It is necessary to ensure your computer and smartphone security. Exposing the device to malware, viruses, and other cybersecurity threats means exposing your personal information, dealing with poor computer performance, and potentially losing important data.
Thankfully, there are multiple ways to create a solid cybersecurity strategy and reduce the risks. Look at the steps below and get started.
Step #1 – Use Virtual Private Networks
First of all, do not use free virtual private networks. These services are not secure, and sticking to them would defeat the purpose of trying to improve your internet safety.
Instead, look for reliable services depending on the device that you have. For example, if you primarily use Macbooks, then check the top rated vpn for mac list for some suggestions. Windows users should also find a good service. Also, keep in mind that VPNs for smartphones are also worth it.
Virtual private networks are especially handy when you need to access public Wi-Fi. Your home network should be secure for the most part, but even then, having that extra layer of security is still a good investment.
VPNs provide the missing security protocols that the internet at public places has. Cafes, hotels, and libraries offer free Wi-Fi, but these networks are not safe. If you connect directly from your device, hackers may attack you.
Meanwhile, using a virtual private network will encrypt your data and change your IP address and location, which will make it possible to avoid potential attacks.
Step #2 – Invest in Reliable Antivirus Software
Reliable antivirus software should be one of the cornerstones of your cybersecurity strategy. If you are not tech-savvy and lack the necessary knowledge to pick a good antivirus, ask people who can help you. And if you do not know anyone like that in person, spend some time researching online.
Antivirus software should be active all the time and protect the system from viruses and malware.
Step #3 – Use Different Passwords
Do not get in the habit of using the same password for every online profile. If a random forum or website leaks login details, people may access your other online accounts, like emails and social media.
It may be difficult to memorize multiple passwords and change them regularly, but it should still be the go-to approach for creating and using online passwords. Besides, you can use a password manager and store the information which becomes accessible with a single master password.
Step #4 – Avoid Questionable Websites
You might encounter an online store that has an ongoing sale and attractive prices. However, those discounts could be a front to persuade you into providing the website your credit card details.
Do your best to avoid shady websites. If you are shopping online, do so on reliable websites that were recommended to you by friends or family.
Step #5 – Install Ad Blocker
Ad blocker browser extensions are another good way to avoid ending up on shady websites. Some internet pages have an aggressive ad policy. Despite knowing how ads can redirect one to a landing page that is crawling with malware, it is still possible to click on such an ad accidentally.
Meanwhile, an ad blocker does its work and blocks ads from appearing in the feed. Besides reducing the risks, internet users have a better overall experience surfing the net if they use ad blockers.
Step #6 – Install Software Updates
Be it a smartphone or a computer; you should prioritize software updates. Besides the latest features, your devices will also benefit from performance improvements and, more importantly, security patches.
If you are reluctant to install an update because it takes too long too, do so while you are not using the device. For instance, you can let smartphones and tablets update software overnight while you are sleeping.
Step #7 – Back up Your Data
Data backups may not be a direct way to fight cybersecurity threats. However, you should still do your best to create file backups in case something happens, and they disappear.
To back up data, use cloud services like iCloud and Google Drive or external hard drives and memory sticks.
Step #8 – Dispose of Old Hardware Correctly
When disposing of old hardware like drives, make sure that you do so correctly. You do not want to have the hardware end up in the wrong hands. Wiping hardware data completely is a good piece of advice. Even if someone was to try to restore the files, they would not be able to do so.
Step #9 – Read the Latest Cybersecurity News
Keeping up with the latest cybersecurity news would give you an advantage. Knowing what to expect and prepare would mean that your devices are not as prone to potential threats.
You do now have to follow every cybersecurity blogger, but be sure to read the news on some of the biggest publications online.