Top 5 Things You Should Stop Doing Online for Your Safety

How to browse the web without facing security issues? How to be safe online? How to ensure that you do not face hackers? These are the hows that every person faces the moment they turn on their computer or take a smart device into their hands. This is a good thing because as long as these questions are in the back of your mind, you are more likely to be mindful and careful, which are the key ingredients to staying safe online. Unfortunately, cyber security is complicated, and while some people might face cyber security issues by doing certain things, others will not face the same issues while doing the same things. Of course, there are general rules that can minimize the chances of facing problems, and if you continue reading, you will learn what kind of activity can lead to trouble.

1. STOP putting cyber security aside

Since you are reading this article, you are already on the track with this rule. Unfortunately, many of us forget about cyber security, even if unintentionally. We’re all busy, and we all want to optimize our time online, which is why we often postpone that security update, that full system scan, or that thorough cleanout. That is, of course, a big no-no. The moment security vulnerabilities are detected, cyber criminals are on it, and it is only a matter of time before they figure out how to exploit them. The solution to this problem is very simple, as all you have to do is remember to prioritize your virtual security. It all starts with a secure device! So, if you are not yet running the latest version of reliable antivirus software, your OS is outdated, or you have security updates pending, take those 10 minutes out of your day to fix the situation. Overall, if you ever wondered how to be safe online, we suggest building a secure foundation first.

2. STOP making big password mistakes

Speaking of a secure foundation, unless you are using biometric authentication, passwords are likely to be the most important element when ensuing cyber security online for you. Passwords are the gateway to your virtual existence, and they might be giving you access to banking information, contacts, documents, sensitive photos, your home address, current location, access to security cameras, and everything in between. Unfortunately, passwords are not invincible. To make matters worse, users make it easier to breach them by making huge cyber security mistakes. 123456 is still the most popular password in the world, followed by Password, 123456789, and 12345678. Needless to say, breaching such passwords is like taking candy from a baby. We suggest reading our Top 10 Tips That Will Help You Secure Passwords in 2019 article to learn how to protect yourself by creating strong passwords.

3. STOP leaving passwords out in the open

You will get a fresh reminder on how to create strong passwords by reading the mentioned article, but we need to emphasize one thing that most people forget: Strong passwords left out in the open will NEVER be strong enough. We are sure that you need no explanation as to why passwords cannot be recycled or why simple combinations cannot hold up, but do you stop and think before jotting down your strong and complex passwords on a piece of paper or – which is even worse – saving them in a document file? What about other private information? Addresses, telephone numbers, insurance numbers, and other pieces of sensitive data are very valuable, and cyber criminals could sell it or exploit it themselves for their own gain. Kick the habit of leaving this information vulnerable and install Cyclonis Password Manager. This tool was designed to encrypt and protect passwords, but integrated tools – such as Identification, Profiles, and Private Notes – can help you keep all kinds of data safe.

4. STOP skipping 2-factor or multi-factor authentication

Once you create a good password, you might think that you have erected an impenetrable wall that cyber criminals could never overcome. Unfortunately, you might be wrong. Unexpected security vulnerabilities, massive data breaches, and other security problems can leave your passwords exposed, and that is why you always want an added layer of protection, and 2-factor or multi-factor authentication provides just that. You should continue reading HERE to learn more about 2-factor authentication and HERE to learn about multi-factor authentication. Ultimately, if you add an extra password, a request to send verification codes via text, or any other kind of added authenticator, you will enhance your virtual security exponentially.

5. STOP interacting with third-party content carelessly

Emails, links, buttons, banners, messages, quizzes, sweepstakes, online forms... What do they have in common? All of these mediums introduce you to some kind of content. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict what could happen if you interacted with these emails, links, buttons, banners, messages, quizzes, sweepstakes, or online forms carelessly. In the worst case scenario, you could be introduced to malware installers, phishing scams, fake login pages, and so on. Cyber criminals know how to manipulate gullible users and how to trick them into opening up security backdoors. If you do not want to be fooled too, you have to be extra cautious. Always confirm the sender before opening files or links that they send you. Think twice before disclosing private information. Evaluate e-commerce sites before spending money on them. Finally, remember that cyber security dangers can hide behind any virtual corner.

Don’t forget to use your brain…

Discussing cyber security is not easy, and most questions cannot be addressed with straightforward answers. All in all, while there are many things we CAN do online, there are a few that we must remember NOT to do. In conclusion, if you want to be safe, you have to begin with a safe operating system, which entails implementing security software and installing all updates promptly. That is the first thing to take care of. Second, it is important to lock all your accounts and private information, which is easiest to do using strong and impenetrable passwords. Third, you must protect your passwords in a safe manner. Next, you want to add an extra layer of security by implementing two-factor or multi-factor authentication. Finally, you must not forget to use your brain while you are using your device, surfing the web, and expanding your online presence.

Our final tip is to stop thinking that you know everything. You cannot learn how to be safe online by reading one article because things change quickly, especially when we are talking about the virtual world. Cyber security rules change all the time, and if you want to stay on top of things, you must remain curious and you must get in the habit of learning.

June 7, 2019

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