Cybercrime is Booming. How to Be Safe And Keep Calm?

People love breaking records, but not every record needs to be broken. For example, cybercrime losses hit a record high last year, totaling 12.8 billion dollars. The FBI analyzed 880 thousand complaints, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Many people don’t report instances of cybercrime, which means the real number is much larger. Let’s learn how to stay safe online and ensure you don’t become part of this year’s statistic.

Update your system regularly

Do you know why updates are at the top of the list? It’s because they are always here, but we keep postponing them. When an update comes around, it is like your device asks, “Hey, I want to be more secure, so you don’t get hacked. Do you want me to get better now?” Every time you decline that offer, a cybercriminal smiles because they know loopholes exist in your system. Accept the update, and remove the target from your back. 

Secure your internet connection

Your connection is next in line. It doesn’t matter if you have the most secure computer in the world—if your connection is compromised, there’s nothing you can do. That’s especially true on public Wi-Fi networks. Ensure you’re using a robust virtual private network to secure your connection. A simple VPN download can help to keep hackers at bay because they won’t be able to prey on your data.

Make your passwords stronger

Training helps you gain more muscle, which makes you stronger. Adding more characters, numbers, uppercase, and lowercase letters makes your passwords stronger. But there’s one more thing to consider. You should use different passwords for every service. You can write them down, use a password manager, or remember them and train your memory (this makes your brain stronger).  Remember—when you strengthen your cybersecurity, cybercriminals get weaker.

Be careful with fake emails and popups

You should never send login credentials via email or enter them in a popup. Every reliable brand has neglected this practice because of the abundance of scams. Moreover, no customer service representative in the world will ask you for your password, credit card details, or Social Security Number via email. If that happens to you, consider it a flaming red flag – an obvious scam.

Be mindful of social media

You would be surprised just how much of your personal information is on your social media profiles. Click the “About” section on your Facebook profile and check it out for a few friends. Chances are that your birthday, your relatives, and your interests are all public. So imagine how easy it is for a hacker to create a socially engineered attack or breach your account to get more of your personal information.

Don’t save your passwords in a browser

We all sighed with relief when browsers started saving passwords automatically. But sometimes, this feature can do more harm than good. It’s like a cheat code for hackers to enter and steal from your system. Be cautious because passwords are the key to your sensitive data, like banking information. Save the login credentials with tools specifically designed to be secure, like password managers.

Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) goes one level beyond passwords. It’s an additional layer of defense that asks you to verify your identity through another method. That can be an SMS, an email, or a random number generated in an authenticator app. This way, even if a hacker gets your login details, they’ll need additional access to your device to enter your accounts.

Backup your data

The biggest cybersecurity malware threat is ransomware. If you don’t have an antivirus installed, you can get malware from a simple file download or an email attachment. The next thing you know, your device is locked, and a hacker demands money to unlock it. Even if you pay the money, the hacker can delete or keep the data locked. A backup ensures you don’t suffer data loss even when a ransomware attack happens.

By default – don’t trust everything you see online

A scary fact is that 3 of 10 employees will click on a malicious link. Knowledge is the best weapon you can have in the fight against cybercrime. You should keep up with the latest developments in cybercrime, follow best practices, and protect yourself against modern tactics.

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