“New Year, New Me” – everyone is familiar with the desire to change for the better as the New Year comes. And although about 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February, some are worth keeping. In the digital age, those are the ones related to cybersecurity and online lives.
2019 saw a massive increase in cyberattacks; in fact, 4 billion records have been breached so far. “Even the biggest corporations are vulnerable, and we never know when our data is going to end up in the wrong hands,” says Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “We have no control over when the next company or even a government institution is hacked. But even if we can’t prevent all cyber threats, there are things we can do to make our digital life safer.”
Promise to stay safe during 2020 and make some resolutions that will stick:
1. ‘I will use stronger passwords.’
According to recent findings, most people still make the same mistake and use unimaginative passwords. To make it worse, a lot of people recycle their passwords. While recycling is an excellent initiative for the environment, reusing your passwords is a terrible cyber hygiene practice. This means that if one of your accounts gets hacked, others will too. Security experts advise using password managers, such as NordPass, to create a complex password. It is also a good idea to use two-factor authentication for extra protection.
2. ‘I will stop oversharing on social media’
Of course, we all love to boast about our exotic vacations and weekend city breaks. However, whenever you announce you are leaving for a trip on social media, you practically invite a burglar to your house. A good idea is to post those pictures afterward, when you are there to protect your home.
3. ‘I will be careful with public Wi-Fi.’
We all love something free, and in this digital age, free Wi-Fi is something we assume every public place will provide. However, public Wi-Fi is a real gold mine for cybercriminals. They have their methods to intercept your internet connection and collect your sensitive information: credit card details, passwords, phone numbers, addresses, and so on. So be vigilant when using public Wi-Fi, use a firewall, and install a VPN, like NordVPN, which encrypts your online data.
4. ‘I won’t click on every link.’
Clicking on a malicious link is the easiest way to catch a virus. How do you know which link is malicious and which one is not? Hover over the link or banner and check if the destination site looks legitimate. Also, always check the sender’s details.
5.’I will stop postponing software updates.’
We’ve all done it – we’re doing something so important and don’t have time to stop for 10 mins to install that software or app update. However, these updates usually contain essential security patches that protect your system from threats. Skipping these updates means that you are leaving your device open to vulnerabilities. Also, make sure you download all updates from verified legitimate sources.
6. ‘I will shop on secure websites only.’
Before even thinking about making a transaction, you should check whether your e-shop is secure or not. All you need to do is pay attention to the beginning of your website URL and see if it starts with ‘http’ or ‘https.’ The letter ‘s’ means that the connection is made through a secure protocol, and you can trust the site with your payment. Also, be vigilant and pay attention to how much information the website requires. If it’s asking for more details than usual, it might be a fraudulent site
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