The year 2020 is certainly considered as the year of change. The pandemic has changed/impacted every facet of life — from the way we used to commute to the way we worked. Even cybercriminals have become more creative with their online scams — leveraging the aftereffects of COVID-19, like remote work. You might be a click away from fraudulent adware or malicious links, leaving yours and the organization’s critical data at risk. Besides following basic security measures, online users must adhere to additional precautions to secure their online presence.
By Rudra Srinivas, Feature Writer, CISO MAG
Below are the six security tips to increase online security:
1. Using Password Manager
We cannot ignore the importance of managing passwords while talking about online security. Using a strong password or passphrase will provide maximum security to your network and the devices you use. However, strong passwords/passphrases are often leaked in data breaches when companies mismanage their user data. Hackers trade stolen credentials on various darknet forums to other bad actors. Having different passwords for every account will reduce the domino effect of brute-force attacks, in which hackers try many passwords with the hope of eventually guessing correctly. Using a password manager like LastPass, Dashlane, or 1 Password will enhance the security of your passwords and encourages the use of separate passwords for each individual account/site.
2. Clear the Cache
We often neglect to clear the cache data until we face some technical issues. Personal data like saved searches, browsing history, and home addresses can be saved into the cookies and cache folders of your internet browser. Therefore, delete your browser cookies and clear the browser history on a regular basis to protect your device/information from cyber risks. Do this from the Settings menu in your browser.
3. Update Regularly
Threat actors often look for new vulnerabilities to exploit and break into your device/network to pilfer sensitive information. Make sure you update your operating system, applications, browser, and device firmware regularly.
4. Using Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps improve a user’s data privacy and security on the internet. VPNs provide a secure connection for users when joining another network online. It also changes your IP address and location, making your browsing activity safe and private from threat actors. Even if hackers penetrate your network, they still cannot compromise/access your data when a VPN is used.
Though two-factor authentications (2FA) make the login process a bit longer, it strengthens users’ internet security. Using 2FA means you have an extra layer of security to your network.
6. Don’t Get Phished by Click Baits
Phishing scams via malicious ads and emails are rampant in the online world. Be vigilant about what you click as they could be malicious. Attackers lure users with phishing links to automatically download malware and infect the device. Never click on links in emails, messages, and social media sites unless they are genuine and received from a known source.
Attackers are using innovative hacking techniques to break into users’ networks/devices to steal sensitive information. It is our responsibility to secure our endpoints and networks against online intruders.
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