When it comes to cyber security, you can never be too safe. With the number of online scams and threats to privacy growing every day, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself. Luckily, futurist, researcher and digital expert Jesse Hirsh knows some tips on how to keep yourself safe from malicious online activity.
MAKE PASSWORDS UNIQUE
Common password advice is to make them unique—which can be hard to keep track of! A password manager can be super helpful with this. Another tip on passwords is to think of sentences rather than words because it makes your password longer and more unique.
To take it a step further, 2 factor authentication is definitely a good practice, but it’s not foolproof. For example, many people use 2FA in combination with their phone. Attackers have used this as a means of stealing or spoofing someone’s phone number and then generate the texts to give them access.
USE CLOUD STORAGE RESPONSIBLY
The cloud is super convenient, but also can be dangerous if not used responsibly. It should not be entirely trusted, but if used properly, it can be as safe and secure as any other computer.
USE WORK COMPUTERS WHEN APPOPRIATE
You do not have any privacy at work, so doing non work at work could get you in trouble with your employer. However it depends on how secure your work computer and work network is. If you work for a company that takes computer security super seriously, then maybe it makes more sense to do such things at work rather than at home!
CONNECT TO SAFE WIFI
Don’t shop online on public WiFi! Criminals target those systems and use them as “honey pots” or traps where you connect to a network and think it is trusted, when in fact it is not and they can eavesdrop or intercept all of your activity.
Instead, ask yourself: do you trust this WiFi network? Do you trust that the people who operate it know how to keep it secure, apply patches, and make sure nobody compromises the network integrity?
GENERAL HABITS TO FOLLOW:
- Always apply updates and patches.
- Use multiple browsers – no need to keep all your eggs in one basket. One browser for banking and bills. One browser for social media. Another browser for random surfing.
- Run an ad blocker! When you browse blogs and other sites in the content industry, hackers will use the ad networks to insert malicious software via an image.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE HACKED:
It all depends on how you were hacked and under what circumstances. For starters it helps to be prepared ahead of time. Have redundant backups – if your data is easily replaceable that makes dealing with a hack far easier.
Don’t wait for a hack to happen, train for it. Go through what you would do if the worst happened. Companies are starting to do this, but families and individuals should as well. It helps you understand what tech you depend upon and what backup plans you should have.
If your identity is stolen then you need to contact everyone who knows you, especially banks and credit card companies and other service providers.