We live in a day and age where all of our data is connected to our smart devices. The security of our sensitive data can become a touchy issue. Daily reports of celebrities being hacked to show how truly vulnerable we are to hacking attacks. The truth is that our cybersecurity is just as critical as the safety to our physical selves. Whether it is your pictures, financial information, medical information, hacking can leave you vulnerable. From extortion to theft, hacking poses many risks. Here are the top 10 ways by which you can protect your device from malware and keep your data safe.
- Understanding the Threat
Some different types of malicious software can harm the computer and your data. Trojans create unlimited access to computers when clicked on. Viruses replicate themselves and cause operating systems to malfunction. Worms can overload a system or be combined with viruses to form a devastating chain reaction. Bots can collect passwords, analyse and capture information packets, get financial information etc. Potentially Unwanted Programs clutter the screens and clutter with pop-up windows. Distributed Denial of Service attacks can prevent you from accessing certain websites. Spyware can track keystrokes and spy on your data.
- Constantly upgrade your OS
Ensure that your OS is always up to date. Programmers continuously try to enhance programs to ensure that any errors are fixed. It can prevent hacking attacks.
- Keep an eye on your privacy settings
The privacy and security settings are constantly upgraded and keeping an eye on them can prevent hacking attempts. Using specific tools can help you keep track of the permissions for different apps.
- Remote locating and device wiping tools for mobiles
In the age of smartphones, if your gadget is lost or stolen, you need to wipe your data. Tracking apps can help you find your device and delete any sensitive data instantly.
- Use a strong password
Using a robust alphanumeric password for your phone gives it an added layer of security. Choose passwords that can’t be easily hacked. Vault apps can help hide data and requires passwords. Ensure that you aren’t using any sensitive personal information in your passwords. Ensure that you substitute numbers and letters with words. Using passphrases can be more effective than single words. Ensure that you use different passwords for different accounts. Using a password management software can help, but if someone hacks the manager, they can access all accounts. Using two-step verification can help strengthen your passwords further. Fingerprint access is an excellent way to secure your device as they can’t be reverse engineered.
- Antivirus and Anti-Spy Software
Most software programs claim to prevent both spying and virus attacks. However, generally, a layered approach is recommended. Use multiple applications that work together to avoid any threats. However, it is important to remember that no anti-spy program or antivirus secures your device completely.
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- Installing a Firewall
If your device is connected to the Internet, you need a firewall. Microsoft, Linux and Apple OS come with inbuilt firewalls that are considered to be adequate. You can also find third-party options. Ensure that your firewall is turned on and that there aren’t two firewalls that can conflict.
Ensure that your router is also protected via firewall and that it is encrypted with WPA/WPA2. Ensure that you change the name and limit the visibility of the network. You also need to ensure that you use a strong and new password for the router.
- Better browsing habits
There are some browsing habits you need to follow to ensure that your data isn’t hacked.
- Before downloading any program, ensure you read all documentation thoroughly.
- Do not click on all pop-ups. Spyware can create “Yes” “no” pop-ups to start malware download.
- Don’t go for free or unknown anti-spyware programs.
- Ensure that you scan all Email Attachments to ensure you don’t download malware.
- Keep all your antimalware software up to date.
- Block pop-up ads even on legitimate sites as an added precaution.
- Don’t visit any questionable websites or run pirated software on your machine.
- Do not download anything unless it’s from a trusted source or you have security measures.
- Avoid free wi-fi as anyone may be seeing what you see.
- Secure your social networking sites as messages can often seem to be originating from trusted sources.
- Using a secure browser
Browsers provide different types of security and privacy settings that can help you limit tracking. Finding a secure browser with security add-ons can be a good idea to protect your data. Ensure that you use only HTTPS sites as much as possible to keep your searches private.
Keeping your data backed up both online and with an encrypted external hard drive for easy recovery.