Your online cyber security is not something that you should take lightly. As the number of people using the internet is increasing the harmful viruses, and hacking techniques are also becoming more and more advanced. The cases of hacking and identity thefts are increasing. Even big multinational companies that spend millions on their cyber security can fall prey to hackings and cyber attacks. Regular everyday users of the internet are just as prone to cyber attacks as these big companies. We have compiled a list of easy tricks and techniques that will help you in improving your online security and save yourself from data loss or identity theft.
1. Use strong passwords
This one of the most basic and the most important step in improving your online security. A strong password can save you from a lot of potential hacking techniques used by hackers. Easy to guess passwords are one of the major reasons of social media hacked accounts. Another important thing that you should keep in mind is not to use the same password for more than one website. The reason for this is simple that is if anyone of your account is hacked then it will be a piece of cake for that hacker to gain access to your other accounts. Using at least one capital, one small and one numeric integer in your password is advised by most security specialists.
2. Stay safe from spyware
Spyware is programs that are specially designed to steal sensitive information from their victims. These programs can steal your access passwords, pictures, files, etc. they can be used to monitor your online activities and redirect you to malicious websites. The best way to detect and delete any spyware or not allowing any spyware to enter your PC is by using one of many anti-spyware programs available in the market. However, there are a few simple steps that you can take on your own to help protect yourself from this harmful software.
- While browsing the internet do not click on any suspicious link or pop-up window
- If you receive any email that you think is spam delete it at once without opening it
- Download applications and other files from reliable sources only
- If any downloading starts automatically stop it at one and delete that file
3. Keep your programs up to date:
As the viruses are becoming advanced every day, the software companies keep on updating their programs to counter these viruses. One of the best ways to keep your PC from falling prey to the viruses is to update your programs regularly. This updating not only helps your programs perform better functions they also help defend your PC against harmful viruses. If you don’t update your programs regularly, you are providing an open window for cyber criminals. Because these criminals are always finding security loopholes in most commonly used programs such as Firefox, Adobe Reader, Chrome, etc.
4. Use guest user account on windows:
One of the best features of Windows is that it allows to you to set custom administrative rights to different user accounts. Only an administrative user can install programs on the windows. For everyday use, we recommend that you use a guest account so that even if a potentially harmful program finds its way to your PC, it is unable to install itself. In this way, the damage can be maintained to the guest account only while keeping most of the programs on your PC safe. Only an administrative account can make significant changes to your PC so by using a guest account you can save important files in your PC from being damaged.
5. Use a secure web browser:
Choosing a secure and trustworthy web browser is of absolute importance because it is the main tool that you use to access the internet. A vulnerable web browser is an open invitation to cybercriminals to hack into your online accounts and even your PC. They can easily access your usernames, passwords, history, etc. if your browser is not secure enough. By updating your web browser regularly, you can significantly increase the security of your web browser. Another useful trick to keep in mind in using private browsing sessions for websites that you are not so sure about. Also, you must be very careful while adding and installing add-ons and the permissions you give to these extensions as many spyware come in this type of software. Some antivirus companies have also launched special browsers that can help you in keeping your PC safe and secure.
6. Always log out:
While using any social media website or more importantly financial websites don’t just close the browser thinking that you are safe and your account is logged out. Always remember to log out manually. Especially if you are using any PC in a public location such ad libraries and you don’t log out from your account, whenever the browser is opened again your account will already be logged in.
7. Stop oversharing:
By over sharing we mean too much publishing of your private events on the social media. If you are a social media addict like the majority of the population just be careful as to what you post on your social media accounts. Never check-in from your home or announce about you vacations beforehand. The burglars are always on the lookout for such posts. The more you share your personal information, the more vulnerable you become to cyber criminals. There is no need to show off the things you buy or the places you go to. These things are a hint to the cyber criminals about your financial status. They can easily target you by observing your social media accounts. Another important thing that you must keep a watch on is the things that your kids share on their social media. Kids don’t usually care about the privacy and social media security anyways. This can make them an easier target for cyber criminals. Make sure that your kids don’t share any personal information that can be used against you.