With nearly everyone conducting business in the digital world, personal cybersecurity has never been more important. Whether you work remotely, store pictures in the cloud, or regularly use social media, your personal information is out there and in need of protection.
As technology advances, so do the efforts of hackers and cyberterrorists. In 2022, acts of hacking and cyberterrorism are expected to become more common. By educating yourself and planning proper methods of cyber defence, you can ensure that your devices and personal information are safe.
What is personal cybersecurity?
Personal cybersecurity describes the methods and techniques used to ensure that your privacy, data, and devices are protected from unauthorized users and cyberattacks.
By prioritizing the protection of your online privacy, data, and devices, you can be sure that your personal information isn’t vulnerable to hackers or other malicious actors that are looking to gain access to your information.
13 resolutions to help practice personal cybersecurity
Now that you have an understanding of the importance of personal cybersecurity, follow along to learn how you can take the proper steps to keep yourself and your data protected!
1. Stay up to date on cybersecurity trends
With new cybersecurity threats and malware emerging nearly every day, it is important to stay up to date with any cybersecurity trends. You can do this by researching online to see if there are any new cybersecurity threats that you should be aware of.
2. Use strong and unique passwords
Using strong and unique passwords is one of the best things you can do to protect your data from hackers. To be even more secure, reset your passwords across all of your devices and online accounts at least once every three months.
3. Avoid questionable links and websites
Many hackers utilize fake links in emails and across the web to compromise your personal cybersecurity. By interacting with these links, you may accidentally install malware or give up sensitive information. To help avoid this, save and bookmark all the sites you frequently use to access sensitive information.
4. Protect any personal identifiable information (PII)
Personal identifiable information is any type of information that hackers could use to locate or identify you. Examples of PII include:
- Social Security numbers
- Phone numbers
- IP addresses
To keep this information safe and private, double-check your online profiles to ensure that none of it is available to the public.
5. Utilize two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is a cybersecurity tool that you can use to increase the layers of protection between your accounts and cybercriminals. This additional layer of protection can include fingerprint scanning or facial recognition, making it extremely hard for hackers to bypass. Be sure to set up two-factor authentication on any account where it is available.
6. Create a guest Wi-Fi network
Guest networks are separate Wi-Fi networks that can be used for smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other related devices. Because these devices receive less frequent security updates, they are less protected from cyberattacks. By using a separate network for these vulnerable devices, you are protecting your other more personal devices from the spread of any malware.
7. Know the warning signs of malware
If you know what to look out for when encountering malware, you can avoid the dangers that come along with it. Malware warning signs include:
- Spam warnings
- Unsecure connections
- Page redirects
- Pop-up advertisements
When browsing the web, check the beginning of the URL to check its safety. A website containing “https://” is safer than one that contains “http://.”
8. Regularly backup your data
To protect yourself from losing valuable data, it is important to regularly perform data backups. By having duplicates stored in a separate place such as an external hard drive or cloud storage system, it is less likely that you will permanently lose your data. To be safe, try to backup your data at least once a week.
9. Take a close look at your credit reports and online accounts
Many hackers will often target their attacks on financial accounts and services. To ensure that this isn’t happening behind the scenes, you should regularly check your credit card and banking statements for any suspicious transactions. If you notice something suspicious, it could be possible that a hacker has gained access to your account.
10. Secure your mobile devices
With mobile devices being such a large part of everyday life, it is important that you also keep them safe. You can do this by:
- Setting up a lock screen
- Creating complex PINs and/or passcodes
- Avoiding third-party applications
- Performing regular data backups
- Never emailing or texting any PII
To ensure maximum safety, go through and delete any old or unused apps that are installed on your device.
11. Set up automatic software updates
Another easy way to stay on top of security threats is to enable automatic software updates on all of your devices. Many hackers will target systems and devices that are not frequently updated and prone to security flaws. By enabling automatic updates, you can relax knowing that your device always has the latest updates and security features.
12. Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Many public Wi-Fi networks lack encryption, allowing your information to be vulnerable to hackers. If you do need to use public Wi-Fi, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your online activity. Using a VPN will give you a layer of anonymity as you surf the web.
13. Install antivirus software and firewall protection
Antivirus software and firewalls are some of the most commonly used tools in personal cybersecurity. Using these tools will ensure that your devices and network activity are being monitored for any cyber threats or malicious attacks. This will give you an added layer of security when browsing the web.
Want to learn more about how you can increase your personal cybersecurity? Check out this helpful infographic for more tips on how you can keep your privacy, data, and devices safe.
A Monthly Cybersecurity Guide to Keep You Safe
Check out: These Cybersecurity Threats Are Costing Businesses Money, Yours Might Not Be Safe
Author: Kano Anafora
Newslibre is a media company that provides informative news, technology, entertainment, web, startups, gadgets, and open source projects across the world and Uganda.