Cyberattacks are a very real part of modern-day culture, with a host of recent media scandals around big businesses suffering data breaches and exposing large chunks of private information.
The risks of cyberattacks are present for both businesses and the individual alike. RSM recently reported on a number of measures businesses can take to protect their data infrastructure, but what can we be doing at home to help ourselves?
Some of the most effective measures to prevent a cyberattack come down to good old-fashioned common sense. We’re all well familiar with the long-lost wealthy relative who’s just left you millions or the faraway investment opportunity offering incredible returns, so don’t go opening suspect e-mails or clicking on their links, regardless of how curious you are.
The same goes for clicking on uninvited pop-ups and reusing the same login details over and over again, even if it makes life that little bit easier. It’s sometimes the simplest actions that have the biggest effect.
Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to browse online with your personal data protected via a private browser. Just as a firewall protects your computer’s data from viruses, a VPN protects your data from the attention of hackers.
You may well have seen VPNs advertised on TV and the likes of Youtube as of late, but make sure you install one that uses a secure protocol, doesn’t log your activity and isn’t too restrictive to which devices it allows on its network.
Lookout for an SSL
If you visit a website that doesn’t use a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), then refrain from entering any personal data. An SSL encrypts data between browsers and websites, making it less likely to be exposed to fraudulent intrusion.
Websites without SSL protection are more vulnerable to those looking to access private data such as usernames, passwords, personal details and bank and payment information.
How do you identify an SSL protected website? Look for the ‘https’ at the beginning of a website’s URL.
Improve Your Passwords
As alluded to above, plenty of us out there are opting for the easy life where we use the same username and password for everything. For many, their passwords are, at best, only slightly varied based on the requirements of the hosting website, and even then, users will do the bare minimum to fit the relevant criteria.
If you’re one of the many using your birthday or you name as your password, and using that password over and over again, your information is under a serious and imminent threat. You can create unique, stronger passwords via a password manager, which will do all the hard work for you in keeping your accounts safe.
It’s really not too hard to look after yourself online. All you need is a bit of common sense and little help from technology along the way, and your data should be safe and sound from cyberattack danger.