When we pause to reflect upon the tremendous amount of cyber threats that have materialized in our world within the last few years, we can easily see that just about all of us are under severe threat. The many unscrupulous elements as well as individuals, who would try to gain ingress into systems that they have no right to be on, has increased over the years, rather than decreased, as has the level of the sophistication of their attacks.
Here it is pertinent to note that anti-virus companies have done their level best to protect us from the likes of ransomware and trojan attacks, but they can only do this much. Ultimately, it is entirely up to you as to the measures you take in order to safeguard your data from thieves and hackers.
o Always stay up to date with regard to your anti-virus and anti-hacking software
It cannot be stressed enough; exactly how important it is to make good and sure that you have the very latest version of software installed on the operating system of whatever device that you use to communicate with, on and off the internet. This holds true for both mobile devices as well as computers. However, it is not just anti-virus programs that are important. Rather, ‘all’ the software that you use, ranging from your web browser to the OS itself, needs must be updated as frequently as possible. This is due to the fact that the makers generally rectify any vulnerabilities that may exist in the system, as soon as they are able to do so. If the vulnerabilities remain, it will give the hacker a chance to gain access to your highly confidential data. Under the circumstances, the best thing to do is to opt for automatic updates from the manufacturer.
o The importance of really strong and unique passwords cannot be overstated
Regardless of how tedious it may seem to you, but the humble password is sometimes not just the first line of defense, it is sometimes, the one and only defense that you may have against the criminal elements that exist in the fringes of our society. So, you should do well to change, not just your system passwords, but especially your ATM password as well, lest anyone gets away with stealing everything in your bank account. All it takes is a few minutes, but it can provide a lifetime of protection, provide you do it regularly enough.
A strong password typically includes alphanumeric words that are not susceptible to ‘brute force’ attacks. Adding a symbol may be the icing on the cake and make it as iron clad as it possibly can be.
o If a single step is good, then two are better than one can ever be
While it is all well and good to choose a really secure password, but it is not enough as such. Today, many experts continue to insist that activating the two step verification process wherever and whenever it exists can be a great way at thwarting an attack at the best possible time. That is, even before it occurs. Google and Facebook are prime proponents of this system and it is imperative that you follow it too.
o Be careful when you surf online
The internet has given us tremendous information that is available literally at our fingertips. However, not all websites are created equal and there are times when surfing the internet just might end up giving you a really nasty surprise. So be careful of what you click. If the site looks and seems unsavory, then the odds are that this is exactly what it is!
As a general rule, Google’s Chrome or any other browser will inform you that the website is hiding something it should not. Listen to it. The browser is aware of the fact that the site is not following the right protocol and is warning you accordingly. You should shut down the site, post haste.
Always keep an up to date anti-virus around
These days, quite a few people have started to doubt the efficacy of the humble antivirus toolkit. But that certainly does not mean that you should start doing the same as well. On the contrary, a powerful anti-virus software equipped with an equally strong firewall can be one of the best defenses against unsavory characters trying to poke their noses, where they are certainly not wanted. Web surfing without keeping at least one updated and reliable antivirus program is definitely not a smart idea at all. Here a word to the wise. many free anti-virus software are worse than useless since the con you into thinking that they are useful. They will only work when you start subscribing to them. Better to get a real anti-virus toolkit, rather than trusting such charlatans.
If any of these important points do not form part of your extended routine, or if you think they are too inconvenient, then you should think again and act to adopt them ASAP. Always remember, it is your data on the line.