Cybercrime is an ongoing threat. Most of us associate cybercrime with hackers stealing our credit card information, but there are far more security risks than just financial ones.
Technology continues to evolve, and new threats are surfacing every day. It is a good idea to not only know how to recognize cybercrime, but also basic precautions and actions to take when cybercrime is in motion.
Here are 7 tips on how to protect yourself from cybercrime:
1. Use Strong Passwords
It is common to repeat the same one or two passwords on every website, but the more you use the same password, the less secure it becomes. Using strong, complex passwords and changing them regularly will help you to keep your passwords locked down. Using a password manager can help you securely create and store all of your passwords in one place.
2. Keep Software Updated
Keeping your software updated is especially important for your operating systems and internet security. Cybercriminals frequently use known exploits, or flaws, in your software to gain access to your system. Patching, or updating, those exploits and flaws can make it less likely that you will become a cybercrime target.
3. Manage Social Media Settings
As social media popularity continues to grow, it is important to keep your personal and private information locked down. Social engineering cybercriminals can easily obtain personal information with just a few data points, so the less you share publicly, the better. For instance, if you post a picture of your pet with their name, or tag your mom in a photo, revealing her maiden name, you might expose the answers to common security questions.
4. Strengthen Home Networks
As flexible and remote work continues, it’s a good idea to start with a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN will encrypt all traffic leaving your device until it arrives at its destination. It’s a good idea to use a VPN whenever you use a public Wi-Fi network, such as in a coffee shop, hotel, or airport.
5. Create an Email Security Awareness Training Program
Your organization’s IT is only as secure as your employees. Numerous reports show organizations are exposed to massive increases in the number of cyberattacks over the past five years, and your users need the training to learn how to become security-aware when a phishing email lands in their inbox.
6. Keep Tabs on Major Security Breaches
As more and more security breaches impact customer information, it is important to keep up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity news. If you do business with a company or have an account on a website that’s been impacted by a security breach, find out what information was accessed and change your password immediately.
7. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Anyone can fall victim to phishing scams. Cybercriminals can trick individuals into giving them passwords or database information. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) — a verification method that requires two or more authentication factors to gain access to a website, network, or application — ensures your organization will remain secure even if a data leak leaves your employees’ passwords exposed.
There is not just one answer to learning how to protect yourself from cybercrime. As cybercrimes continue to evolve, the ways we must protect our systems and data need to evolve as well. It is best to keep researching best practices and keep educating yourself before your business falls victim to a cyber attack.
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