June 1 - (7 Min Read)
We spend most of our time online, we’re glued to our devices and addicted to our social media accounts. This means that we’re bound to be exposed and vulnerable to a number of cyber threats and all the dangers that the Internet holds within its grasp. Over these past couple of months, we’ve experienced some of the largest data breaches ever, such as the Yahoo breach, the Google Docs scam and the most recent one being the WannaCry ransomware, throwing everyone into a state of frenzy. So what can you do in light of recent cyber events, in order to safeguard your security and privacy online? It might seem simple, just upgrade your Antimalware software and create stronger passwords, but it’s never that easy! Sorry to burst your bubble :/
Don’t you worry, the Ellp Team has got your back. We scoured the web ourselves to bring forth the best possible tips around, so as to help you take those necessary precautions so as you don’t fall prey to such events.
- Never leave your device unattended
Let’s start with the simple and most obvious tip… Whether going out for lunch or simply stepping away from your desk for just a couple of minutes, always remember to lock your device, so no one else can use it. You never know when you might fall prey to an office joke and have your account fraped or have your device stolen by a stranger, so save yourself from being publicly ridiculed and the hassle of having confidential information out there for everyone to access.
You might think it unnecessary but physical security is as important as technical security. You can get Ellp to help you out! Let’s say you always go out for lunch at the same time, why not set up the ‘When it’s time, turn off my PC’ card, and choose a specific time and action (Sleep, Restart, Hibernate or Shutdown), so you can rest assured that your device is not accessible whilst you’re away!
- Strong Passwords
One can never preach enough regarding this. Yes, you’re supposed to have more than one password for your devices and multiple accounts. If you get paranoid at the thought of having your device or online accounts hacked, then rock solid passwords should be at the top of your list. You can also take a look at our previous blog post on ‘How to Rock Passwords’ for guidelines on how to create strong passwords.
- Two-factor authentication
Yes, creating strong passwords is the first line of defense to keeping hackers at bay from your online data, but for even better security you might want to consider turning on two-factor authentication for your online accounts such as Facebook, Google and any other online services that offer it. You can consider this as an extra layer of security, as it requires not only the login credentials but also other information that only you would have access to or know. It might be a bit of a pain trying to remember all these digits, especially with having to memorize multiple passwords for different accounts, but let me say this – better safe than sorry! I’d rather go the extra mile now, then have to deal with the ordeal of having my private information and files exposed for everyone to see.
- Secure the line and avoid phishing scams
You got me! I’m guilty of doing this on a daily basis, but I’m pretty sure, scratch that I’m 100% sure, that I’m not the only one who does this. What is she referring to you might ask? Well, I’m referring to the usage of public unsecured wifi, when accessing an email, bank or any other sensitive account. Connecting to a sensitive account via a public WiFi makes it easier for hackers to access your accounts.
However, Ellp can help you out with that as well. By simply activating the ‘When my email is involved in a data breach, alert me’ card, Ellp will immediately notify you, if any of your accounts registered with a particular email address are involved in a data breach, so that you can change your password and safeguard your accounts from any further breaches.
Also, beware what you click! Avoid visiting unknown websites, and be careful of what you download online, that is make sure you always make use of trustworthy sites. Also, keep in mind that scammers are constantly sending unsolicited emails and might send you attachments or links, asking you to provide them with sensitive information, which once clicked would infect your PC with malware.
If you’re worried about having your private data constantly at risk, you can get Ellp to perform a privacy cleanup, and take care of detecting and deleting any traceable browser files and thumbnails, so both your online and offline worlds are secure.
- Patch, Patch, Patch!
Whatever you do, do not and I repeat DO NOT put off those software updates. Your PC’s operating system relies heavily on such updates and aside from improving the functionality of your system, they also help patch up any security issues. Remember an unpatched device is more vulnerable to hackers. If you keep pushing them off why not set up your device to automatically update your operating system.
- Update your antivirus software
First and foremost, if you haven’t got any protective software installed on your device, please install one for your sake. If you already make use of some sort of antivirus software, make sure you keep it updated, as it can spare you the ordeal of having to deal with viruses and malware.
- Be careful of what data you share online
We’re currently living in a social media driven world, and therefore our lives are practically exposed on our social media profiles. Bad move! As this means exposing private information not only to your family and friends but also to complete strangers. So remember, exclude any important personal information from all your social media profiles. For pointers on how to ensure security and privacy on social media, why not take a look at our previous published blog post, ‘The Dark Side of Social Media’.
- YOU are a target
Don’t ever exclude the possibility of you being a target! The ‘It won’t happen to me’ attitude is wrong, as we are all vulnerable and all at risk of being hacked. So keep in mind the pointers above and do whatever it takes to secure your security and privacy online, as you never know, you might be NEXT.
These steps are not foolproof, but they will go a long way towards protecting your security and privacy online! So get crackin’ and if you’re missing some of the above, try to implement them so as to protect the valuable information on your device and online accounts. And – what is really important – don’t let the digital panic get to you!
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