According to Cybersecurityventures.com, “global cybercrime costs are to grow by 15 percent per year over the next five years, reaching a whopping $10.5 trillion USD by 2025” This is considered to be a major jump from $3 trillion USD, which was recorded back in 2015.
Not to scare you or anything, but this is the product of not incorporating a little cybersecurity measures in your day to day life. It is not as simple though, considering that with this fast-paced world, we’re bound to get side tracked and forget that we even left our Facebook account without a password, or connected to an unsecure WiFi hotspot without thinking.
Errors such as these are often overlooked, mostly because most of us aren’t aware of the setbacks. Incorporating cybersecurity measures to maintain a better and secure internet is not as difficult as you think – it definitely does not require an IT team.
Practices to use for a safer internet
As mentioned above, cybercrimes are very much real and at an all time high. By taking up the initiative to secure your internet, might not be course-changing, but it will most certainly help you feel safe while using the internet.
Here are a few tips or practices to consider:
- Use a security software like a VPN
A security software or a VPN isn’t a practice but is rather a recommendation for a better and more secure internet. A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, allows you to secure and encrypt your connection, allows you to remain anonymous online, restricts malicious threats from reaching you and more.
This is especially the case if you use a top VPN service like ExpressVPN. Even if you’re not sure about the VPN, you could always use the ExpressVPN free trial and test it out. The same applies for any premium provider you choose.
- Password protection and multi-factor authentication
How many of you password-lock your media and banking account with a password like your pet name, your favorite color or even a basic number scheme like 12345? This is the number one reason why media accounts get hacked so easily, apart from posting just about every personal detail online.
When you’re creating a password for your media accounts, make sure you make up a difficult name that not many would guess. It should be random. Plus, you should make a different password for all your apps or accounts – it’s safer this way.
If you can’t remember all your passwords, you could always use a password manager. Other than secure passwords, go for 2FA. This means that even if someone tries to hack your codes, you should be notified.
- Do not post everything online
There have been a couple of instances where users practically post everything online. For instance, most users often post about their whereabouts, their street name, and other personal details. Just about anyone can get a front row seat to your life and will be able to use that information for just about anything.
Limit the kinds of things or content you post online. Not everyone needs to know about your entire life. This is said for your own safety.
- Don’t connect to public or unsecure WiFi
As tempting as a free WiFi might sound, never just connect to everything without knowing the source. For instance, if you are connecting to your known neighbor or a friend’s WiFi, then that might not be so bad.
However, if you’re traveling and connect to a WiFi from a restaurant, the airport, or worse a mall, that is considered a sin where preserving cybersecurity is concerned. You will never know what the Wi-Fi owner’s intentions are. They can easily hack into your device using the hotspot and steal or log your data, using it for various illegal things.
- Never buy or download things from unauthorized sites
Need to buy an app? Want to go online shopping and use your credit card, or do you need to download a free security app? With the way I see it, not every source is reliable.
You can’t just download a free app from the Google or Apple Store just because there are many great reviews – most of those reviews being paid promotions or bots. Similarly, when trying to shop online, never just hand out your credit card details if the website is not reliable.
- Make sure you keep your privacy settings on
Another thing to note is that even though you password-protect your media accounts, or your banking accounts does not mean the threat ends there. There are countless apps and websites that log and store user data.
Take Facebook for starters. They track or monitor everything you do, from what you google, what stores you last visited through Instagram and more. Through that, they have a better idea of knowing you, and further generate ads while you are using Facebook.
You can use a no-tracking browser that can give you search results without exposing your identity or tracking you online.
It is a terrible thing really. Your online privacy is stripped to a bare minimum. So, what you can do is go through the privacy settings, and tweak around with it a little. The privacy settings on apps are not all that easy to find considering that they still want to track users and generate ads accordingly.
- Don’t click on random links
If you’ve ever received an email asking you to send in your contact details because you’ve won a trip to Dubai or XYZ country, don’t get excited too quickly.
First, make sure you remember whether you actually signed up for a competition, a lucky draw, and other similar events. Never just click on any link or provide information online without doing some research.
Plus, an authentic source would never ask you to present your banking details and other sensitive information online. A similar instance can be recorded when you receive scam emails saying that your bank manager wants so and so information, please provide it asap. That has red flags all over!
We’ve often been told that your bank will never call or text or email you asking for such details, especially if they’re details that they should already know or that doesn’t concern them – like your credit card code.
And that’s a wrap! These tips or practices are only the tip of the iceberg. There is much more to go through. It means that these points might just be the basic and binding measures that can help improve your time online. They should do just the trick in allowing you to maintain a safer and more secure internet.