Whether you are an individual or a company, if you deal with computers, then your online security should be your top priority. Gone are the days when an anti-virus program used to be enough for keeping cyber threats at bay. Today’s advanced technology demands advanced security solutions and it goes without saying that the current sophistication level of cyber-attacks needs sophisticated levels of security protocols. This article will provide you with six rules that you must follow and imbibe in your daily life, following which you will, unfortunately, put your data at risk.
Keep confidential things off the cloud
Keep sensitive files off the cloud and if you don’t need them at all, then remove them from your computer as well. You never know when someone gathers enough motivation to hack you. Cloud threats are highly prevalent and hackers find their way into most machines through cloud technology. Thus, it is recommended that you keep your confidential data off the cloud.
Scan email attachments before you open them
Did you know that email is the medium for delivering more than 90% of computer malware? We receive so many emails per day that it becomes impossible to filter the malicious ones from the genuine ones. As a safety precaution, make sure that you scan every email attachment before opening it. In case they contain malware, they will infect you immediately after opening. Hence, either refrain from clicking on them or scan them with an anti-virus before you do.
Only trust HTTPS sites
The difference between an HTTP site and an HTTPS site may look like a small one but it is large enough to make all the difference between security and threat. The S in the HTTPS stands for an extra layer of security called the Transport Layer Security. Websites that have HTTPS in their URL use TLS to keep their conversations with you secure and encrypted. If you ever encounter an HTTP site, never enter your confidential or financial information on it.
Assess the security posture of your third-party service providers
When businesses think of online security, they do everything they can in their organization, but they seldom think of third party service providers. Your third-party service providers need to be secure too, to keep your data secure. If your data or a part of your data is being handled by a consultancy agency, then any security vulnerability in that organization will put your data in danger as well. It’s best if you hire someone with ethical hacking training to conduct a proper vulnerability assessment from all these possible angles.
Adopt encryption for confidential information exchange
Encryption is the best way to make sure that your conversations stay secure and private. Especially in the new ‘work from home’ culture of 2020 where all conversations, confidential or not, are happening digitally, it becomes important to encrypt them to safeguard them from being spied on by hackers. Encrypting your emails and your data is one of the most important tools to battle cybercrime.
Use a password manager to remember complicated passwords
Hackers breach into systems by guessing or cracking your password. Finding a username is not that difficult, hence, your password is the only thing that stands between your account and a hacker. Surely, you would not want to keep a flimsy lock on your prized possessions. Make sure that you use complicated passwords of at least 8 characters and use a password manager (a trusted one like LastPass) to remember them.
Rest assured, if you follow these 6 rules, you will be able to successfully thwart a significant amount of cyber threats. However, note that these are not all the rules that you need to stick to in order to secure your digital systems (as there is nothing like hiring a CEH professional to ethically hack your system and identify all the potential vulnerabilities), but these will definitely help make a significant difference in the same.