Cybercrime is a prevalent problem in 2022. Since the pandemic, hackers have stepped up their efforts to commandeer your personal data and strike a profit.
Last year alone, they caused economic damage of over $ 400 billion.
Everyone is a target. No matter if you’re running a business or if you’re a private individual – your data is on countless hackers’ radar.
So what can you do to keep it safe? Here’s the rundown.
1 – Step Up Your Password Security
Yes, you’ve heard this piece of advice before. Countless times.
But still, weak password security is the cause of millions of hacks every year.
According to recent statistics, the most common passwords are still “123456”, “qwerty”, and – incredibly – password.
All of these take cyber criminals mere milliseconds to crack.
Similarly, 65% of people still reuse passwords across multiple websites.
To address this issue, perform a password review and make sure that all of them are complex and unique.
2 – Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Next up, enable two-factor authentication (2FA). This means that you’ll need to confirm logins to your account through a second device or an extra security question.
It will take you another thirty seconds to access your Facebook account if you have to enter a PIN code you get via text message.
Kind of annoying? Yep. Worth it? Absolutely!
2FA can prevent a stunning 99.9% of cyber attacks. Basically, automated bots and hackers in remote locations are out of the running for your data.
3 – Adjust Your Social Media Profile Privacy Settings
Do you share your birthday on social media? What about your middle name? Does your mum’s profile have her maiden name? Did you post that old photo of the first pet you came across in the attic?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘Yes’, you have some work ahead of you.
Public social media profiles are an open door for cyber criminals.
In countless cases, the information that people share willingly on Facebook and Instagram is enough to figure out the answers to security questions. Or reconstruct your identity to create new profiles in your name.
To fix this vulnerability, be careful about who can see your data. Adjust your settings for maximum privacy.
4 – Turn on Encryption on All Your Devices
Losing your phone, tablet, or laptop is nothing less than a complete disaster.
However, if your devices are easy to unlock and unencrypted, it’s a straight-out catastrophe.
Anyone who gets hold of them basically has a golden ticket to all your personal data and accounts.
To prevent this from happening, make sure your devices have complex passwords and PINs to deny anyone who gets hold of the easy access.
And, crucially, enable encryption.
On Apple devices, turn on FileVault. On Android, make sure encryption is turned on in the “encryption and credentials” tab of your security menu.
Encryption guarantees that even if someone gets hold of your device, they won’t be able to read any of the data on it.
5 – Set Up Account and Credit Monitoring
Finally, set up an account and credit monitoring system.
You can either do this manually on a regular schedule, or you can subscribe to cybersecurity services such as identity theft protection.
In either case, check if any of your accounts were implicated in known data breaches. And keep an eye on your credit score.
That way you’ll be able to tell if any of your personal or financial information has been compromised.
Taking steps to protect your personal data from cybercriminals is essential. By following the steps above, you’ll be able to frustrate hackers and guarantee your own digital security.