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6 Best Tips To Better Protect Your Data

As the web changes over the years, so do the threats associated with it. In a world where you leave a footprint behind with every click, it has become crucial to be vigilant and IT safe.

Why is it so important to keep yourself cyber safe? Because if your information falls into the wrong hands, malicious parties can use it to harm you.

To help you better protect your data, you can use these six personal IT security tips that’ll make you become more cyber-aware.

1.Keep your software up to date

Recent cybersecurity statistics show an increasing number of cybersecurity attacks (300% increase in reported cybercrimes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic) at both the consumer and enterprise levels.

One of the most crucial cybersecurity tips to limit ransoms is to update obsolete software, operating systems, and other applications.

Updating your software, operating system, and programs is essential. It removes critical vulnerabilities that hackers can use to access your devices.

Here are some quick tips to help you get started:

  • Enable automatic updates for your operating system.
  • Keep your browser plugins updated.
  • Use web browsers that receive frequent and automatic security updates.

2.Be aware of cyber hacking

One of the mistakes people make - and one that puts their IT security at risk - is not taking cyber hacking seriously.

Indeed, many people think that they are not in danger or that they are not targets. But in fact, everyone is at risk - both from a personal and financial well-being standpoint and from the perspective of your company's reputation.

In addition to being aware of the possibility of an attack, you must also be vigilant.

Picture this. In a phishing scheme attempt, the hacker impersonates someone the sender knows to trick the receiver into divulging credentials. It often leaves room for a ransomware threat. Ninety percent of ransomware attacks come from phishing attempts.

Cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility. By following the tips below and staying vigilant, you are doing your part to protect yourself and others.

  • Distinguish which links are safe and not by hovering over a hyperlink to find out where it leads.
  • Friends who have also been victims of malicious attacks may unknowingly send you harmful links. Be careful!
  • Beware of emails sent to you. Check where they come from and if there are grammatical errors.

3.Watch out what you click

Another strategic step to protect yourself from cyber attacks is to double down on verifying what you click on.

In general, avoid visiting unfamiliar websites or downloading software from suspicious sources. These places often host harmful software that automatically installs itself (without your approval) and compromises the security of your computer or mobile device.

ISO strongly recommends using Click-to-Play or NoScript, which are browser add-ons that prevent automatic downloads of plug-in content and scripts that may host malicious code.

Remember that phishing scams can happen via phone, SMS, or social networking sites, but most often by email.

If attachments or links in emails you receive are unexpected or suspicious for any reason, do not click on them.

Beware of any seemingly official email or phone call requesting personal or financial information.

In case you realize that an attack is imminent or you have clicked on something you shouldn't have, quickly turn to an IT solution agency so they can immediately take control of the situation.

If you have an in-house IT tech support team, make sure you report the incident to them, so they can take the necessary next steps.

4.Practice good password management

We all have a gazillion passwords to manage and are also often tempted to take shortcuts, such as reusing the same password for all our accounts.  For your security, use different passwords for different accounts.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), there are several rules to follow in creating each password:

  • Avoid the complex mix of capital letters, numbers, and symbols. Instead, shoot for something more practical, but with a maximum length of 64 characters and at least eight characters.
  • Avoid using the same password twice.
  • A great password must have at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, four symbols, and one number.
  • Compose a password that is easy to remember and never leave a password hint in plain sight or make it available to hackers.
  • Reset your password when you forget it. And change it once a year for a general refresh.

A password manager can help you keep unique and strong passwords for every account you have.  This software can generate strong passwords for you, enter credentials automatically, and remind you to change your passwords regularly.

5.Adopt anti-malware protection

Anti-virus protection software is the most widespread solution to counteract malicious attacks. Its role is to prevent malware from infiltrating your device and jeopardizing your data.

For your information, only download applications from known and reliable sources. Maintain up-to-date virus definitions, engines, and software to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Using a firewall is also essential to defend your data against malicious attacks. Its role is to eliminate hackers, viruses, and other unscrupulous acts that occur on the Internet, as well as to determine the traffic allowed to enter your device.

6.Back up your data

When you are the victim of a security incident, the only guaranteed way to fix your computer is to delete and reinstall the system. By doing so, you lose your valuable data, and it can cost you a lot.

To do this, safely delete sensitive data files from your system when they are no longer needed. Also, back up the rest of your important files. And don't forget always to use encryption when storing or transmitting sensitive data.

IT security experts apply a common strategy known as the 3-2-1 backup rule. It consists of keeping three copies of your data on two different media types (external and hard drive) and one copy in an off-site place (cloud storage).

One study showed that there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds. Disturbing, isn't it?

But what's more alarming is that these hacking attempts are somehow the result of human error. That is to say, mistakes on the part of the victims themselves. Therefore, education and awareness are of paramount importance in the fight against cybercrime and the prevention of security breaches.

Hopefully, the tips given above have been useful and will help you avoid cyber attacks.

Do you have any other tips on how to better protect your data? Share them in the comments.

Author Bio

Sharon Mallorca is the Sales Manager at Create IT in Dubai. Established by innovative digital agency Create Media Group, Create IT has rapidly become the Middle East's leading IT Support and IT Solutions company, providing the highest quality IT support and services to a growing portfolio of global brands.

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