Cybercrime is a real concern with potentially devastating consequences. When a criminal gains access to your personal data there is the risk of identity theft, privacy breaches, and loss of finances. It can take time to resolve these issues so it is worth doing everything you can to prevent cybercrime from occurring.
If your online privacy and security are important to you, there are a few key steps that can help to keep you safe online:
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Use Smarter Passwords
Strong passwords will consist of a variety of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols. Never use anything easily recognizable, and avoid storing your passwords in a location on or near your device.
Change your passwords regularly, and try to make an effort to use a different password for each website. This is for good reason because there have been incidences when some of the largest online organizations have been hacked, and usernames and passwords leaked online. Having your login shared with potential criminals won't be as bad if it has since changed, or if it can't be used to login to other websites.
Keep Your WiFi Secure
Your WiFi keeps your home and devices connected, but there is potential for a breach. Check your router security settings to determine whether strong encryption is enabled. Look for a minimum of WPA2 as this will ensure any data sent via the router is scrambled and harder to infiltrate.
Change your network name and make sure it is secured with a password. An open network will leave you unprotected, and at the very least you could be unwittingly sharing your internet data with the neighborhood. You wouldn't leave your front door wide open with a welcome sign, and this is the physical equivalent of an unsecured network.
Have the Latest Version…of Everything
Updates, patches, and drivers should all be implemented as required. Often these types of upgrades are related to security and fixing any holes in the system. Anyone using your WiFi should be mindful of this and check their apps and operating systems regularly.
Upgrade any firmware to the latest version, and this should include your router. In addition to software and firmware, it may also be time to replace out of date hardware.
Say YES to Firewalls and Antivirus Protection
A firewall will watch anything that is going in, or out, of your network. There is some flexibility as you can set your own security rules to let your firewall know when to take action. For example, you may choose to completely block any suspicious traffic from entering. This will give you an added layer of protection, and because it can be customized to meet your own individual needs, it can give you an effective, yet unobtrusive barrier.
Antivirus protection is also recommended for those looking to reduce the risk of cybercrime. Trojans, viruses, malware, and worms can be hard to remove, so prevention is always the best strategy. Ransomware is becoming more common, as criminals can take over your device before asking for money. A good Antivirus program should be able to stop most of these intrusions before they have a chance to launch.
The Last Word
Being complacent about online security could leave you as a victim of a cybercrime. The best protection is prevention and there are a number of ways to do this. Use stronger passwords and change them regularly, and ensure any software, firmware, and hardware is up to date.
Secure your WiFi with encryption and a closed network, and install Antivirus software. With these simple strategies, your online protection will be enhanced and you may just avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.