The world is a connected place these days. With those connections comes the convenience of instant communication, online shopping, access to an enormous quantity of entertainment, and more. But with those connections and the increased sharing of everything in our modern world come threats from various bad actors and scammers who want to steal or otherwise compromise your information/data. In 2020 alone, identity theft cases were up 45% from the previous year, and the FBI’s Internet Crime Center reported a surge of internet-related crime during the same time frame. With such extant threats to our safety online, it’s probably a good time to start taking steps to protect yourself online—that is, if you aren’t already doing so. Here are five tips to improve your online safety and security today.
Safeguard Your Mobile Devices
Smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous anymore. It’s not uncommon to see several people each day playing on their phones, working on their tablets, or otherwise taking advantage of the utility of such devices. After all, where else can you get directions, make a phone call, order a pizza, do some paperwork, and watch funny videos all in the same place? Smartphones are a real technological marvel, culled straight from science fiction. So, why don’t we take it as seriously as our laptops, desktops, and home networks? Mobile devices are certainly vulnerable to issues like phishing, spyware, network spoofing, and data leakage. Thankfully, a security suite can help protect mobile devices while maintaining their full functionality. The software helps keep all of your data and files updated to prevent potential vulnerabilities and block malicious data/websites.
Check Your Privacy Settings (And Keep Things Updated!)
While it may be an obvious place to begin, checking your privacy settings and keeping your system up-to-date is crucial to staying safe online. Updating your operating system is one of the keys to protecting it against viruses, malware, and other forms of compromise. Security software can help you encrypt your Wi-Fi communication and block malicious web traffic, but if you’re running old software that can be breached, that won’t do any good. Operating system updates are also vital, as they fix potential issues and provide security updates for the OS. It’s also a good idea to back up everything in addition to using software solutions.
Invest in a Software Solution
One of the best methods of guarding yourself and your family against potential threats is to invest in a full-scale software solution that can stop issues in their tracks. A powerful security suite can eliminate problems and keep you running safe 99.9% of the time. With a premium software security suite, you get all of the benefits of traditional maximum-security with additional 24/7 helpdesk support. Security software also protects your Wi-Fi with a secure VPN. ID protection can inform you if your identity details have appeared anywhere on the dark web or have been otherwise compromised online. In addition to that, malware and malicious websites are effectively blocked as the software does its job. When you’re shopping or banking online, the software keeps your data and personal details secure, making it an invaluable tool for conducting your online daily life.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
We’ve all probably experienced the frustration of forgetting our password, resetting it, and then be required to use a verification code to get back into one of our accounts. Your Enterprise Management System at the office may require such authentication to log into the system, or maybe you set it up for some of your personal accounts, like Amazon or Twitter. Whatever the case, it’s a vital security precaution for all your devices and accounts. While it may seem like a hassle at first glance, two-factor authentication (2FA) is much more complicated than that. 2FA is actually an extremely effective security method that blocks 99.9% of automated attacks. It’s deceptively simple, typically using your password and a unique code sent through an authenticator app, text message, email, and so on. Smartphones are an essential component of modern 2FA. 2FA is integrated with some security suites and adds additional layers to the already robust protection such suites may offer.
Create Stronger Passwords
For something we use nearly every day, passwords can be a troublesome thing. A bad or weak password can pose a significant security threat and a mouth-watering target for a potential hacker at the same time. Weak passwords make it easy for a hacker to infiltrate a system. Take the example of the SolarWinds hack; a poor password was likely at fault enabling such a severe attack in the first place. Nobody likes using or trying to remember a complicated password. Luckily, password managers can step in and do some of the heavier liftings in that area. These remarkable programs can store all your passwords for you safely and securely. That includes all of your incredibly long passwords with symbols, lower case letters, and uppercase letters or past phrases. Many security suites have built-in, so you won’t have to worry about remembering complex passwords and should protect your systems and data more effectively.
Online security can be a tough bet under most circumstances, but using the tools at your disposal combined with a premium protective suite can increase your safety and make working (or playing) online a pleasant experience for everyone.