As countless agencies like Europol have reported, cybercrime is on the rise around the world. Cyberattacks on individuals and businesses have increased in scope and number, with hacking becoming more sophisticated and effective. Victims of these attacks are suffering increasingly greater financial losses, with their personal lives and their businesses disrupted as well.
So, how can you protect yourself from such an attack? Let’s examine 5 ways you can protect your information from hackers.
- Strengthen Your Passwords
Weak passwords are one of the top causes of cyber break-ins, as they provide one of the easiest ways into a system. Whether you are a business owner who is protecting company data with passwords or a private user of various financial and commercial online services, you need to ensure your password is strong.
This means creating passwords that have nothing to do with your personal or commercial life, and are hard to guess. For instance, consider using a password that uses an assortment of upper and lowercase letters along with numbers and punctuation, if allowed. Additionally, it’s not advisable to keep one password for everything either.
- Secure Networks and Systems
Make sure that your Wi-Fi networks are password-protected with WPA or WEP encryption. You’ll also need to secure your computer and other equipment with the same encryption your router is using. Disable identifier broadcasting, and change the pre-set password to one of your liking. You should regularly be downloading security updates for your system software, as hackers like to take advantage of uncaught security exploits.
Most operating systems, Internet browsers, and network routers have some sort of built-in firewall support. Just make sure that you have a working firewall that is turned on. Sometimes firewalls get disabled for various reasons, as they can interfere with certain network processes that you may regularly use.
- Antivirus Software and Antispyware
Make sure to invest in good antivirus and antispyware software. It is too easy to pick up viruses and spyware through Internet browsing and email. Virus and spyware protection software is well worth the sticker price.
- Invest in Protection
If you are running a business, you should invest in IT staff that can help you place your network infrastructure on a secure footing. As attacks advance in their sophistication, so do cyber security measures.
Today, these security protocols should follow the OCIE (Office of Compliance Inspection and Examinations) guidelines to be fully comprehensive against the latest attacks, according to cyber security experts from NIC, a firm that specializes in outsourced IT services in Los Angeles.
This advice is not a guarantee since clever hackers can access many unencrypted and poorly secured devices and networks. However, with these basic tips, you’re far less likely to be affected by a vast majority of cyber-attacks.
Author Bio: Stephanie Rowan is a freelance writer specializing in information technology and cyber security. When she’s not writing and geeking out, Stephanie is out running with her dog, Benny.