As the average person’s online presence grows, so too does the threat of a cyberattack. Cybercrime isn’t just targeted at large businesses either. Every day, the general population is also at risk of having their sensitive data, such as account passwords and bank information, stolen.
To help combat this threat, we’ve put together a cybersecurity checklist that will ensure that you are keeping yourself and your private data protected.
Keep Operating Systems and Software Updated
Whether you’re using a laptop, smartphone or any other internet-connected device, you’re sure to see periodic updates come across your device. This is true for both operating systems (OS) and software applications. In either case, it’s important that you do not ignore these updates.
Frequently, when an OS or software update is made available, it is due in large part to the developers patching security issues that had been identified. Installing these updates will help mitigate the risk of your system being compromised.
Always Use a VPN on Public Wi-Fi
Many businesses provide public Wi-Fi so you can connect your devices to the internet. However, these public Wi-Fi networks are not secure, and they are a hotbed of hacker activity. So, if you use public Wi-Fi, it’s important to use a high-quality VPN to encrypt your online activity and protect your private data.
Consider Norton 360 with LifeLock, which provides a highly secure VPN among a wide range of other cybersecurity protection services. These additional services include a useful password manager, which brings us to the next item on our checklist.
Don’t Reuse Passwords
Passwords can be difficult to remember when you’ve got a dozen different password-protected online accounts. Still, it’s important to keep each password unique and to not reuse them across different accounts. If your password for one account becomes compromised, each of your other accounts using the same password is put at risk. By using a password manager, you only need to remember one password to access your others.
Never Click E-Mail Links
One of the most common forms of cyberattack is the phishing e-mail scam. These e-mails will appear to be from a trusted entity, such as your bank, and will typically notify you that there is a problem with your account. They’ll then provide a link to click on to update your account information, which will bring you to a very convincing replica of your bank’s (or other business’) authentic website. However, this scam website is simply looking to collect your information to hijack your account.
When you receive an e-mail with a link in it, do not click the link. Instead, navigate to the business’ actual website through your web browser and log in from there. This way you can be sure you are on a legitimate business website, and if there is truly an issue with your account, you will surely be notified when you log in.
Key Takeaway: Always Be on Alert
Cybercrime is booming and it only gets more prevalent each year as more people are performing financial transactions online. You should always protect yourself by using the above checklist, doing so will ensure that you mitigate the risk of your private and sensitive data being stolen.