How to Be Cyber Secure

Consumers face cyber threats every day. Find out how to keep your accounts and data secure.  

Avoid Cyber Attacks – How to Be Cyber Secure

Consumers face cyber threats every day. Find out how to keep your accounts and data secure.  

As a consumer, you face cyber threats on a daily basis. Any time you give personal information to a website, complete an online transaction or log into an account from a non-secure location, you are risking your own security. Cyber threats have the power to impact your life significantly, leading to significant financial loss and frustration. For this reason, every consumer needs to take steps to protect his or her own cybersecurity. Below are some tips you can use to protect your own data and accounts from hackers and other cybercriminals.

1. Strengthen your password.

Nearly every account you open online will be protected by a password. The weaker your password, the easier it will be for hackers to break into your account. For this reason, you need to use a strong password to keep your accounts secure. Although most people develop passwords using words, phrases or numbers that are easy for them to remember, this is not the best strategy. Instead, consider using a combination of letters and words that has no specific meaning. You can also develop a passphrase, which is a series of at least seven words. These longer strings of words are much more difficult for hackers to crack.

2. Use two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication uses another type of verification in addition to your username and password to add extra security to your account. In most cases, the third type of verification used is a fingerprint scan, text message code or pin number. Many different applications offer or even require two-factor authentication. Whenever possible, take advantage of two-factor authentication to add extra security to your accounts.

3. Be careful with downloads.

One of the common tools criminals use to break into your systems is downloadable content, such as applications. Before downloading anything, make sure that you trust the source. You should also scan the content you plan to download using reliable security software.

4. Consider your overall exposure.

Many consumers have accounts that they rarely access, if ever. Unfortunately, even if you are no longer using a certain account, it may still contain sensitive information. For example, if you have old social media profiles or outdated online shopping accounts, old credit card numbers and other information could still be floating around online. If you aren’t using accounts anymore, consider disabling them and removing all traces of your sensitive information. For accounts, you use rarely, be sure to maintain security on these accounts by equipping them with strong passwords and monitoring account activity.

5. Update your software.

Software updates can be annoying and time-consuming, so consumers sometimes ignore them. However, when you run older versions of software, you are more likely to become a victim of cybercrime. For this reason, it is best to accept any software updates as soon as they become available.

These are just a few of the steps you can take to protect yourself from the dangers of a cyber attack. Even with all these precautions, you may still become a victim, so it is important to keep careful watch over all your accounts.

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