According to Harvard Business Review, only 23% of companies do not use digital services or products for their business. By this number, we see that most companies rely on technology to generate revenue. With the world going digital, it is important to secure your digital privacy just like you secure your bank lockers or your home. Today, majority of the businesses runs on digital devices. Even if you don’t operate your business through it, you still connect to your near ones with the help of social media. What if all/some this sensitive information is hacked by somebody? What if somebody misuses your data?
Digitalization has increased but so have the cyber attacks. We need to be one step forward than the hackers to preserve our confidential data. To do this, here are 8 cyber security hacks that you must know to protect yourself from hackers.
USE ANTI-VIRUS AND FIREWALL
Even if you aren’t tech-savvy, you would have heard of anti-virus. As long as you’re connected to the web, there’s always a risk of compromising your data. The anti-virus software prevents your device from phishing attacks, viruses, malware, etc. and, protects your data against cyber attacks. There are many software available in the market but you must ensure that you use only the trusted ones. One more thing to note here is that you must activate only one anti-virus at a time on your device.
Additionally, your system also has an inbuilt firewall to protect you from hackers. This firewall screens out the malicious activities on the web and detects the traffic that can be allowed to see through your device. Windows and Mac OS X have their respective firewalls that protect you from such viruses.
KEEP CHANGING YOUR PASSWORDS
Your banks might be prompting you to change your passwords after some time. This might seem annoying to you but it is to protect yourself from hackers. Strong passwords maintain your online security and changing them in frequent intervals keeps the hackers away.
This is why the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has made strict password policies. It also suggests that you opt for a user-friendly password with a minimum of eight characters. Try to include the upper-case, lower-case, numbers, and the special symbols together to protect yourself from hackers.
It is always a good practice to keep different passwords for different sites. So, in case, one of your accounts has been hacked, the others are still secured.
KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UP-TO-DATE
Have you seen the ‘Update Now’ box popping on your screen?
You need to update the software to fix existing bugs, enhance the security levels, and for additional easy features. It becomes easy for hackers to hack through your device if you are using older versions of any software. Thus, with outdated software, your device is prone to ransomware attacks.
To avoid this, you can enable the auto-update option so that you don’t have to check for updates regularly.
ENABLE MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
When you enable two-step verification or multi-factor authentication, you add a layer to your security. This means nobody can access your data only with the help of your username and password. You’ll need to give verification for your identity before accessing your data.
The One-Time Password (OTP) is one such way. In this, a password is sent to the user’s mobile or email. Only after entering the sent password, the user can access the data. So, no hacker can have an access to your data without your authentication.
BEWARE OF PHISHING
Phishing means somebody is impersonating to be another person to gain the access to your personal information. You might have been advised to not click on links that are sent by strangers. These links are usually sent by emails or social networking sites. When you click on these links, your credentials are directed towards the hacker. If there are other files attached to this email and you try to open them, then there’s a high chance of your system being infected with malware or viruses.
PROTECT YOUR PII
PII stands for Personal Identifiable Information. It includes your name, contact details, birth details, IP address, residential address, location, or any identifying data. When you share this information online, you are giving away your information out to hackers. Share only as much as needed. For additional security, you must never store your credit card information or bank details on your device. Once your device is hacked, all this information is transferred to the hands of hackers.
DON’T USE PUBLIC CONNECTIONS
If cyber security is important to you, then avoid using public Wi-fi. In case, you still have to use it, then ensure you are using a VPN. When you use a VPN, the traffic between the VPN server and the device is encrypted. So, your information is not given out. It becomes difficult for a hacker to access your device. If you don’t have access to VPN, then it is strongly recommended to use your cellular data.
REVIEW YOUR CREDIT REPORTS
Keep a check on your credit information since this is the most sensitive data that the hackers are looking for. Most cybercrimes are committed to obtaining this information. You should use a credit freeze to protect your credit information with the help of a PIN. When you enable a personal PIN, only you can access your data whenever you require credit.
Apart from these hacks to protect yourself and your employees, a few companies also hire ‘white hackers’ or ‘ethical hackers’. These hackers don’t hack the data of other companies but try to safeguard the connections and information from possible cyber attacks. The MNC’s have already started using these hacks to secure their connections. If you want to know how to enhance cyber security through the blockchain technology, read Boosting your Cyber Security by Blockchain Technology. You can use above mentioned hacks to your daily browsing and shopping and feel secured about your personal information.
Do you think there are more hacks that are not mentioned in this post to protect yourself from hackers online? Please write your comments below.