According to a recent study, data breaches exposed more than 22 billion files containing sensitive, personal information in 2021. The good news is that cyberattacks are largely avoidable — if you take some necessary steps.
Consider this, too: The World Economic Forum believes that 95% of data security issues stem from human error. Whether you have a business or are simply trying to safeguard your personal accounts, you can boost your cybersecurity with the following measures.
1. Prepare for Cyberattacks
The first step of cybersecurity is determining what you should protect. For example, you can safeguard data such as social security numbers, contacts, card details, accounts, and transaction records. You could also protect family members’ data such as insurance forms, credentials, and medical records.
The next part is tracking the movement of your data, including where it’s created, collected, and stored. This way, you can effectively protect your mobile devices and networks. But no matter the level of protection, you’re still vulnerable to data loss. That’s why you should prepare for eventualities.
2. Strengthen Your Passwords
Many people resort to simple passwords — because it’s easy! Some might even use a common passcode for different platforms. Remembering them might be challenging, but complex passwords are harder to crack. Rather than using sequential numbers, your name, or birthday, you can strengthen your password by combining random lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
Your password should also be long. Though most sites require 8-10 characters, you can extend the passcode to 15 characters for maximum security. Furthermore, avoid storing passwords on browsers. Saved passwords might speed up your logins, but hackers can still gain access through malware and extensions. The best option is using a password manager. That way, you minimize the risk of forgetting your passcodes or writing them down.
Also: Don’t forget to change passwords often. By reviewing your login credentials from time to time, you secure your systems when you lose a device or someone accesses your old password. Remember, passwords aren’t enough. You can set up two-factor authentication to receive a code on your device for every login attempt.
3. Remain Vigilant
Avoiding a cyber attack is all about making wise choices. Don’t share too much online, don’t download strange things, click on weird links, etc. Watch out for common tactics, too, like phishing attempts.
Remember, phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Hackers may attack your systems using seemingly genuine email attachments such as invoices or receipts.
4. Data Backup
Backing up your data can prevent it from being destroyed, so it’s a good practice. For example, you can safeguard your documents from physical theft, file corruption, hardware failures, and disasters such as floods and fires.
But backups also defend you from ransomware. This is when hackers encrypt your files and demand ransoms for the access code. Remember to check your backups regularly to confirm they still work.
You can set automatic backups to a frequency of your choice. Automation minimizes the risk of human error and forgetfulness, too.
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