How To Be Secure Online In 2019

The issues related to cybersecurity are on a steady rise. If figures are to be believed, the frequency of cybersecurity breaches is not only going up but increasing in severity as well. As many as 412 million users’ accounts were stolen from Friendfinder’s sites in 2017.

Not only this, the Equifax breach impacted around 147 million consumers in the same year.

Even mobile apps are not secure, and this is why more than 24,000 malicious mobile apps are being blocked every day to keep the users secure. Not only this, but even secure-looking apps are getting compromised. One such app, My Fitness Pal was hacked in 2018 which affected the data of 150 million users.

What caught our attention was the fact that there have been 8,854 recorded breaches between 2005 and 2018.

This is why it is pretty important to keep yourself safe and secure online.

The Most Common Online Threats You Might Fall Prey To

● Malware

Malware, also known as malicious software, is kind of adware or spyware which is functioned to contaminate your PC, steal your information, and even access your system.

● Phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime in which the hacker uses false information to pose himself as the legitimate identity in an attempt to steal your credentials and personal details.

Phishing is often conducted over email, telephone or text message. The phishers often trick you by luring with a lottery, surprise trip, and other such baits.

● Trojan

This software poses itself to be a legitimate one, and in turn, provides unauthorized access to hackers and thieves.

Once Trojans are activated, they can help the cyber criminals to spy on you while also allowing them to steal and alter your sensitive data.

● Keyloggers

As the name indicates, a keylogger is a type of computer program that records every keystroke you make. This way, the software is able to monitor your activities while also stealing your sensitive information including the passwords and others.

● Worms

Worms are programs that duplicate themselves in your system and infect your files. It is a standalone computer program that is capable of replicating itself without any human interaction.

As is evident, you are prone to a range of threats online, which pretty much explains as to why you must stay vigilant and alert.

Illustration of how VPN connects to multiple devices

Tips on Protecting Yourself Online

● VPN to the rescue

As far as staying secure online is concerned, there is no better way of ensuring that than using a VPN service. VPN software establishes a virtual private network such that all your online activities are encrypted and sent through a secure tunnel.

This way, even your ISP would not be able to record your browsing history and other activities. While there is a range of VPN services available today, NordVPN is considered to be the best VPN in the market. The VPN has a no-log policy and provides you with the utmost protection.

● Keep backing up your data

It is highly recommended to back up your data from time and time. While this will not protect you from any threat or attack, it will surely help you gain access to your important files and documents if your system gets infected with any malware.

● Surf and shop smartly

Make it a point to check the site’s address before entering your crucial details online. Essentially, a safe website’s address starts with ‘HTTPS instead of just ‘HTTP and has a padlock icon next to it. This ensures that the website is safe and uses the latest encryption to encode your data before it is sent to the server.

● Watch out your clicks

A simple click can invite danger. You might end up installing malware on your system or could fall prey to phishing. Thus, it is highly recommended to avoid clicking on unknown links in spam emails, click bait, online quizzes and so on.

No one is going to offer you $100,000,000 for free, do not fall for such emails!

● Use strong passwords

We know you must have heard of using strong passwords before, but we are here to reiterate it. Using a strong and complex which is hard to decode is undoubtedly the best way to stay safe and secure online. On sites that involve sharing of crucial data, like banking websites, it is highly recommended to make use of a virtual keyboard.

Additionally, you can also choose to use a password manager to store and create passwords of your accounts. Multi-factor authentication wherein you’re sent an OTP to verify the identity is also one of the best practices you could stick to.

Your Turn

Staying safe online is no more an option, but it is a necessity today, all thanks to a range of cybercrimes and threats. Do not take chances and adopt the best practices to stay safe.

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