In the modern computerized age, online protection has become increasingly significant.
Since the number of stolen data and cyber threats is on the rise, it’s important to take measures in order to protect yourself and all the important information you’ve stored in your digital accounts.
But, what is the data?
According to the statistics reported by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime had a cost of around $3 million in 2015. By 2025, this number will have increased approximately up to $10.5 trillion.
The numbers are certainly something worrying, and for a lot of us it highlights the importance of being prepared to protect our data in the best possible ways.
Let’s discuss what are the top five most frequent mistakes people make with regard to their security online.
Then we can work on how to avoid making them. This way, it will be possible to enjoy all the advantages of the internet without the risks.
- Using weak passwords
Having a weak password is the predominant mistake when it comes to cybersecurity.
But, what do we mean by this?
We mean straightforward data, for example:
- Your birthday
- Your ID number
- The word “Password123”.
This is something a lot of people do, and hackers don’t hesitate to take advantage of it.
They can quickly get into your accounts when your passwords are weak, and it can become a problem if they steal your data or ask for a ransom in order to give it back.
You should use strong passwords that are hard to guess to avoid making this mistake. A solid key ought to contain a blend of capitalized and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
On the other hand, using the same password for multiple accounts is easy for the users, because they don’t need to memorize them… but it’s also a mistake.
Just remember that, if hackers realize you have the same password on a lot of accounts, they can steal data in every single one of them.
- Falling for phishing
Let’s start with the basics: what is phishing?
This kind of cyberattack is a very common one too, especially through emails.
Phishing is when hackers design a fake website and they try to trick you into giving away information like passwords or usernames. A good example is getting weird emails from your bank asking you to “restore your username” and “change your password”.
Unfortunately, these emails and messages can be very persuasive, and many people fall victim to these types of scams.
To avoid succumbing to phishing tricks, you need to be careful when clicking links in messages or when opening messages from unknown sources.
Before entering any personal information, make sure the sender’s email address or website URL are verified. You can likewise utilize antivirus programs to shield yourself from these sorts of attacks.
- Not refreshing programming and gadgets
Another normal error individuals make is to not update their products and gadgets. Important security patches that address flaws and fix bugs are frequently included in updates. You expose yourself to cyberattacks if you do not update your software and devices.
Next time that things like a laptop or phone indicate that they have to be updated, do it as soon as possible. This will keep you protected against new viruses and hacking attempts.
- Not safeguarding yourself with a VPN
VPN stands for “virtual private network”. This is one of the best tools you can take advantage of if you want to protect yourself against hackers and viruses.
By using a VPN, your web company and your IP address will be encrypted and safeguarded against cyberattacks.
Of course, we could all benefit from VPN protection. This is especially true if you make use of public Wi-Fi networks, because those aren’t as heavily protected. Not using a VPN is a common mistake.
Investing in a good VPN service will help you remain safe while the cyberattacks become more common. Just turn it on whenever you start surfing the internet.
- Overlooking two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of safety that requires a client to give two types of recognizable proof prior to getting online access. This can incorporate something you know (like a secret phrase) and something you have, (for example, a code sent to your telephone).
Even though it works well, many people don’t use 2FA and only use passwords to protect their accounts. Having a weak password or using the same password for all your accounts will leave you very vulnerable to attacks from hackers.
To stay away from this slip-up, activate 2FA on every system and site that offers it. This is a simple decision that can improve your security level online, making it almost impossible for hackers to tamper with your accounts.
2FA can typically be enabled in the security or settings section of a website or app. Also, a few 2FA techniques, such as utilizing an authenticator application or security key, are safer than others, so make certain to explore the choices and pick the best one for you.
- Sharing an excessive amount of data via social media
Social media is packed with your individual data, and many people share more than they ought to. Some of the security questions you can set in order to protect yourself better might already be posted, such as your mother’s maiden name, or the name of pets.
Hackers will use that information to guess at your passwords and hack your accounts. This is why it’s important to make a conscious use of all social media platforms, without revealing too much information about yourself.
Some of the most basic tips can help you:
- Don’t add people you don’t know
- Don’t post too much personal information about you or your family
- Never post your address
- Try to keep your birthdate off your public accounts
Avoiding common cybersecurity errors
In a nutshell, cybersecurity is becoming a serious topic that people should take into consideration when interacting online. It’s important to avoid things such as:
- Using weak or simple passwords
- Opening emails containing phishing scams
- Failing to update the software on your computer or mobile phone
- Not using a VPN
- Sharing too much on social media
You can safeguard your personal information and digital assets from cyberattacks by being aware of these mistakes and taking preventative measures. Keep in mind that cybersecurity is all about prevention and that it is much simpler to stay away from a cyberattack than it is to recover from one.