Cybercrime is increasingly on the rise and threatens everyone who owns a smartphone or a computer, whether personal or work. If you are a business owner, you could lose valuable information or even bank information in the case of a malware attack.
For personal individuals who save passwords, card information, and personal details on their devices, the risk is nonetheless very great. Here are a few basic ways to protect yourself against the ravages of cybercrime in the modern world.
Do Not Underestimate An Antivirus
Many computer and mobile phone users still think a good antivirus subscription is a luxury or an option. Regardless of why you use your devices, you need to invest in antivirus to minimize day-to-day threats from opening websites or reading your email. Not only do excellent antivirus software help with blocking malware and quarantining viruses, but they also protect all the information you have stored on your device, from passwords, bank information to data files. Malware can corrupt existing and saved data files which can be disastrous for anyone, so always have an antivirus installed on your computer and your smartphone.
An old and universal rule in computers is to always have a password that is very hard to guess and written in as complicated a manner as you can muster. That includes having passwords with hyphens, lower and upper case letters, and even punctuation marks and making sure it is at least ten characters long. Never choose your date of birth or the names of people close to you as passwords! As far as possible, avoid saving passwords on various websites and instead have them written down in a separate file or even manually on a piece of paper. Multi-factor authentication should be your preferred next step on all major social media sites so that you can protect your account even if your password falls into the wrong hands.
Beware Of What You Share
Most people think it is harmless to share excess personal details on social media platforms, but information that fits into security questions for your accounts can easily accidentally be leaked. For cybercrime prevention and physical security, try to avoid sharing your location or frequently visited places.
When browsing, always go to the top of the webpage and check whether the link is encrypted and protected or not. For many websites, you will even get a warning of malware, but you will not get any warning for most of them, and even a seemingly harmless pop-up ad could carry malware and viruses. Always keep your computer system updated and have updated versions of your web browser, etc., to be better protected against such threats.
Regarding websites and platforms you use all the time for work, personal correspondence, or services, always be up to date on the latest news. Many platforms will publicly announce if there has been a data or security breach allowing you enough time to change your password or follow standard protocols to protect your account. You should also refrain from opening emails irresponsibly without checking the sender’s address. Never download an attachment of any kind from an address you do not recognize, and beware of a scammer who may have made their email resemble a trusted service such as Google or Microsoft.
Identity Fraud Is Very Common
Identity scams are becoming increasingly common. It is a favorite of hackers and scammers because it allows them to extort money, financial information, and other valuable personal data from their victims. Contact an Orlando criminal defense attorney immediately if you feel you have been the victim of such an attack and suffered losses. Only ever enter bank information on payment portals that are safe and verified by your bank or service provider, and never order or pay on unreliable websites or platforms. When purchasing from individuals who require your full bank details when completing a transaction, you should even be careful.
Contact your insurance provider to ask about their provisions for cybercrime and always have data backed up on an external drive in case of a breach, so you do not lose valuable files. It is also sensible to have your bank’s hotline etc., saved on speed dial so that you should be able to block your credit card and account if your financial information has been compromised.