We all love the internet. It’s a great source of information and entertainment but, above all, it allows us to work, learn, and improve at a much faster rate. Unfortunately, the internet comes with many risks, such as potential security threats that can lead to data theft or financial consequences. The good news is, you don’t need to be a tech expert to protect your device and stay safe online. Follow our cybersecurity checklist to make sure you’ve taken all the necessary security measures recommended for both corporate and individual users.
#1 Stay Away from Unreliable Sources
Whether you’re using a computer or a mobile device, chances are you’re going to come across programs that you want to install, but they don’t really come from a reliable source. These kinds of programs often carry malware that can infect your computer and lead to various unwanted consequences. To make sure your device is not at risk, stay away from unreliable sites and sources. Only install programs that come from official websites and app stores.
#2 Look Out for Phishing Scams
Hackers most often conduct phishing scams via emails. They create fake emails and websites that look almost identical to the original sites to lure people into submitting their private information. If you get a random email saying you’ve won a coupon or a freebie and all you need to do is type in your address, chances are someone is pulling a phishing scam on you. To avoid having your data stolen, don’t click on any links you receive via email unless you are absolutely sure that the source is safe and reliable.
#3 Use Secure Networks – VPN Download
While you might be paying extra to get a secure network at home, you are most likely going to connect your devices to public networks at some point. People join public networks in coffee shops and malls without thinking about the security threats they might face. Unprotected networks are dangerous because they are way too easy to intercept, meaning even an inexperienced hacker can get their hands on your personal data and sites you visit. To make sure your device is safe at all times, both at home and in public, use a Virtual Private Network service to encrypt your connection. Although you can easily find a free version online, it’s better to invest in a paid VPN if you want extra security.
#4 Keep Your Anti-Virus Program Running
Having an anti-virus program is an obvious step toward improved security. However, there’s more to just installing a program when it comes to ensuring online security. You also need to make sure that your program is running smoothly by updating it on a regular basis. Besides, it’s recommended to create a schedule and scan your device for potential threats at least once a week.
#5 Strengthen Your Passwords
It’s surprising how many people use the same password for multiple accounts. It might seem easier to keep track of your passwords if you use the same ones over and over again but this can create a large hole in your security systems. To decrease the chances of having your passwords stolen and used for malicious purposes, make sure to use a different one for each of your accounts. Strengthen each password by using both capital letters and numbers. Also, restrain from using the “save password” feature on your computer, as this makes it easier for hackers to get their hands on this data.
#6 Stay Away from Unreliable Sites
The internet is full of fake and unsecured sites that can save your data and cause security issues. To avoid any unwanted consequences, don’t click on unreliable links or log into sites that don’t seem too professional. One way to check whether a site is legit is to take a look at its URL. If the URL doesn’t have the https:// section with a small lock next to it, it’s best to stay away from the sites. While you’re at it, be on a lookout for potential online scammers, as they come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t fall for scam offers that sound unreal and stay away from unknown sites that ask for money in return for access.
#7 Back up Your Files
No matter how much you focus on cybersecurity, you never know whether your data will be affected by a threat any time soon. It’s best to back up all your important files before it’s too late in case any unwanted cyber attacks take place. Besides, it’s always good to have a back up in case your computer crashes for any reason.
Whether you’re an individual user or a business owner, it’s vital to stay up to date with the latest security measures. Go through our cybersecurity checklist one more time to ensure you haven’t missed any crucial steps that could cost you in the future. Also, don’t forget to look for a VPN download to secure your network, as that is one of the most important aspects of ensuring online security.