6 Ways to Protect Yourself from Malware and Cyberattacks
Keep software up to date
I get it – updating software is annoying and time-consuming. It is very important though. Each update that is released for most software on the market increases security. Attackers find exploits in the software you use to access your system.
You don’t want malicious people to be in your system. How software companies avoid this is by updating their software to protect against these kinds of attacks.
The best way to stay safe is to update software as soon as updates are out. The easiest way to do this is to set up automatic updates – at the least, turn them on for your computer OS (Windows or Mac). Those are the most important software to update.
Most computers nowadays come with anti-virus software built-in. It is important to keep those up to date and have them auto-scan your computer for any viruses or malware. Even if you follow all other tips on this list, some viruses or malware could get into your computer without your knowledge. It is important to have a software scan for issues as often as possible to prevent personal information from being leaked, which leads to identity theft.
Back up your data
Almost 30% of consumers don’t back up their computers more than yearly. Backing up your computer’s information is essential in case an attack completely shuts down your computer. If you have to factory reset the computer, having all of your files from a couple of weeks ago is better than your most recent files being almost 7 months old. The more often you back up your computer, the more secure you can feel in case of emergencies.
Don’t click or download anything from an unknown source
In 2019, most people know that any unknown phone call you get is probably a telemarketer. Most people also know not to open any links you get in an email from an unknown sender. In case you didn’t know that, however, make sure that you trust the sender before you click on ANYTHING in an email.
Make sure to check the actual email it was sent from as well – sometimes, phishers will pretend to be a reputable company by making everything else seem the same, but the email address will most likely not match the standard company email.
Research has shown that the most common passwords are 12345 and 12345678. Don’t be one of those people. Hackers will attempt to use brute force to get into your accounts. This means that they will use a script to try millions of passwords, starting with the most common ones.
If your password is not longer than 8 characters and doesn’t use both numbers and letters, you need to change your passwords right away.
Another necessary password protection strategy is not using the same password for multiple accounts. If one account has a security breach, they will try to use that password on your other accounts. You can use a password manager like Teampass or Last Pass to keep all your passwords in order. Then, all you have to do is memorize one password, and you have the rest stored.
Protect your data on social media
You want to make sure that your privacy settings do not allow the general public to see your personal data, such as your email, name, address, etc. Pretty much all social media sites have settings you can change in regards to who you want to be able to access what information. By default, it is usually not very secure. When you don’t change the privacy settings, you can get yourself into the mess that is identity theft.
Overall, keeping yourself safe online is just a couple of simple things you do every day. Only a couple of simple steps a day, and you keep you and your computer safe. If you have any questions about IT or have a business that needs managed IT support, make sure to contact Kustura Technologies at (904)-855-8885.