We are living in a digital world, of that there’s is no doubt and today’s criminals are very competent at hacking accounts and stealing data. As soon as you connect to the Internet, you are vulnerable and at risk from a variety of cyber-crime strategies, and with that in mind, here are a few small things that you can do to protect yourself when surfing the web.
1. Anti-Virus Program – Whether you are using a desktop PC or a mobile device, you should install a known anti-virus program such as AVG or Norton, which offer a high level of protection. Either a free download or if you run a business, a small monthly subscription will keep your business data safe. It is important to update the virus definition database regularly, otherwise the system will not recognise new malicious code.
2. Enlist the Help of a Cyber-Security Professional – If you are a business owner, a free version of anti-virus software just won’t do it; rather you need a provider that can deal with a false negative in cyber security and trace any hacking attempts. For a fixed monthly fee, a cyber-security company will manage your system 24/7 and you never have to worry that your critical data could be hacked.
3. Change Passwords Often – Some hackers set up code to decipher passwords and it might be working in the background, taking up to a week to crack the password; changing your password every 2 weeks reduces the risk of becoming the victim of a hacker. You can use a strong password suggested by your browser and save it for future use. A strong password contains more than 12 characters, with letters, number and symbols and you should always select a ‘strong’ rated password.
4. Using Shared Computers – If you share a computer and access your email or bank website, you should check the ‘do not save’ option. Indeed, many people would not access such sites using a shared computer. There are many ways that your computer could be infected, if, for example, you insert your memory stick into an infected computer, when you plus it into your device, the virus will be transferred to your drive. Click here for ways to maximize your business with cloud technology.
5. Phishing – This is one technique that hackers use to steal data; you might get an SMS reportedly from your bank asking you to click on the link and re-enter your personal data. The link takes you to what looks like your bank website, yet the platform is a clever copy; always remember that no bank of credit card company would send you an SMS or email, asking for your personal data. Banks backup their data 24/7, so they can’t lose your data! Of course, it seems like the real thing, so you need to keep up your guard when online.
Every person that uses the Internet should be taking cyber-security precautions and business owners should enlist the help of an IT support company.