Updated: Sep 6, 2021
In today's technology world, having an IT security attitude and culture is critical. Self-defense is no longer solely a technological concern for cyber security.
There are a few things you really should be doing to avoid getting hacked, and we're not talking about human firewalls.
The truth is that we get hacked for two reasons. In the simplest sense, software vulnerabilities/faults and bad IT online behavior.
While you may not do much about code flaws, you can improve your own bad habits, behavior, and practices. Security awareness and other tools can help create the protection you need.
Even world leaders like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson have had their computers or devices hacked and widely publicized. This shows that the current state of most businesses' security teams still lacks the knowledge needed to enhance their cybersecurity.
Even if the stakes aren't quite as high, the average Joe's security mindset and risks are just as significant. For example, if your accounts aren't secured, hackers can steal your credit card information. Also, hackers can expose your private messages and photos to the public without your knowledge.
Determining whether or not your accounts have been hacked can be a time-consuming and difficult procedure. If you want to reduce your chances of a hack, it is best to take action before it happens. In many cases, people understand they need training or education with the latest security research.
You will find myriads of IT security tips all over the web because all the latest news is building awareness around a security-minded culture. However, until you can recognize a security threat in your data system, we want to support you with a few tips to help you take control of your own personal security.
Spotting an Attack
Clicking too quickly can be your worst enemy. When we receive a new email or text message with anything that we can touch, click, or sign up for, our instincts typically lead us to do so immediately. We forget about all the incidents in the news or the communication our employers sent out about security protocols, and we eagerly want to get the next trending app or promotion being offered.
But don’t do it or you may end up being very disappointed! If you want to be responsible, you'll make sure it's not a threat or some type of malware testing before proceeding. We understand that different services can tempt each person, but try to put your security first and do your homework.
Hackers have taken advantage of the pandemic to unleash a barrage of phishing attempts and dubious, crooked schemes to any entity you can imagine. This includes individuals, small or big companies, and even a non-profit organization. We must raise awareness in upcoming events, talking to friends or neighbors, and creating a company culture that puts security above all else.
Anyone can perform these types of fraud, and nobody is immune to the threat. The most important thing to remember is to think and think again before clicking and following the process that was designed to steal all your personal data.
Scam messages try to get people and customers to act in ways they wouldn't typically do. These could be posing instant demands from a boss or messages requesting an immediate reaction. Many app developers are continuously checking their systems to upgrade their cyber security.
There is no foolproof way to detect every form of phishing attempt or scam as they are always improving and looking to implement the latest technologies. However, being aware of the problem can help decrease its effectiveness.
So be cautious, consider your options before clicking, and only download files from persons and sites you know and trust. This also includes employees, organizations, other businesses, and the company you work for.
Manage Your IT Digital Presence
Your past may come back to haunt you. If you do nothing, the previous online accounts you no longer use at the office or home, as well as the login credentials associated with them, can be used against you. In addition, hackers frequently leverage information from earlier data breaches to access people's current accounts and vulnerabilities.
You can reduce the risk of being hacked by limiting the quantity of available information about your online life. Examples of IT security are; regularly deleting your Google search history is a straightforward step, but you can also utilize Google alternatives that prioritize privacy and compliance laws.
There's a lot more you can do to take responsibility and minimize your digital footprint beyond that. You can start by locating and deleting any old accounts that you no longer use. This will cut down on the amount of spam you receive and how many methods hackers can use to target you.
Have I Been Pwned? It can also help you find your vital information in historic data breaches. In preparing to protect yourself in the future, consider using VPN services to help you increase your browsing privacy and communication security.
More Than Passwords - Use 2 Factor Authentication
Turning on multi-factor or two-factor authentication for as many of your online accounts as possible is arguably the most effective way to safeguard your online accounts. Along with a password, the method uses a secondary piece of information - usually a code created by an app or transmitted through SMS.
Because the codes are frequently accessed on the phone in your pocket, this additional piece of information aids in proving it is indeed you trying to log in. Even if you use a password that is easy to guess (we'll get to that later), an attacker with multi-factor authentication set on is unlikely to gain access to your account unless they have your phone.
It would be best to switch it on for any accounts that store personally identifiable information that could be misused. WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as your email accounts, are all examples of messaging apps.
However, not all types of multi-factor authentication services are created equal. For example, Code-generating apps are more secure than receiving codes via SMS, and physical security keys create a layer of security.
Don't Try to Remember All Your Passwords
Let's speak about passwords for a moment. Even if it's a once-off use account, you shouldn't be using 'password' or '12345' for any of your passwords in 2021.
It would be best if you used strong and unique passwords for all of your online accounts. This means they should be longer in length, contain various character kinds, and not be reused across multiple websites. For example, your Twitter password should not be the same as your online banking password, and neither should your home Wi-Fi network or your Amazon account.
Using a password manager is the best way to achieve this. Password managers help you establish secure passwords and store them safely. If the fact that they can prevent you from being hacked isn't enough to persuade you to use one, you'll also never have to battle to recall a lost password again.
Stay Updated As Painful As That May Be
Every piece of technology you use is vulnerable to assault. That could be from your phone's Facebook app to the operating system that runs your smart lightbulb.
Companies, thankfully, are constantly discovering and addressing new issues. As a result, you must obtain and update the most recent versions of the apps and software you use.
Begin with your smartphone. Find out what operating system you're running in your device's settings and update if you're not on the most recent version (sites like Cellular News are great places to check).
After you've updated your phone, you'll need to decide which devices you want to update next. You should complete these in the order of potential impact. Any laptops or PCs you own should be first on your list, followed by any linked devices in your life.
Remember that everything, including your internet-connected fridge, is vulnerable to security breaches. When you look around your home or office, you need to think about a security culture that offers protection.
Don't Get Hacked!
Getting hacked can have severe consequences for you or your colleagues, friends, and family. Hackers can leapfrog into your network, implement a security system that stops cyberattacks dead in their tracks.
Using IT security benefits you significantly! Contact us today with any questions and inquiries you may have. Our team can be the IT department your company needs to secure your security and block any future attacks.