How To Protect Your Online Security In 2021

 

Through the internet, we can now access information from all corners of the world. Before the Internet, the world was a big, unknown, unexplored idea, but with the onset of global connectivity, you can now explore the world with a click of a button. Yes, the internet has been a blessing but to a certain extent. The Internet has also brought with itself a new age of crime. What was meant to be used for world connectivity and growth is now riddled with viruses, trojans, and malicious links? 

With the launch of 5G, this data breach problem will grow faster. Unsuspecting users are becoming more and more vulnerable, with the increase in data breaches. With one click, users can lose thousands and even millions; every user’s needs are actionable to-dos that help users stay alert and risk-free. Before we dive into the to-dos, let us first understand what exactly cybercrime is. 

What Is Cybercrime?

Cybercrimes are criminal activities done with the help of computers, a computer network, target computers, or networked devices. 

Cybercrime is committed mostly by hackers or cyber criminals for several reasons, with money being the most common reason. Individuals or organizations can also carry out cybercrime.

Most cybercriminals are novice hackers, while some are trained and are technically very advanced and skilled.

Most people commit cybercrimes with profit as the motive, but some commit cybercrimes due to personal or political reasons.

To-do’s to ensure cyber safety in 2021-

Do Not Click On Random Pop-Ups And Links

Do not surf and download from random websites. If you want to download a movie, song, or even software, trust only verified sites. Just because a link with the word FREE pops up does not mean it is safe or even free. It will end up costing you more than the song, movie, or software. Such sites often host malware, which will download instantly after clicking on the said link. Do not open random links received in your mail IDs. Ninety-nine times, these random links and websites might be nothing but do not wait for that one time when these sites may cost you everything. Click on verified sites ONLY. 

Make Your Passwords Strong And Not Common

Most people use their birth date or their parent’s birthday dates as passwords; please don’t do that. Using weak passwords is like keeping your front door open with a welcome mat for thieves. Practice the trick of good password management. Most sites advise using numbers, capital letters, and signs while making a password because using random numbers, signs, and letters makes it challenging for hackers. Now, I know several different sites require passwords, so most of us use the same password for all the sites. A Password Manager is your answer to this problem; password managers generate strong passwords for you and remind you to update these passwords periodically. Again, do not worry about forgetting passwords; such managers remember your passwords and credentials, making logging to different websites easy. 

Two-Factor Authentication

Now passwords are essential, but they play First-Line in defense. Naturally, you need another layer of protection to be safe and truly secure, which is why two-factor authentication is imperative. For instance, if the hacker accurately guessed your password, you would still have another security measure to protect your account from a breach. 

You Are A Fish In The Pond

You might have heard or read about cybercrimes, and you must have thought about cybersecurity, but you never pay much heed to this instinct. We believe that the chances of such fraud and security breach might not happen to us, which is why we never take this problem seriously. But let me tell you, you are a fish in the pond, and the fish that remains still is the one that is sure to get caught one day. Take your precautions and safety measures. Be responsible and be vigilant; make sure you do your part to protect yourself. 

Update! Update! Update!

Whenever security flaws are discovered, companies issue software patches. Updates can be annoying and irritating, but losing your privacy and money is worse. Consider this as the lesser of the two evils when contemplating updating your software to prevent computer infections and viruses. 

Make sure you turn on automatic system updates for your system. 

Use trusted and established web browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, etc. These browsers issue frequent and mandatory updates.

Keep your browser plug-ins up to date. (Java, flash, etc.)

Secure Your Device

You may be aware of cybercrime, and you may have been up to date with your technical safety but keep in mind that your device’s physical security is also essential. 

Never leave your device ( Phone, laptop, tablet) unattended. In case you have to be away from your device, make sure that you lock your device so that no one can access your device in your absence. 

In case you keep your data and essential files in a flash drive or hard drive, make sure you add a password to those devices as well. 

You can lock or shut down your screen for desktop computers.

Protect Your Mobile Devices 

In this digital time, we rely mostly on our mobile devices. Everyone has a mobile device in their bags and pockets, and this factor makes mobile devices more susceptible to theft. So, make sure you protect your mobile data. 

    • Always lock your mobile device. Make sure your mobile is password protected. Also, never leave your mobile phone unprotected in public places.
    • Do not open links or emails from unknown accounts. 
    • Do not save your bank or card information or photos on your mobile phone. 
    • Only use trusted sites to download files, movies, and apps. 
    • Keep the operating system of your device up to date.
    • Use apps that can help locate your phone in case of a theft or an emergency.
    • Do not connect to random open wifi networks. Make sure your Bluetooth is off in public. Using strong passwords and biometric features ensure safety.

Install Antivirus Software

Buying anti-virus and anti-malware software is an investment. Reliable and trusted antivirus software cost money. I know that we all love free stuff but spending some money on security is essential.  Always install antivirus and anti-malware software from trusted sites. Make sure you keep your antivirus system up to date.

Use Data Backups

Storage is cheap; it does not cost much. Invest in a pen drive or hard drive. Make sure you have a backup for all your essential data.  Keep a copy of crucial and classified data in another location and device, apart from your internet-connected device. It might not always be the hacker’s goal to steal necessary classified data; it can also be to erase data. So, make sure you are one step ahead of your ill wishes and always keep a recovery tool. In case you ever become a victim of a security incident, the one way of repairing your device is by erasing and reinstalling the system.

Be Smart 

Cyber-criminals use emails and calls to trick you into divulging confidential and personal information. Like your password, login id, bank account number, etc. These ploys and tricks are known as phishing scams. Such scams can be carried out using phones, social networking sites, and texts – but the most common way is email. Do not answer any emails inquiring about your bank accounts and other such information. 

Conclusion

With the increasing crime rate, one of the most redundant is cybercrime. Nowadays, everything is possible online, from saving pictures to bank accounts; everyone relies on online processes. Follow the tips given above to keep your online security safe.

 

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