The internet isn't a safe place.
While everyone uses it, this doesn't mean it's secure. It's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when everybody shares personal information online.
With the rise of cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence, it's only getting harder to protect yourself from cyber threats.
Let's take a look at some practical ways you can prevent a cyber-attack.
Use Two-Factor Authentication to Fight Cyber Threats
Having two-factor authentication is a great way to protect your personal information.
Wikipedia explains that two-factor authentication is when you've got two levels of security to get through when accessing a personal platform or account.
This means that the service you're accessing will ask for two forms of evidence to prove your identity. The first piece of evidence might be in the way of a password. Once you've entered your password, the second piece of evidence will be presented.
This could be in the form of a verification text or email. You will be asked to type in the code you were sent via email or text as a further form of personal identity. Another form of two-factor authentication is voice identification that will allow you to unlock your account.
Don't Reuse Old Passwords
Old passwords are easy to remember. You've used them for a long time, and it won't take long to type them in because they'll be at the forefront of your mind.
Unfortunately, reusing old passwords can result in a massive breach of your privacy. Alyssa Newcomb of Yahoo explains that huge breaches exposed by hackers often occur because of passwords being repeatedly used.
Once a hacker or piece of software has your password, they potentially have full access to all the accounts you use that password to protect. If you keep using the same password you've always had, then it won't be hard for the hacker or a piece of software to follow you around and potentially break into your accounts.
Refreshing your passwords regularly is a good way to stay one step ahead of online hackers and ensure your sensitive information is safe.
Delete Old Online Information
If you've got Google Drive or iCloud, you might want to rethink what's in there. While it might seem safe to store personal documents and sensitive information, it's easier than you think for hackers to be granted access.
If storing these documents online isn't essential, then you should consider deleting them for safety. This is where physical copies come in handy. You can protect paper editions in a safe, while there's only so much you can do to protect them online.
All it takes is one hacker to figure out how to get around your password and security questions. Then they'll have full access to everything you've stored since you first began using the internet.
Try to remember to update your storage now and then and delete old documents.
Try to Visit Websites Directly
Pop-up ads are everywhere. It's tempting to click on them, especially when they're advertising something you're interested in. However, this can be your one-way ticket to a phishing scam.
A 2017 Cyber Monday survey concluded that a lot of pop-up ads and emails sent by big brands are nothing more than a typical scam. If you click on these fake ads, any personal information you have stored online could be at risk.
While most people are aware that these kinds of scams exist, they still fall victim to them. Staying safe on the internet involves being aware of your cyber surroundings. This means creating some basic rules to ensure you don't get scammed.
A great way to avoid this breach in security is only to visit websites directly. This way, you'll know that any offer in the form of a pop-up ad is genuine.
Connect to a Transaction Monitoring Alert
It's hard to keep track of where you've been on the internet. While all of this is tracked in your history, you don't have time to check it regularly.
A lot of purchases are conducted online these days. If you're consistently buying items online, you could be at risk of valuable information like your credit card being stolen.
Dan Corey of NBC News explains that consumers can take extra caution when making online purchases by signing up for transaction monitoring alerts.
This is when your bank or credit union will immediately notify you if your credit card has been used to make an online purchase. This way, if your credit card has been used without your knowledge, you can immediately dispute the transaction.
Toughen Your Privacy Settings
You might think that your privacy settings are up to date and secure enough – but you could be wrong.
The easiest way to avoid any breaches of your privacy is by not having social media platforms.
However, this is easier said than done. The next best option then is to improve your privacy settings.
Larry Kim of Inc explains that using techniques like encrypting your hard drive is recommended if you want to avoid getting your identity stolen.
This will protect all the information you have stored on your computer. If you've saved it all to your hard drive and protected it with a password, you'll be able to keep it out of the hands of hackers.
The best thing about using tricks like this is that you don't have to know your way around computers to do it. Simply saving your sensitive information on a hard drive can help you avoid costly loss of privacy and identity.
Avoid Cyber Threats With These Tips
If you have any sensitive information online, you'll want to know how to protect it. Hackers are getting more sophisticated, and software is becoming more intelligent. This automatically puts your privacy at risk.
Luckily, there are a number of different ways to protect yourself online.
Check out Wawanesa's cyber protection portfolio in this explanatory video for further assistance on fighting cyber threats.
The greatest thing about it is that you don't have to be a computer technician to do it. All it takes is a bit of common sense and preliminary caution.