Today, we’re deeply intertwined with many digital aspects such as accounts, devices, and financial transactions, just to name a few. From social interactions to financial transactions, we rely on digital platforms for almost everything. However, this convenience also comes with risks, among them cyber security. This guide details ways to protect your digital life from cyber security threats.
What Is Cyber Security?
Cyber security involves the practice, techniques, and technologies that protect your sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. The technologies and techniques defend computers, mobile devices, electronic systems, servers, data, and networks from malicious attacks. Examples or types of cyber threats include:
- Password hacks or attacks
- Malware and social engineering
- Computer or system hacking
- DDoS attacks
- DNS tunneling
- DNS spoofing
- URL manipulation
These threats can lead to data breaches, identity theft, and financial losses. For example, a worldwide data breach cost $4.35+ million in 2022, which came from compromised or stolen credentials, among other cyber threats.
6 Ways to Protect Your Digital Life From Cyber Threats
Here are the ways you can guard your digital life and protect it from cyber threats:
1. Secure Your Devices and Limit Access
Keep your device secure by using strong passwords to restrict entry into sensitive data only to authorized individuals, enabling firewalls and antivirus software, and using password managers. These tools and techniques act as guards, preventing malicious people and software from sneaking into your devices and causing harm.
2. Strengthen Your Passwords
A strong password is your first defense on your device and online account. Avoid using obvious choices like your name, date of birth, child’s name, “23456, “password,” or password123. Make the password strong by combining uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. For example, a password like ME@10yme!x combines all the necessary elements that make a password strong.
Use different passwords for different accounts and not just repeat passwords for all your accounts and devices. This can protect your accounts and devices if one password gets leaked.
3. Being Cautious Online and Practice Social Engineering Awareness
Be very cautious about sharing personal information online. Check credibility before sharing any details. Cyber attackers are master manipulators. They might impersonate someone you trust to gain access to your information.
Be wary of unsolicited requests for sensitive data, along with phishing attempts such as unexpected emails, especially those asking for personal information or prompts to click on a link. Before you click any link or provide any information, verify the email or identity and ensure it’s safe.
4. Keeping Software Updated
Hackers usually exploit outdated software and systems to gain entry to your data and sensitive information. It is crucial to regularly check for and install software and system updates. Software updates are not just about new features; they also contain patches to fix security vulnerabilities.
Regularly update your operating system and apps to stay protected. If you have cloud-based environments, infrastructure, and applications, use Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform cnapp to protect them from cyberattacks.
5. Consider Wi-Fi and Network Security
Secure your Wi-Fi with a strong password and encryption to prevent any entry point for cybercriminals. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive tasks, as they are more susceptible to attacks. If you must use public Wi-Fi, use a VPN that encrypts your data to keep it private.
6. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication (2FA/MFA) gives you an extra layer of security for your accounts or devices. It requires you to provide two forms of identification; a password and a fingerprint (or other bio-authentication) or a unique verification code sent to your registered phone or email. Since you are the only one who can access the second authentication, it is harder for attackers to breach your accounts without authorized access.
You are responsible for protecting your digital life from threats and cyber-attacks. Never take this responsibility lightly because it can lead to losing sensitive information, data breaches, identity, and even financial losses. Implementing these six tips can enhance your online digital security and reduce cyber risk.