What is personal cyber protection?
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re living a technology-driven everyday life, at least to some degree.
Most of us use the Internet to connect with friends, family, work, and entertainment. Again, to varying degrees, even “analog” fans own at least one mobile phone or laptop.
We can interact with computers, smartphones, tablets, and other Internet-dependent devices to check our email, shop online, play games, browse social media, and more.
Almost all of the virtual stops in our routine require a personal account. Whether it’s Instagram, your online banking, or your home food platform; each account requires you to share certain personal information online.
Your name, date of birth, address and payment information are the most frequently shared sensitive data on the web. If left unprotected, such data can fall victim to cyberattacks and invoke identity theft, financial fraud, or system compromise.
Personal cyber protection is the sequence of steps to protect our vital data against all potential cyber threats.
Let’s explore how to do it optimally.
Some people find updates irritating, especially if they require several reboots of the operating system to finish the update.
“Again? I just updated Windows two days ago!”
However, frequent updates mean that you are getting an improved version of the software on your devices. Hackers can exploit programs, apps, and operating systems, and updates work hard to prevent this.
A software update can fix coding errors or security vulnerabilities to deny unauthorized third parties access to your device and personal data. Cybercriminals are continually looking to find and exploit new vulnerabilities, so it’s best to apply patches as soon as they are issued. Automation is the fastest way to ensure this.
If you’re interested in the “set and forget” approach, you can turn on and confirm automatic updates across all devices and operating software. Also, you can set the automation to update your system conveniently (usually at night when you are asleep).
Just make sure your device is connected and has enough storage space to apply the updates.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) can dramatically improve the security of critical accounts. Using two or more steps to enable login adds additional steps for potential intruders to follow. Even if they somehow crack your password, they would still need access to your phone or access token.
Generally, the MFA consists of three main pieces:
· A PIN code, password or a passphrase (something you know)
A smart card, authenticator app, physical token, email or SMS code (something you have)
· Face recognition, fingerprint or iris scan (yourself as authenticator)
Data backups are copies of your essential data (work files, photos, payment information) stored on an external physical storage device or in the cloud.
Backups can be used for disaster recovery during a system breach or help you migrate your network to new devices.
You can choose to back up your devices on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. The crucial task is to do it regularly and preferably automate the process.
Depending on your needs, you can use regular backup to copy and transfer files at a designated time, or use replication to initiate dynamic backups and spread your data across multiple storage nodes.
Use of password managers
Modern passwords require you to develop a code of at least eight characters, mixing upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. You can usually use only one character of each type, with special symbols making up half of the password (note that the most commonly used special symbols in passwords are %, &, #, @, and _, so try to get away from them).
However, remembering fancy passwords can be challenging, especially if you follow the rule of not using the same password twice. Conveniently, a password manager app can remember all your passwords for you. Some subscription solutions even offer advanced features to drastically improve your passwords.
mobile device security
Smartphones are fast becoming the all-in-one solution for tech enthusiasts. You can work, shop, check your bank, and even keep track of your life balance through them.
If someone steals or compromises your smartphone, they can access your online accounts, steal your identity, steal your money, and destroy the personal data you have (photos, messages, notes).
Furthermore, hackers can also use your phone to scam other people.
To better protect your mobile device, you should protect it with a password, PIN, or passphrase. Also, set the device to lock after a brief window of inactivity, install a software security app, enable remote data wipe, turn off Bluetooth and WiFi when not in use, and make sure your device doesn’t go online. to open WiFi networks automatically.
Use antivirus software
Keeping track of online threats is hard work if you do it alone. Instead, you can install antivirus software on all your devices and leave the hustle and bustle to a paid solution.
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office allows you to easily schedule data backups while fighting attacks in real time without the need for your constant attention. You can initiate virus scans, encrypt communication data, and log in intuitively through an all-in-one interface.
Learn the basics: what is scam, phishing, targeted attack, etc.
Detecting a malicious intent on your system is one of the main elements of sensible cybersecurity.
Take the time to learn about fraudulent emails and SMS messages demanding you help a perceived friend or relative, phishing emails inviting you to share personal information with a “reputable” institution, and sophisticated attacks such as targeted phishing ( designed to target specific individuals, companies, or organizations).
The main guide to combat phishing attacks is the following:
Don’t open emails from strangers
· Hover over embedded links to see where they would take you
· Inspect all incoming emails: sender’s email, grammatical issues, tone of voice
· Malicious links could also come from friends’ emails if they have been compromised; be sure to read the email thoroughly before downloading any attachments
Avoid using public WiFi networks
This ranks as one of the oldest cybersecurity practices.
Public WiFi often lacks network protection, making your data easy prey for virtual predators, especially when anyone can access the network and direct data in transit.
If you must connect to a public WiFi network, install and use Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. A VPN will encrypt all data on the device and effectively hide your IP.
Avoid clicking on unknown links and visiting suspicious websites
“Free” software on the Internet is rarely truly free. For decades, attackers have been using “free” apps and programs to trick users into downloading malware (early launch anti malware), thereby infecting their devices (except WinRAR, WinRAR is the original).
Aside from respected software that has been free since the dawn of the Internet, avoid clicking on suspicious links and visiting sketchy sites. Even if the reason turns out to be a beginner web designer, it’s best to stay away from sites you can’t properly research.
Avoid using software and apps from unknown sources
Like untrustworthy links and sites, any software coming from an unknown source can be malicious. Even if it promises to save you the one-time fee for actually accessing the application, disguised malware can cost you dearly.
It is best to only download and install software from reputable sources after making sure that their download links are safe.