Cybersecurity Basics - How To Safeguard Yourself

By - Team

Cybersecurity Basics

In digital world of todays the number of personal devices is increasing whether it be computers, smartphones or tablets and therefore it has become increasingly important to understand the basics of cybersecurity to protect yourself from possible cyberattacks such as hacks or data loss.

The information you store on your devices should be secure and out of the hands of mischievous users. Credit card information, social security numbers, bank accounts and medical histories can all be stolen as hackers find new ways to access your devices. That's why, cybersecurity should be a top priority for all of us. We're going to explore what cybersecurity means, how to defend against cyberattacks, and more in this article.

Defining Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is defined as the art of protecting data, networks and devices from lawful access or illegal use. It is a process to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.

Many organizations in society trust on computer systems and the Internet for a variety of reasons. Individuals and organizations need to recognize the importance of protecting information stored on devices.

According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Institute (CISA), a cyber-attack occurs every 39 seconds and many of these threats, 43% to be exact, target small businesses.

General Cybersecurity Threats

Let us talk about some of the most common ways hackers get access to your sensitive information.

Malware: Malware is a program that infects your computer and compromises data integrity, privacy and availability. It can affect your computer, operating system, data and applications also known as malware software or malicious code.

Ransomware: it stops or restricts the access of a user to a device and requires you to pay money to regain access.

Spam: Spam is an unwanted or unsolicited message or email containing links that are often viral.

Phishing: This is a social engineering technique in which the attacker attempts to trick a user into providing personal information by posing as a trusted user.

It is important to understand the particular types of attacks that hit your devices and also identifying them can help you avoid becoming a victim.

Protect Yourself: Internet Security Best Practices

No one wants their sensitive personal data to be accessed illegally and dealing with cybersecurity issues is no walk in the park whether it is a social media account password or something more serious.

Let us find ways to protect your data and implement cybersecurity best practices.

Follow the fundamentals of cybersecurity

It is always recommended that you follow basic internet safety practices when using your devices. 

This includes,

  • Update the OS, software and applications of your devices once the new version is available.
  • Never leave your device unlocked.
  • Install the antivirus software.
  • Use a strong password or install a password manager.
  • Use multi factor or two factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible.
  • Backup your data to an external hard drive.
  • Avoid clicking on links or emails from unknown senders.

Protection of materials and equipment

Online accounts and digital devices can be protected by adding additional security. Below are some ways you can protect your personal accounts and devices from cyberattacks.

Protect your home network: It is recommended that you protect your home internet connection to prevent strangers from coming out or logging on. Unless you secure your router you are leaving open chances for hackers to exploit your network. 

Always choose a WPA2 connection as it is more secure than the WEP alternative if not be sure to consult your manual with the router to learn how to achieve improved security.

Use secure passwords: It is wise to use strong passwords for both your account and your device. You want to make it harder for hackers to guess your passwords. Consider using special characters, numbers and capital letters for passwords. Try your best not to use the same password for all your accounts as this can make it easier for hackers to access.

Managing your privacy: There are many privacy applications available today that have provided advanced security measures to protect users and this requires you to register with 2FA or associate an email address with your account for security reasons.

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