conduct business. Even though you have better security software on your computer, your partner may not have.

12. Subscribe to computer security service

15 Tips on How to Protect Yourself Online
You can also subscribe to a security service such as McAfee. This comprehensive security software works always. The software keeps on updating and protecting you every time you go online. For instance, McAfee offers an updated combination of programs, giving its users strong and extensive protection from cyber-attacks and identity theft.

13. Be aware of phishing attack

Phishing is a cyber attack that involves the use of camouflaged email. The aim is to trick you as a customer to believe that the message is important like a request from a bank, for instance, and you may be needed to click a link or download an attachment. Phishing attackers pretend to be a trusted entity of certain nature, mostly a real or imitates a real person or an organization you are doing business with.

14. Use firewalls

Your website host has the firewall in-built for your server in case of e-business. Apart from that, you should think of getting one for your computer. Many security plug-ins come with the firewall built-in. Once an attack is directed towards your computer, a notification is sent to you. The firewall will prevent any entry from outside.

15. Choose strong passwords

Lastly, always choose a strong password for your email, social media accounts, bank app, or other streaming websites. A strong password makes it difficult for hackers to hack into your account.

Article: © Ben Heine

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