When it comes to cyber security, sometimes it won’t matter how expensive or effective the security tools you’ll have in place just to protect your network. There’s no way you’ll be able to predict the type of damage a careless user can create. The war that rages on against cyber criminals is always in action every time users open or click on unfamiliar links, and the slight of these mistakes can relate to the loss of extensive data.
Let us enumerate some basic guidelines you should take into consideration when using the internet:
- Be aware that any user who accesses the net can become a target to certain online threats. Don’t be too complacent to think you’re too smart to be a target that it will never happen to you.
- Maintain this password ‘etiquette’. Put into practice this sort of using a combination of strong characters and avoid using one password for a number of sites. It is strictly prohibited to share these passwords with others, or jutting it down on a note that you usually attach anywhere near your computer monitor.
- Your devices should not be left unattended. If you need to leave your tablet, phone, or computer for even a few minutes, it should always be locked so that no one can have access to it. Do not store sensitive data or information on your external hard drive or flash drive, otherwise make sure you lock these devices as well.
- Be mindful and cautious when deciding to open a link or attachment in an email. If it is too suspicious and unexpected, do not open it.
- Your online transactions like shopping and banking, where you usually give out PINs and financial details, must only be done on your devices and your trusted network. Remember that free WiFi spots, public computers or even a friend’s phone can place your sensitive data at risk of either being stolen or copied.
- Back up your data on a regular schedule and make sure you are always using up-to-date anti-virus software.
- Always remember that Malware is usually spread from infected external hard drives, flash drives or even smartphones. You should think twice before you plug it into your devices or computers especially if it’s not yours.
- Be very smart on sharing any personal info on the social networks you use. Criminals can easily befriend an unsuspecting user (and it could be you) and thereby gain entry into your detailed and descriptive information such as when you usually go out on vacation, your workplace and when you are not home. Don’t make it too easy for them to abuse you.
- When offline, you should still have to be aware of social engineering, where criminals will try to gain certain information by way of manipulation. If a person emails or calls you and asks for sensitive info, it is alright to say NO. It is also advisable to call companies directly in order to verify their credibility and credentials before you give out any information.
- You should actively monitor your accounts. If anything is unfamiliar or suspicious this could be a sign that the account has been compromised.
Sometimes it isn’t bad to over-react or be paranoid with others especially with strangers and if the situation gives you ‘second thoughts’. You have to be smarter than cyber criminals. If in doubt, there’s always information and assistance available online, and in the circle of your trusted friends too. This issue will never fail to extort money and valuable things from people, so it is very important to get used to these guidelines so you can be protected from such threats.