Businesses and individuals increasingly transact online, and cybersecurity has become more critical than ever. These transactions involve sharing sensitive information such as credit and debit cards, social security numbers, bank accounts, and addresses. Such information has become a target for cybercriminals, and improving cybersecurity is a priority for many organizations.
Organizations and individuals must adopt the best practices and develop strategies to deter data breaches. Keep reading and find out how you can improve your cyber security. We will discuss six easy ways that can help you protect your personal information.
Use Antivirus and Firewall Protection
Antivirus programs offer one of the most popular cybersecurity methods of protecting computer networks and systems against malicious attacks. These programs detect, quarantine, or delete malware and thus prevent it from infecting your systems and compromising data. Antivirus software scans incoming emails and attachments and blocks malicious links or files.
Firewalls safeguard your data by screening viruses, malicious codes, and hackers. They are barriers between the public internet and your internal network. A firewall will filter all online activities, determine what traffic will enter your device, and block any dangerous traffic.
Update All Your Software
Cybercrime is ever-evolving, with attackers developing new ways of intruding into computer systems and networks. Likewise, software developers continuously release updates with advanced security features to deter attacks. Therefore, updating your software, applications, and operating systems are essential in improving cybersecurity.
Software vulnerabilities allow hackers to access the files and data on your personal computer. But updates resolve security flaws and deter cybercriminals. For instance, Windows released four zero-day security patches and urged users to update. Frequent releases make software updates one of the most effective ways of improving cybersecurity.
Using Virtual Public Networks (VPNs)
Virtual Public Networks (VPNs) protect your IP address and encrypt the traffic between the VPN server and your device. They make it more challenging for hackers to access your devices. A VPN extension is essential if using an unsecured internet infrastructure, such as public WiFi. You can find out here how it works.
Though most VPNs work with your operating system’s settings, you can get a VPN for app to protect specific apps, like banking, browsers, and social media apps. For instance, you can install VeePN, which offers solid security features without compromising security. In fact, it is recognized as the best VPN for Sweden.
Use Strong Passwords
Password is one of the most prevalent cybersecurity methods used by individuals. However, memorizing numerous passwords is a challenge, and most people create simple and memorable passwords that are easy to hack. For instance, a report by Google and The Harris Poll revealed that 24 percent of Americans use common passwords. These passwords include abc123, Password, 123456, I love you, and Admin.
A password management tool can help you to manage strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts. This tool will follow the guidelines for strong passwords, and security experts highly recommend one. They encrypt your login details and store them in a secure place.
Two-Factor and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Two and multi-factor authentication add an extra security layer to the standard password protection. Standard password features allow you to enter your username and password to access your online accounts. However, two or multi-factor authentication prompts you to provide more verification factors, such as a Time Password (OTP). MFA enhances cybersecurity because hackers cannot access a system even if one of the credentials is compromised.
Cybersecurity Training and Awareness
Though antiviruses, VPN servers, firewalls, passwords, and multi-factor authentication are vital in enhancing cybersecurity, they may only deter some kinds of attacks. For instance, phishing scams are rising, with over 255 million attacks in the first half of 2022. In such attacks, hackers masquerade as trustworthy entities and trick people into providing sensitive information.
Attackers begin by identifying their targets and create emails, text, and instant messages that appear to be legitimate. Such communication contains links that redirect to fake websites or attachments that download and install malware onto the victim’s computer.
Since they appear legitimate, they are more difficult to detect. Furthermore, they use emotions like fear, urgency, or curiosity to lure the recipient. For instance, the attacker may use a message that seems to come from your CEO. The message may contain a link similar to your organization’s website and be labeled “URGENT.”
One of the best ways to mitigate such attacks is to provide regular cybersecurity training and awareness. A good cybersecurity awareness training program should:
- Cover the recent cybersecurity trends,
- Instill the best cybersecurity practices,
- Drive user engagement,
- Address common cybersecurity misconceptions,
- Invest in cybersecurity training that recognizes the costs of poor training.
Security breaches, such as phishing, ransom attacks, malware incidents, and hacking, have become top concerns for most organizations. Such attacks may result in costly data breaches that ruin a company’s reputation. Therefore, cybersecurity experts must develop strategies that ensure sensitive information is safe. It is also important to note that one solution may not be effective in deterring all kinds of attacks. Businesses and individuals should adopt multiple cybersecurity methods.