How to Protect Yourself Against Cyber Crime

Nearly everyone browses the Internet, but sometimes we can get complacent and careless. Hackers, security issues, and data breaches are becoming more frequent every year and the likelihood of becoming a victim is increasing. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report 2021, a record 847,376 complaints of cyber-crime were reported by the public, a seven percent increase from 2020. You may have downloaded anti-virus software or you may be private on social media, but it’s still difficult covering all your bases when it comes to cyber security. Don’t worry because we have outlined seven ways how to protect yourself against cyber crime outlined below.

Update Computer

One of the simplest and often-undervalued ways of protecting yourself against cyber crime is updating your computer’s operating system. Hackers have a tendency to exploit flaws in your software to access your data and cause havoc on your computer. Throughout the year, companies such as Apple and Microsoft release updates that strengthen your cybersecurity and create security patches that reduce the chances of a data breach. Make sure you update your internet browser and mobile devices as well.

Strong Password

Another easy way to protect yourself against cyber crime is by creating strong passwords for all of your accounts. You might be surprised to learn that one of the most common passwords is “123456” and the word “password.” These types of passwords are easy to guess and leave you vulnerable to a variety of cyber attacks. Make sure your passwords are unique, long, and that you don’t recycle the same one for all of your accounts. You can always use a password management application if you’re concerned about forgetting it.

Download Anti-Virus Software

Downloading anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware software to your computer can take your cyber security to the next level. There are ton of different security suites available such as Scanguard, Bitdefender, and McAfee Antivirus Plus. These can be downloaded on multiple devices and vary in price. Most of these companies are worthwhile and host several different layers of protection including protection from hackers, protection for removable devices, enhanced firewall protection, safer internet surfing, and more.

Cyber Insurance Companies

Consider investing money into one of many cyber insurance companies, so you can strengthen your cyber security. According to Forbes, more than 66% of cyberattack victims said they’d be open to paying for personal cyber insurance. Cyber insurance companies work like any sort of other insurance and offer a variety of coverage plans, which include data recovery, ransom demands, lawsuit fines, computer system repair, and more. Some cyber insurance companies even offer identity theft protection as well as credit monitoring services.

Safe Internet Browsing

Be careful when browsing the internet and work on cultivating safe practices. Don’t click on random ads or pop-ups. A lot of times, these will redirect you to suspicious websites that could steal your information or install malware on your computer. Visit trusted websites that have the padlock symbol next to the URL. Stay away from random links and attachments, especially in emails. This is one of the most common ways that hackers infect your computer with a virus or phish your information.

Safe Social Media Practices

Social media is fun and encourages everyone to share a lot of personal experiences as well as personal information. Providing personal information such as your address, email, birthplace, and other pieces of information could be a serious cyber security issue. Hackers could use this information to answer security questions for your bank and credit cards. Also, be mindful of third-party apps, add-ons, and quizzes that may ask for personal information and share your personal data with untrustworthy people or websites.

Encrypt Your Data

Consider encrypting your data if you want to protect import documents and files on your computer. Encryption takes your data and scrambles it to the point it becomes unreadable. So if a hacker gets into your computer and steals files, they won’t be able to do anything worthwhile with them. If your data is leaked onto the darkweb or sold to the highest bidder, it’ll still be useless.

Conclusion

According to the Federal Trade Commission, they took in 5.7 million reports of cyber crime, nearly half being fraud and the other portion being identity theft. There are multiple ways to protect yourself from cyber crime and one of the easiest ways to stay ahead of the curve, is updating your computer on a consistent basis. Creating strong passwords and downloading a reliable anti-virus software are two other steps that can prevent cyber crime. Implement safe internet browsing practices and be mindful of personal information posted on your social media, if you want to avoid cyber attacks. Also, consider encrypting important files on your computer to add another layer of protection for yourself. Follow these seven steps above and you’ll be able to significantly reduce the chances of a cyber crime potentially happening to you in the future.

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