The digital era has brought with it lots of conveniences for individuals and businesses. The Internet made everything connected, with more and more people discovering the power of instant communication. Smartphones are the most prevalent devices, with at least more than half of the entire population owning one.
Because of this, there is a conscious shift of behavior in every aspect of our lives. Communication has become more personal. Businesses have turned into digital entities. Security and privacy have become points of contention. In a more connected world, are we more vulnerable to privacy attacks? The short answer to that is yes. And yet, as a species, we still like to be seen, heard, and exposed.
Cybersecurity is an industry because people leave themselves vulnerable to privacy attacks. And while there is a conscious effort from smartphone and laptop manufacturers to solidify their devices to prevent unwanted attacks from happening, it’s still within the owner’s discretion to fortify these privacy measures. Here are the best tips to boost security for beginners:
Always think before clicking.
This is, first and foremost, the golden rule in preventing personal attacks to happen. There is wisdom in this adage because humans are always a curious bunch, and it pays to be wary of the links that are randomly given to us in emails, chats, direct messages, and more.
One of the most devastating of these links is phishing scams. Hackers send you an urgent email that looks like it’s from your trusted financial institution like banks, insurance companies, and so on. They redirect you to a link where they ask for personal information, plus the numbers on your accounts and cards.
Even the strongest firewall freeware apps can’t prevent this kind of attack because people themselves willingly expose the information without any kind of force. Be aware of emails containing suspicious urgent warnings. If it’s too good to be true, or if it’s too wild and specific for your case, chances are it’s a scam. You’d better off not minding those at all.
Don’t use other devices to log-in into personal accounts.
Always use the devices that you have within your reach. Social media can wait. And in cases that you really want to update your timeline and don’t have your devices around (let’s say their batteries are empty), wait until you get to the hotel and have them charged. Do this instead of borrowing another person’s device and logging in your accounts to it.
This goes to sharing personal information as well. Your close friends may be trustworthy individuals, but you can’t vouch for their digital and online behavior. The classic example of this is sharing your credit card details for let’s say, airline tickets for a vacation that the group is planning. As much as possible, do the transaction yourself in your own device.
Always think of the worst.
When it comes to securing your digital data, one thing that almost all experts agree upon is to never assume that you’re protected. Just because the ecosystem that you’re in is more lauded than the others does not mean you should be nonchalant about security breaches. Always think of the worst when it comes to digital attacks.
It’s healthy to think that if an attack can happen to some people, it can happen to you too. This way, you’re more vigilant in using apps that may or may not be suspicious. You also become more careful in clicking links on emails, etc. There are many methods that unscrupulous individuals will use to gain access to a person’s digital footprint. Thinking that you’re always under attack is infinitely better than being complacent.
It’s wise to have the mindset that you are not immune to any of these attacks at all. It will make you more proactive in dealing with security issues that may or may not be under review. It will make you do things to fortify your firewalls, virus monitors, and update security patches.
Cybersecurity is no light matter. Lives can be uprooted, changed irrevocably, and for the most part, damaged if not taken seriously. As we enter a new decade, more people realize that there is a price to their privacy and personal information. Names and addresses are more valued now than when compared to the past.