Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication adds another layer of security to the standard password use for online protection. With multi-factor authentication, you would be asked to enter additional authentication methods to sign in. Mobile devices are excellent tools to allow these extra steps of security for sign-ins.
Staying on top of all patches and updates daily keeps devices secure and relevant. Out of date applications and operating systems leave open vulnerabilities for hackers to access your devices. Check for anti-virus, firewall, browser and system updates frequently to ensure your most used applications to keep you safe and secure.
Use strong passwords and password management tools for maximum security. Change your passwords often and use non-similar passwords for multiple sign-ins. At least 12 characters for a password is a great rule of thumb, however the more characters included the lower the probability of a password is to be leaked. A password should contain at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one number with symbols for variety.
Back-Up Your Data
Backing up your data is an extremely important step in personal online security. If you become a victim of ransomware, the only way to restore your data is to erase your systems and restore them with your backups. Use local and external hard drives or secure cloud services as extra tools to store your personal data.
Think Before Clicking
Hackers use many different methods to trick users into giving up their passwords or personal information. Phishing is one of the most common strategies hackers use to access entire databases within corporations. Be aware of what suspicious links, emails, and content look like. Only download files and click links from trustworthy sources.
Secure Your Connection to the Internet
Change your default personal Wi-Fi names and passwords. Public Wi-Fi is not secure and leaves your device vulnerable to attacks. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) can act as a secure bridge between your devices and a network adding an additional layer of security.
Be Proactive and Prepared
Cyber attacks happen frequently and are constantly evolving on a day-to-day basis. When these attacks happen, be ready to defend your devices and personal information. Be aware of new methods hackers use to access your devices by researching and reading online posts. Education and awareness are critically important in the fight against cybercriminal activity and preventing security breaches.