Helpful cybersecurity tips to keep you safe from online harm

The advancement of technology is always an amazing feat for society because this has allowed people to do a lot of things. These include remotely connecting with other people, conducting online meetings and classes, and on top of that, entertainment from video, gaming or music listening platforms.

While these are all great, you also need to know the downside of such advancements. Nowadays, it is easier for people to get hacked due to poor online security and device management. A lot of people are vulnerable and most online breaching cases happen in the United States! To prevent any online harm, Bitdefender Central is here to share with you important cybersecurity tips:

  1. Adopt this mindset: ‘I can be hacked anytime’

Anything can happen today or tomorrow, and it is best to adopt a mindset that keeps you aware. With cybersecurity, you should always remember that you are susceptible to hacking, and it can happen any time of the day. Consequently, this will jumpstart you to begin adding protection to your computer, which can increase your safety.

  1. Always keep your software updated

Ransomware attacks are becoming more common these days, and this is due to outdated software. When this attack happens, any person or organisation can be denied access to files on the computer. This is because the hacker has successfully encrypted all data, and one of the ways they were able to do that is through outdated software.

That is why you should always keep your software updated as soon as a new patch is available. Doing so will minimise the vulnerability of your computer to all ransomware attacks. 

  1. Anti-virus protection systems can help you

Anti-virus protection systems can come at a hefty price, but paying for them is tenfold better than getting your computer hacked and compromised. This kind of system can easily detect any type of virus or attack that can happen. Once it detects a potential threat, your anti-virus system will begin to take necessary actions to prevent the problem from becoming worse.

If you want to check out the most trusted antivirus software, here is a list for you to check out:

  • Bitdefender antivirus
  • Norton antivirus
  • Trend Micro antivirus
  • Avast One
  • Microsoft Defender
  • Avira antivirus
  • McAfee antivirus
  • Webroot SecureAnywhere antivirus
  • Sophos Homes

Your payment for any of this antivirus software will be worth it because they will do anything that it takes to make your computer more secure.

  1. Beware of the websites you visit

There are thousands of websites present on the worldwide web, and unfortunately, not all of them are safe for you to visit. Some sites are even created as a form of malware, and clicking on the links can easily hack your computer. That is why you should always be aware of the websites you visit online.

The best way to know whether or not a site is safe is to check its URL link. All trusted websites have what you call Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure or HTTPS for short. This is an extension that makes sure all communications over a computer network are secure. 

While this is a great tool, a lot of hackers are getting smarter. They use HTTPS as a way to track their users into trusting their suspicious websites. That is why you also need to double-check the website link by placing it on the search engine first. If the results show unsatisfactory records, then you should take that as a sign that it could be a possible hacking scheme.

  1. Know the different types of internet fraud and how to avoid them

As people become more aware of hacking, all hackers have found new and smarter ways to break into your computer’s firewall. With that being said, here are the different types of internet fraud you can encounter online:

Spam

Spam or unwanted mail is one of the most common causes of internet fraud. It can happen to almost everyone present on the internet, and you would find these emails in your ‘Junk’ category. Aside from that, spam messages can contain anything you can think of, but most of the time, they can appear as a product or job persuasion. Whatever it may be, you should always make sure that you should not believe anything it says.

To confirm if an email or text message is spam or not, try to research what they are trying to promote. 

Scam

‘Congratulations! You just won a free iPhone 13!’ Does this sentence look familiar to you? If so, then you have a close encounter with an online scam. This type of internet fraud will make you believe that you have won something without doing anything. Moreover, it can appear convincing and true because its rewards are tempting. In most cases, scams will ask for your sensitive information and personal details first before they send you your so-called ‘reward’.

In case you encounter a potential scam online, it is best to avoid them completely. Always remember that any kind of free reward will have a price and consequence.

Identity Theft

Sadly, there are malicious people online who would make the effort in stealing all your personal information and other security details. They would use these to make odd activities online or expensive purchases without your permission. 

This type of internet fraud happens when you provide your personal information online. It can occur when ordering from an online store or signing up for an account on different websites. To avoid the possibility of identity theft, you should always be aware of what websites or companies you are giving your information to. 

Phishing

Phishing is the type of internet fraud that will get all your sensitive information. Phishers will pose as a well-known entity that you come in contact with, and they will call or message you to provide security details to confirm your purchases. If you happen to receive this kind of message, delete and block that contact immediately. Always remember that any certified entity will not ask for your password, one-time pins and alike.

  1. Create strong passwords

Passwords are the code that grants you access to anything such as an account, data, etc. This code should be something that is not easily guessed by another person, or else all your important and private information will be breached.

If you want to learn how to create strong passwords, here is how:

  • Never use your birthday as a password
  • Never use anything related to your family and school backgrounds as a basis for your passwords
  • Capitalise at least one letter from your password
  • Add two or more numbers to your password. Make sure it only makes sense to you and not others.
  • Add a memorable symbol to your password.
  • Use words or phrases that are only significant to you
  • Try to combine two different words for your password
  1. Consider subscribing to VPN providers

Another thing you can strengthen your security is to subscribe to VPN providers. This kind of software hides your online presence and activity by encrypting your IP address. Consequently, this will make it hard for hackers to view your online behaviour. If they happen to track how you act online, these malicious people can devise ways that will make you fall for their traps. 

On top of that, using a VPN will allow you to browse websites that are not available in your location. This is great for streaming applications since you can now watch movies offered in different countries.

  1. Avoid using public networks

As much as possible, you should avoid using public networks or Wi-Fi. Any data you send or receive with this kind of network will make your data vulnerable to hacking. 

A lot of cases in the United States have shown that most hacking nowadays happens due to the breaching of public networks. This is because any public Wi-Fi is not that secure compared to personal hotspots. As such, hackers find it easy to gain access to your data through public networks.

  1. Use a two or multi-factor authentication system

You would not believe how much two or multi-factor authentication systems have helped a lot of people from hackers. This kind of system is commonly used in accessing social media accounts or online shopping. Before you log in to any of your accounts, the website or platform will send an authentication pin or code to your phone or email. By receiving and using this, you are confirming your true identity. 

  1. Do the same protection to your mobile phone

With all of these protective measures, you should also do them on your mobile phone and other devices. Doing so will protect you from any kind of harm, which will also keep your personal and private data safe from hacking. 

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