Whether you’re looking to protect your personal or business data, it’s crucial to have an understanding of the latest threats and how to defend yourself against them. Disaster recovery solutions allow you to bounce back swiftly from attacks, with minimal damage incurred. However, it’s best if you can avoid becoming a victim in the first place. To that end, we’ve developed the following five tips for protecting yourself and your data.
1. Don’t be lazy with passwords
If you’re still using variations of “password” as your password, it’s important to know that hackers can break these in seconds. Things like p@ssword and passw0rd!1 just don’t cut it in the modern era as automated password-cracking tools can bust through such variations with shocking speed.
There are plenty of secure password storage systems like LastPass and Bitwarden available, so do some research, and make use of one. Password managers will help you generate secure, complex passwords which you can store across all your devices. Your data is encrypted, so even the password manager can’t see it.
2. Activate MFA where possible
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra step to the login process, so many people skip the setup. While it’s true that this extra step makes logging in a little more complicated for you, it can make it impossible for hackers, which is definitely worth the extra effort.
Whether it’s security questions, approval on one of your other devices, or a security code generated by an app, MFA gives you precious time to change your passwords if a breach occurs.
3. Use antivirus software
Even if you’re operating on macOS and iOS, it pays to have antivirus and antispyware installed on your devices. Apple devices do still come with less risk than those using the Windows operating system. However, you shouldn’t let this lull you into a false sense of security. The risk is still there, so it’s best to protect yourself against it.
The only exception to the antivirus rule is for those using Linux. You will find some antivirus options out there, but there aren’t many as Linux is still pretty immune to viruses due to the low number of users worldwide. The cost-to-benefit ratio of developing malware for Linux just doesn’t work out, so hackers tend to focus on the systems that are most likely to deliver big payouts.
4. Action software updates
It seems software updates always pop up at the most inconvenient times. You’re freshly showered and ready to work, with a steaming cup of coffee by your side – the last thing you want to do is twiddle your thumbs while your computer updates itself.
However, if you keep delaying these updates, you’re putting your device and your data at risk. They may seem unnecessary, but software and OS updates often contain patches for newly identified vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities offer an open door for hackers, leaving you at risk of having your data stolen or malware installed on your device.
5. Do an app audit
In late 2022, Facebook issued a warning to users that hundreds of apps available on the official app stores may have compromised user credentials. While Google and Apple have removed the apps in question, it’s still worth going through your devices to see what you have installed. Delete anything you don’t use and anything that looks even vaguely shady.
Put these tips into action, and you’ll have more substantial cyber defenses in place, keeping you and your precious data safe and secure.
Eada Hudes works as a writer for Dh Payroll. She can lend you expert tips on diverse topics ranging from relationships to fashion, making money, health and so on. Her write-ups are a window into her thoughts and knowledge.