These days, it’s hard to imagine life without the Internet. We watch movies, communicate with friends, shop, organize business meetings, and so on. As life gets busier and busier, it’s simpler to do all the necessary tasks online.
However, every year, despite the constant improvement of security systems, the number of data breaches increases. It happens both to individuals and the internal databases of large companies. No one is immune to identity data theft, which can then be misused. That is why it is especially important now to have an understanding of information security.
So in this article, we’ll talk about some ways to protect information on the Internet.
What are attackers interested in?
The main problem is that some people still can’t grasp the fact that attackers can get data unhindered without getting into the house.
But why they steal identity at all? Okay, there is a fairly obvious and one of the most important reasons – to get money. Typically, cybercriminals can gain access to your credit cards for cash withdrawals, social media passwords for spamming, personal information for sending out advertisements. They can also gain access to your game accounts or your profile on your mobile phone to collect your personal information, sell it to third parties, or demand money to pay for the return of a stolen profile.
In general, almost any information on user logins and passwords can be compromised and used for completely different purposes.
How data gets stolen
Cybercriminals can obtain data in many different ways:
- Virus emails. A virus infects your computer when you open the email. So you should be careful about all incoming emails. Do not click on suspicious links and do not open attachments.
- Account hacking. One of the common ways. Cybercriminals gain access to email, phone number, and other data. Especially since most browsers offer to save information like logins and passwords.
- Phishing. This is a type of scam where a person pretending to be a representative of a business, financial institution, or government agency contacts you. To do this, they offer some kind of service or opportunity that entices people to take such action. They usually want bank account numbers or credentials.
- Creating botnet networks. Computers are getting infected with malware that attacks the rogue’s target. The bot works autonomously, without the user’s involvement.
- Data theft through fake brand pages. Customers leave card details, contacts, etc. on them. Sometimes a message appears during the purchase that a transfer is being made from card to card.
How to protect data
Companies keep records of our purchases, personal calls, etc. to sell to third parties for commercial and promotional purposes. Also, the data we share or store in the cloud is very vulnerable. Therefore, data storage and protection must be handled carefully. Here are ways to protect information:
Viruses can be everywhere, from emails to files. Therefore, one of the best options for data protection is to use antivirus software. You will need to do regular system checks and antivirus updates. This will help secure your computer from malicious programs. Now many antiviruses offer their services to secure passwords, track privacy settings, etc. in addition to protecting against malware.
Two-factor authentication is an additional security layer that allows verifying your identity for a service or account access. In addition to entering your password, the system will ask you for a one-time code sent to your phone, or the answer to a secret question that you previously determined. You will also receive a notification if someone tries to access your account.
It’s better to protect your Wi-Fi network with a password, both at home and in the office. People who don’t know the password won’t have access to your Wi-Fi. It is also advisable to avoid unknown public Wi-Fi networks. Cybercriminals can create free networks to steal users’ information.
Social networking accounts protection
Do not save passwords on social networks, even on your computer, especially on other people’s devices. It is better to enter your password again than to regret it later. Once again, set up two-factor authentication for better protection. Also, pick different passwords and change them periodically. Don’t share intimate details of your life, especially photos.
Data from Internet
To protect your personal information online, you can stop tracking online behavior, clear the cache of the browser you’re using, open sites in incognito mode, and occasionally change account passwords.
For example, use the “Save Data” feature and download information about yourself from all the Google products you use. Several large files will come up with data on everything from your YouTube browsing history to your search queries to your location.
Use complex and unique passwords. 1234 is a poor password. So is the word “password”. It is better to create a password from whole phrases with symbols and numbers and for each service separately. Don’t use personal data like the last name, first name, date of birth, city name, etc., don’t keep passwords on your computer in a file, and don’t save them in a browser.
More tips to heed – don’t sync your files unless necessary, use a reliable VPN for anonymity, and be always careful.
Simple online personal data security measures can help make your information safe at least for minor cybercriminals. Even if you have absolutely nothing to hide, you still need to protect the privacy of your data. Keeping an eye on your online behavior is important to protect your information and your own identity.