Online threats have become more widespread as more people use the internet. With the rise of social media, online banking, and shopping, people are leaving their personal details online such as social security numbers, credit card details which have become targets for cybercriminals.
Having trouble with online threats? Learn these strategies which are sure to help you with your online security plus protect your personal information on your devices.
What are Online Threats?
These are malicious programs that are designed to steal data, damage devices, and even cause chaos in an organization. They include viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware, and other harmful computer programs that hackers use to infiltrate your electronics.
Install an Antivirus and Keep it Updated
An antivirus is highly effective in dealing with online threats. It is software primarily designed to prevent malware and viruses from taking over your computer. The best antivirus comes with a collection of features for protection against online threats. The features include;
· Real-time scanning: This is a feature that scans devices and files for suspicious behavior. It runs in the background detecting and blocking apps that are unsafe plus malware.
· Anti-malware: Antivirus software should be able to guard your devices against infection. It should show proof of virus, rootkits, worms, spyware, and ransomware removal
· Automatic Updates: It should always be updated to detect newer threats.
· Supports various devices and operating systems: A good antivirus should be able to offer protection for your Mac, Android phones, or windows system.
Do not click on Malicious Links
Have you ever heard of a Phishing attack? This is a fraudulent attempt by cybercriminals to steal sensitive data such as login information, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.
Hackers use emails and links to trick you into giving your personal details by pretending to be a company you trust and know. The fake links have malware that will be installed on your devices or are engineered to steal your data.
Avoid clicking on links that you are not familiar with or replying to emails that have a sense of urgency, or have links from fake sites. Also, never share your login credentials with websites that you do not know and never send them over the internet unless you are using a password manager.
Use Strong Passwords
The key to your online security is to use strong passwords for your online accounts. When creating one, make sure it is a mixture of numbers, characters, and even letters – avoiding passwords like “password” and “1234”. Make sure that it is something that cannot be cracked or guessed by a hacker.
Never use numbers or names that can be associated with you. An example is your birthday, your first or last name, your address, or phone number. A strong password will give you peace of mind knowing it cannot be decoded. You can use free password generator tools to create a strong password.
Make Online Purchases from Secure Sites
Most cybercriminals are eager to get your credit card or bank account details. When shopping online, make sure it is a reputable site that has an address that starts with HTTPS, meaning it is a secure site.
A secure site has a padlock icon at the beginning of the URL. All these signs show that the website is encrypted. This means that your personal information that you send to the site is difficult to crack compared to a site that is NOT secured.
Be careful what you download online since some software and apps carry malware and are easier to make into your computer if you are downloading from illegal sites or torrenting applications.
Online threats are everywhere, and there is no one to protect you but yourself. With the advances in technology, hackers and scammers have leveled up their games, and so should you. Start from being a tech user to a responsible tech owner.
Follow the tips above to avoid being lured by a dangerous bait. While many of these are easy and free (such as using strong passwords and only purchasing from secure sites), don’t ignore the other pieces of advice like getting an anti-virus.
Sure, they aren’t free but are typically only a dozen bucks or so a month, depending on your needs. This can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the long run, not to mention helping you avoid the potential headache of being hacked, which can take months to solve.
It just takes a little bit of effort, but following our advice will protect you in the long run and save you money down the road.