Potential cybersecurity threats might attack your device when you least expect it. Such threats can expose personal information or infect devices to slow down their performance.
If you feel like you are not doing enough to protect your computer, smartphone, or tablet from potential malware and viruses, take some time to create a proper cybersecurity prevention strategy. The tips below should help you with that.
Keep Tabs on Potential Malware Attacks
Let’s start with antivirus software. For example, if you have a MacBook, you might be reluctant to bother with looking for a proper anti-malware tool because they believe in the reliability of the operating system.
It is true that macOS is not as prone to cybersecurity threats. Regular updates and not as much interest from malware developers are why MacBook owners can feel safer about potential viruses infecting their computers. Nevertheless, you should still know how to check my mac for virus and malware, as well as how to remove these threats.
For Windows and other operating system users, the principle is pretty similar. You also need reliable antivirus software as a solid foundation. However, that is not all.
Ignore Shady Links
You would be better off not clicking shady links you receive, even if they are from someone you know.
If a link is interesting, you can enter the URL in Google manually instead of clicking on it directly. After all, you cannot know where a suspiciously-looking link might redirect you.
Change Online Passwords
One’s online password policy plays a prominent role as well. It is no secret that many people do not bother coming up with difficult combinations as their passwords. Instead, they pick a random word and add a few numbers at the end or the beginning, and use that as a password.
In addition, it is common to use the same password for different accounts, which is another bad practice.
It is recommended to create different passwords instead of sticking to the same one. Also, if you struggle with creativity, try password generators online. They will create passwords that are difficult for hackers to crack.
Finally, if there are too many passwords for you to memorize, stick to a password manager that requires a master password to access your login details.
Invest in Virtual Private Networks
Virtual private networks are pretty much a must when you use public Wi-Fi. Your home network might be safe, but the internet at hotels, libraries, and cafes lacks the necessary security protocols.
Using a virtual private network means changing the original location but still being able to use the internet. A different IP address and data encryption make it difficult for potential attackers to threaten you.
Keep in mind, though, that you should avoid free VPNs. Since a decent virtual private service costs a couple of dollars per month, paying for it should not be that much of a problem, right?
Avoid Oversharing Personal Information
Oversharing personal information could lead to potential problems as well. If you start a friendship with strangers online, keep in mind that they might be looking to take advantage of you rather than establish a proper relationship.
A good example is strangers figuring out your password because you shared your birthday or your pet’s name. They might try to use it as your password, and if it works, you are in trouble.
Install Ad Blocker Extensions
Given how aggressive some online ads are, it makes a lot of sense to use ad blocker extensions.
Clicking on a popup or a random banner accidentally might redirect you to a landing page that will infect your device with malware. In some cases, even antivirus software might not be enough to stop the threat.
Eliminating ads will reduce the risk and improve your overall browsing experience. Check available extensions for your internet browser and install an ad blocker or two to prevent those annoying and potentially risky online advertisements.
Back Up Data
Backing up data is not a direct method to fight cybersecurity threats, but you should still get in the habit of having a copy of your data and updating it regularly.
Usually, there are two options for this—cloud storage and an external hard drive. The former helps move and share files between different devices if you sync accounts.
As for an external hard drive, you can copy files to it from your computer directly or use Time Machine if you have a MacBook.
Keep Devices Updated
The last bit of advice is about updating your devices. Whenever there is a new operating system update, make sure that you install it at your earliest convenience.
OS updates are not just about the latest features and overall performance improvements. Developers react to the latest threats and push hotfixes to protect the users.