In our highly digital age, it’s more important than ever to keep yourself safe online. At this point, most of us know to be very careful when sharing any personal information online. However, there are many other small ways that we expose ourselves to security threats online without even realizing it. Staying informed about cybersecurity can help you stay safe in an increasingly dangerous digital world.
Not updating your software
Software companies regularly update their products to make sure they are as secure as possible. Hackers are always looking for new ways to get access to your personal information, and developers use these updates to stay ahead of them. Because of this, if you don’t update your software regularly, you could be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. Take some time at least once a month to go through all of your applications, both on your phone and computer, and make sure that all programs are completely up to date. You should also make sure that you’re installing patches as needed. Patches are designed to prevent urgent security issues between program updates.
Using the same password for every account
Many people use the same password for every online account they have. While one password is easier to remember, it can also leave your accounts much more vulnerable to compromise. If every password is the same, hackers will have access to all of your accounts if they figure out one password. Instead, you can use a password management tool to create and store different passwords for every online account. This means you won’t have to remember all your passwords and they will be stored securely. Every password should have both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to make it harder to crack.
Using public WiFi without precautions
Public WiFi networks are convenient, but they can also make you more vulnerable. You never know who else is using the network and who could access your data online. To use public WiFi safely, it’s worth investing in a VPN. VPN services are very affordable, and they protect your online activity by hiding your IP address and securing other vulnerable pieces of data. You should also avoid using public computers whenever possible, particularly if you need to access any personal accounts online.
Using your phone instead of an authenticator tool
Two-factor authentication is a tool that is designed to protect your accounts from hackers. However, it doesn’t always work the way it’s intended. Normally, two factor authentication systems will text a code to your cell phone that you’ll then need to enter into your computer to access your account. However, if the hacker has access to your phone, you may not get the text, leaving you completely locked out of your accounts. Instead, you can use a separate online authenticator tool to access your codes, reducing your chances of being accidentally locked out.
All of us face unseen threats online, but we can keep ourselves safe by being vigilant with our habits online.