This month is Cybersecurity Month in Europe – which means that there is no better time to talk about the internet and what you can do to stay secure while enjoying everything it has to offer than now.
You are most likely aware of the basics: Have an up-to-date antivirus on your device at all times. You knew that, right? Great. Let’s move on.
Cybersecurity tip #1: Make sure your programs are up-to date
If you follow the news and updates on our blog you might have noticed how often you encounter programs that sport vulnerabilities. It’s really nothing unusual and more often than not those vulnerabilities are getting fixed with an update that will be pushed live shortly after (and sometimes even before) the news hits the street. After the affected companies have released their patch the ball is in your court: If you do not update your programs in a timely manner you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to hackers, who actually love to exploit the negligent user. Luckily there are programs that can help you keeping track of which programs need an update – and also do the work for you. Perfect, right?
Cybersecurity tip #2: Use strong passwords
There are already several articles on this blog when it comes to how to choose the right password, so all you have to do is click on the link and read it. Just make sure to follow some of the advice given in the blog post. If you just want the most important tip: Get a password manager – it will create secure passwords for you and remember them as well.
Cybersecurity tip #3: Be careful what attachments you open
Yes. While some people claim that this is common sense, not everybody knows it: Do not open attachments in mails that you cannot identify – especially if they are from someone you do not know. Even if you are only slightly unsure about the file use your antivirus to scan it.
As a side note: Do not answer to spam mails and if possible do not fall for scam ones either. If a mail offers you wealth and riches beyond your wildest dreams just for just a few clicks, some sharing, or a tiny amount of money it’s probably a scam: Almost nothing is for free.
Cybersecurity tip #4: Use two-factor authentication if possible
Honestly, it might seem like a hassle in the beginning, but it most likely will pay off in the long run. Most bigger companies already offer their users the possibility to secure their account with a two-factor authentication. That basically means that you can protect your account with a password and an authenticator, or a password and code that’s being sent to your phone, etc. There are quite a few possibilities here.
Cybersecurity tip #5: Use your head when it comes to online banking
A reputable bank will never intentionally ask for personal information via e-mail. If the e-mail looks as if it could be genuine, then it you should make a quick verification call to the bank. Alarm bells should also be ringing whenever the bank’s website looks different (even if only slightly) than usual.
I could go on for quite a while here, but I believe I have covered at least some of the basics. Do you have tips and thoughts on cyber security? Feel free to share them in the comments below!