The internet today is not as safe as many think it is as there are cyber predators lurking around every corner. Cyber-attacks set a record in 2016, with big names like Yahoo! LinkedIn, Tumblr, Ashley Madison and Tesco falling prey to cybercriminals. And according to most cyber security experts, this trend is only going to increase.
Maintaining your cyber security is difficult, yet crucial in this day-and-age. A hacker can easily access your private pictures, videos or any content you did not wish to share with strangers. They can then use that content for multiple purposes. If the hackers find these videos to be intimate, they might blackmail you and demand a hefty ransom.
Once a hacker infiltrates your computer, smart phone or your online cloud account, the outcome could be incredibly disastrous for you and your family. You never know if that hacker works for an organization and plans to share your private data with them. That organization may be a corporate company which plans to use your data for marketing purposes. That organization can also be a terrorist group which plans to use your data for all the wrong reasons.
In such cases, it’s incredibly important that you take precautionary measures beforehand and properly secure your IoT connected devices. For your benefit, I've made a list of five important security tips which will help you in securing your online digital presence.
1. Always keep your privacy settings on
Making sure that irrelevant people cannot access or monitor your data is incredibly important. Most people do not concentrate on the privacy aspect of social media while sharing private details about themselves or their families. Hackers and cybercriminals can exploit this data, and can use it for ways you've never imagined.
Most social networking websites, including Facebook, Instagram, etc., allow users to tweak or update their privacy settings easily. You can take advantage of these features and keep your online privacy intact on social media.
2. Use encryption
The importance of encryption can never be downplayed in this era. Encryption secures our data and online communications by using a series of complex algorithms which cannot be read or accessed by hackers or third-party agencies.
There are multiple ways you can encrypt your private data. You can employ folder encryption to protect any data you have stored on your computer or smartphone. You can use communication apps like WhatsApp or Telegram which employ end-to-end encryption. Moreover, you can use a VPN service which encrypts your online communications and protects you from uninvited guests.
3. Choose strong passwords
If your password is easy to guess, then even the best encryption services cannot protect your data. Choosing a difficult password is necessary. Failing to do that can be disastrous for your privacy and security.
There are multiple tools available on the internet that canhelp you create the strongest passwords. You can employ any of these tools to create a password that is difficult to crack. Also, don't forget to change your passwords every couple of months.
4. Keep Your Antivirus Program Updated
Anti-virus software may prove to be a hassle, but they save you from viruses and malware programs out there. It may not save you from all the threats, but it can detect and remove most malware — if you've made sure that it's up-to-date.
Always make sure to stay current with your Operating System's updates and the applications that you use. They provide a vital layer of security for your system and your devices.
5. Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Secured
When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you have absolutely no direct control over its security. Hackers can take advantage of this, as they can hack into any device connected to that Wi-Fi hotspot.
Unless you're using a VPN, you can easily be hacked. Try avoiding a public Wi-Fi network completely. If you cannot, then make sure you have a VPN app installed on your device.
In a nutshell…
Making sure that your private data is secure and completely safe from the grasp of hackers is crucial. You only need to read about what happened in the celebrity leaks scandal to understand how dangerous it could be if your data gets stolen. There are many ways a cyber-stalker can target you – but luckily – there are also several ways to protect yourself against such pests. Just keep these five tips in mind, and you won’t have to worry about a thing.