Cyber security is always in and out of the news, with attacks affecting everyone from the world’s largest brands to everyday households and small businesses. In an age where we rely on electronics and digital communication to get by, cyber security is something that everyone should take more seriously – and in light of this, here are some basic cyber security tips that everyone should implement right now:
Stop using obvious passwords
Password management firm SplashData regularly puts together a list of the most popular passwords – many of which are deemed incredibly dangerous to use, because of how easy they are to guess. Passwords like ‘qwerty’, ‘123456’ and even ‘password’ are still in use by millions – a fact that has cyber criminals rubbing their hands together with glee. To protect your online accounts, your password must be more complex. Use a mixture of capitals and lower-case letters, as well as a combination of letters and numbers. Some accounts will also insist that you use a special character, for added security.
Use two-step authentication where you can
Two-step authentication is already in use by some of the world’s biggest digital brands – Microsoft, Google and PayPal, for example. As well as typing in your password, two-step authentication requires that you verify your identity in another way, usually by sending a text message to a number you have already confirmed is yours. Even if someone manages to guess your password, they’ll also need to have access to your personal mobile device to gain access to your account.
Make use of firewalls
Install a firewall onto your computer to protect yourself from malicious attacks. Most operating systems nowadays come with a firewall built-in to help you bolster your security, but you can also branch out and purchase a solution of your own, which might have better features and heightened protection for your device.
Get an antivirus solution
As above, most operating systems nowadays come with an antivirus program already installed, usually on some kind of free trial. If your free trial has run out, or if you have no antivirus programs whatsoever, make an effort to get one – McAfee, Norton and Kapersky all have great options available.
Change your default passwords
When you install a new WiFi network, always change the default password. A huge number of people neglect this important security step, and it can leave their entire network open to hacks or breaches. Be sure to follow the password-related advice listed here when creating your new one!