With more and more high-profile businesses and companies getting more media coverage, the cybercriminals are increasingly going after companies, schools, community groups, municipal governments, and small businesses.
Other establishments like voter registration systems, hospitals, police departments, and libraries have fallen victim to digital hacking resulting to loss of data or stolen data. Cybercrime continues to be an ongoing threat to everyone including individuals.
Cybercrime is no longer limited to stealing of financial information alone. New threats continue to evolve and surface every year. It is best to know how to recognize cybercrime and how to protect yourself and all your data.
What is Cybercrime?
As depicted by the name, cybercrime is crimes that primarily take place online. The crime occurs when hackers target computer networks or mobile devices. It can range from stealing of financial data, identity theft, and security breaches. Other forms of cybercrime also include cyber-stalking, revenge porn, bullying, harassment, and child sexual exploitation.
Ways to Protect Yourself from Cybercrime
Use Strong Passwords
Hackers are able to breach your information simply by breaching your passwords. The easier the password, the easier it is for them to guess. You should make it hard for hackers to guess your passwords by using strong, unique passwords.
Resist the temptation of using words or numbers that can easily been traced to you like your birthday or names of family members. Find better alternatives and use different passwords for every site. passwords like “password” or “123456789”.
Choose passwords with at least 14 characters. You can use one of your favorite sentences and use the first letter of every word to create your password. To make the password even stronger, add punctuation marks, numbers, or symbols for complexity. Make sure the length is long enough, this is the most important.
We recommend changing default passwords that come with home security devices or WiFi routers from factory settings and use your personalized passwords. You can also use a password manager program to help you create and recall complex, secure passwords.
Keep Everything Up To Date
In 2017, Equifax credit bureau was breached, exposing financial information of American adults. This was as a result someone who left out-of-date software running. Computer companies offer regular updates to protect devices against newly emerging vulnerabilities.
To keep yourself safe from cybercrime threats by keeping your operating systems and software updated. You can easily make this a recurrent activity by turning on automatic updates on your devices and software when possible.
Install software that will regularly scan your system and devices for malware and viruses. There are several free software protection applications like Avast. It is crucial to decide which antivirus to choose for Mac or android devices.
Always Encrypt and Back Up Your Most Sensitive Data
You can avoid cybercrime threats by encrypting any data stored on your computer or smartphone. This will make it impossible for hackers to get your information because all they get when they copy your files is gibberish rather than important details like your address book or financial records.
You can achieve this by changing your system settings or installing software on your devices. Some manufactures do this to help improve their customer’s security. keep copies of data that is crucial such as irreplaceable family photos or medical information. You should also duplicate the data and store it locally on eternal hard drives connected to your devices or remote systems like cloud storage.
Avoid Using Public WiFi
Using public WiFi exposes you to cybercrime because anyone near you who is also connected to the same network can listen in on anything your computer is sending and receiving across the WiFi network.
It is best to use a virtual private network to encrypt your internet traffic and anything that goes through your browsers like Netflix or Spotify. This will make it more difficult for hackers or casual users to spy on you. You can also use paid VPN options to keep your network safe.
Install a Firewall
Cybercrime has evolved and there are many different types of data breaches, as well as new ones surfacing every time, while some are making comebacks. Hence, to ensure your cybersecurity, put your networks behind a firewall to defend your devices and software from cyber-attacks.
A firewall will block any cybercrime attacks on your systems and networks keeping you from cybercrime threat and security damages.
It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to protecting yourself from cyber-attacks and cybercrime. These are some of the ways that will keep you safe and clear of any cybercrime threats.