Cyber Hygiene: How to Protect Your Data on the Internet
The stronger and faster new technologies penetrate our life, the more important the issue of personal data protection becomes. According to experts, in the future, the market for personal insurance against cyber threats will reach a multi-billion level.
A lot of people do not worry about the security of their online identity. However, it high time to prepare for a growing number of online attacks. I have prepared a list of recommendations for 2019.
Use Password Managers
Using the same password for multiple sites - increases the user's vulnerability. If there are dozens or hundreds of such accounts, and in case they are tied to financial services, the threat of losses increases many times. Password managers can be installed on a smartphone or used on desktop computers.
Be careful what you share on the Internet
Users must be fully aware of what sensitive information they share and where exactly it goes.Users should understand how all those services protect them. In any case, if you decide to share confidential data, you need to use multi-factor identification (password and SMS).
Do not suspicious click on links and email attachments
Stay away from any hyperlinks that require to “update” payment information or something like that. It may bring a virus to your device that may be hard to get rid of.
Social networks and other online companies must warn customers in advance what data they need. And how they will request such data.
Be careful, knowledgeable and cautious
Hackers and digital identity thieves are becoming more and more inventive. Therefore, the best protection against cybercriminals will be to check all e-mails attentively. Even if you are sure that you know the person who contacted you. Go to the website of the company and check everything yourself. Call them back or take another action to verify everything.
In order to provide anyone with access to your critical information, you can secure yourself with the help of cloud solutions that provide safe data storage.
Delete your sensitive data from social networks
Many banks, when making a voice call, request additional information from customers. So it is better to make sure that you did not post passwords somewhere in the public domain. It is better not to indicate the date of birth, the pet's nickname, or the mother's maiden name - all that you use when accessing financial services.
Do your own research
Before you buy goods and transfer money even to a website that looks convincing or familiar — investigate. If the online search provides words like “complaint”, “fraud” in conjunction with this or that website, then it is better not to provide your credit card details there.
Check your security and privacy settings
Many online platforms have advanced security options. But often users have to search for them in hidden menus. Therefore, it is worth spending extra time on all used sites to strengthen available security features.
Protect your online surfing
If you use free Wi-Fi in a public place, attackers may intercept your traffic. In such places, it is better to protect yourself and use a VPN service or browser extensions.
Delete your old accounts
Delete your data from those sites that you no longer use, in particular, from those companies from which you stopped buying. This will reduce your digital footprint. And intruders will have fewer leads.
Start using a new credit card
You probably left your credit card details on many websites. You can start from scratch. Start using a new credit card and apply best practices to protect personal data. Including strong passwords, and two-factor identification.
Delete your search results
Check what information about you is available when you do an online search. And remove unnecessary information to protect yourself. For example, instead of the home address, e-mail and mobile number it is sufficient to specify only the zip code. To do this, you can use special services or do it yourself.
The final list of recommendations:
1. Use licensed software
2. Use antivirus software with heuristic analysis technology
3. Use the firewall
4. Backup important data using external media not connected to the Internet
5. Do not connect flash drives, CD and DVD, if you do not know their origin
6. Do not store authentication data in easily accessible places (on the desktop)
7. Better not to use financial services in public places.
9. Pay attention to pop-up windows - carefully read what is offered to you, and do not approve anything in a hurry.