The spate of data breaches, malicious and ransomware attacks is rising as hackers are constantly changing their tactics and techniques to catch businesses and companies off guard. The Internet has become riddled with malicious links, viruses, and trojans.
These developments have made unsuspecting users more vulnerable to cyber-attacks than ever before. It’s crucial to follow the tips below from leading security industry specialists to stay a step ahead. Let’s explore 8 cybersecurity strategies to help you become more cyber aware.
Update Your Software or Apps Regularly
Patch outdated software (operating system and applications). This step is one of the most effective cybersecurity tips to prevent ransomware attacks. By patching outdated software, you can get rid of critical vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can take advantage of to gain access to your devices.
You can get started by turning on automatic system updates for your device. Then, ensure your desktop web browser receives the latest security updates automatically. Also, make sure your web browser plugins such as Java, Flash, and others are always up to date.
Activate 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)
“Two-factor authentication,” according to Investopedia, “is a security system that requires two distinct forms of identification in order to access something.” While it’s essential to use a strong password, it’s even more crucial to have two-factor authentication. This way, you can use 2 layers of security measures.
Even if a hacker successfully guesses your password, you’ll still have an extra security layer in place to keep your account safe from data breaches.
Use a Strong Password to Restrict Access to Your Wi-Fi Network
Network security strategies mainly deal with preventing unauthorized access to your computer network in a bid to keep your system, devices, and data safe. An effective way to stay safe, as recommended by security information specialists (SIS), is by setting a strong password to restrict (unwanted) access to your Wi-Fi network.
Back-Up Your Data Regularly
Nowadays, storage isn’t all that expensive, so you don’t have any excuse not to create a backup of sensitive data. Consider backing it up on a physical location (such as a hard disk drive, flash drive) and on the cloud.
Keep in mind that hackers and malicious threats don’t always seek to gain possession of your data. At times, their objective is to erase or encrypt it. Hence, backing it up will serve as an ultimate recovery tool.
Get Your Employees Trained
A good number of system infiltrations aren’t caused by brute-force hacking. Rather, they happen due to poor employee decisions, such as supplying login information in a social engineering scheme, falling for a phishing attack, or using a weak and easily guessable password.
The best way to prevent this kind of issue is to spend more time training your employees. What is cyber security? What are the top cyber security threats currently?
Enlighten them on these aspects and typical schemes. Also, show them some best practices for enhancing cybersecurity. If you’re too busy to do this, you can use the services of highly recommended security industry specialists from NYC.
Set a Strong Password
You’d have heard strong passwords are a vital part of online security. The fact is that passwords play a critical role in keeping your data safe from hackers.
According to a password policy framework designed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) in 2017, essential tips to consider when creating a password include the following:
- Use a complex mixture of upper case letters, numbers, and symbols. Rather than that, choose something more user-friendly but ensure it has a minimum of 8 characters and a maximum of 64 characters
- Don’t make use of the same password twice
- Ensure the password has at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, and 4 symbols, but none of &%#@_
- Opt for something you can remember easily, and avoid leaving a password hint out in the open
- When you forget your password, reset it. However, consider changing it once a year in general.
Beware of Phishing Scams and Fake Emails
Exercise caution before you open links found in emails, especially if the sender isn’t someone you know. With more than 3 billion fake emails sent every day, phishing scams are among the greatest and most common cybersecurity threats since they‘re easy to fall for.
Whether at home or work, you may get emails regularly that aren’t really what they seem. Cybercriminals usually compose convincing emails, where they will pose as an official of a bank, a credit card company, or other popular corporations with financial or other sensitive data.
If you open the links in these emails and supply your username and password, that step will take you to copycat sites under the control of these fraudsters, through which they’ll steal your personal data (and perhaps your money as well).
Sometimes, opening such malicious links exposes you to software that infects your system or device with a virus. Security industry specialists recommend that the best way to mitigate phishing scams is by avoiding emails coming from unfamiliar or unknown senders.
Also, check for grammatical mistakes or any part of the email that looks suspect, and review any link by hovering your mouse over it to know the destination site before clicking on the link.
Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi
Don’t make use of public Wi-Fi without a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN ensures the traffic between your device/system and the VPN server is encrypted. That way, it’ll be much more difficult for a hacker or cybercriminal to gain access to sensitive information on your device. When security is essential, make use of your cellular network if there’s no VPN.
Some crucial tips from top security industry specialists to mitigate malicious threats and attacks include updating your software regularly, activating 2FA, using a strong password, creating a backup for your data regularly. We also explained why it’s important to deal with links in an email from an unknown person with caution as such messages can contain phishing threats.
Through this kind of attacks, hackers can steal your data or even steal your money. If you’re a business or a company executive, consider educating your employees on ways to stay safe from cyber threats. With the above tips, you can make your device/system’s cybersecurity stronger and safer.