If you are worried about your cyber security, then you have every right to be worried. Cyber-crime has reached its all-time high and it seems that hackers are getting more ruthless and creative every year. Last year’s cyber security statistics are truly eye opening and clearly enunciate the need to protect our digital footprint. According to Junipers research, the total cyber-crime losses for 2019 was $ 2trillion!
This alarming stat clearly proves just how dangerous the online world has become and why everyone should take every possible step to protect their data. Businesses all around the world have started investing heavily in cyber security as these cyber threats are spreading like wild fire. Some of the stats of last year will blow your mind but everyone should know just how dangerous this threat has become. According to these stats half of last year’s cyber-attacks targeted small businesses and it is estimated that that the total cyber-crime damage will reach $6 Trillion by now.
What is even more shocking is the fact that only 10% of cyber-crimes are reported in the United States as most businesses will have to risk foreclosure if they publically declare a breach. Consumers would never trust a business which has recently been hacked or breached, it is that simple. Even as you sit there, there are ransomware attacks taking place every fourteen seconds. As scary as it sounds, none of our digital footprints are safe unless we take the necessary steps. Rest assured, in this article we have articulated a list of tips which will help you protect your digital footprint to perfection.
Religiously Use Random and Unique Passwords
This may sound quite simple to you but this actually the first line of defense you establish against hackers or other individuals who might try to access your data without your authority. Consider this a rule of thumb, if you continue to reuse the same passwords for different accounts, you are automatically more vulnerable for hackers.
All these cyber criminals have to do is breach one account and instantly gain access to all of your data across the board. It is completely understandable that many people might have trouble creating unique passwords for different accounts. In that case you should try using password managing apps, some of these apps can generate passwords for you as well. Just try to make sure that all of your passwords are as complex as possible and save them in a secure manner. A password managing app is your safest bet.
Subscribe to a VPN plan
One of the most profound steps you can take to protect your digital identity is a VPN subscription. The best VPN services offer complete online anonymity for individuals and businesses alike. These secure networks are crucial for people who constantly use public WIFI spots. It is actually quite easy for hackers to obtain your sensitive information simply if you are connected to a public WIFI spot. This is also perfect for businesses as these networks are P2P optimized which enables them to not only connect to a secure network but it also allows them to share data in a safe manner. Most of the top VPN providers also offer an array of different features with their services, these features include malware protection, access to geo restricted content, Fire wall protection and high end data encryption. A VPN tunnels all of your data and encrypts it to make sure hackers can never access any of your information.
Set Up Two Factor Authentication
Set up two factor authentication for all of your accounts, creates an extra wall for cyber criminals to break. If you are currently using SMS based 2FA, it is important to understand that hackers have successfully found a way around this and you are putting yourself at an unnecessary risk. If your phone ever falls into the wrong hands, this individual will have the power to change all of your passwords in a matter of seconds. Make sure you switch from SMS based 2FA as hackers are using sim swipe attacks to con your network provider to transfer your number to their device. We would recommend using Google Authenticator as an added digital security measure. As you can clearly see SMS based authentication has now become a risk rather than a security measure, so consider switching as soon as possible.
Secure all of your portable devices
Our mobile phones are a treasure trove of data and if your phone falls into the wrong hands, your entire digital footprint is at risk. This individual will have access to all of your sensitive information and will also get a peek into your life. You can avoid this horror show by first setting up a complex lock code on your phone and configure your smartphone to automatically factory reset your phone after a few unsuccessful unlock attempts. Even if this criminal manages to steal your phone, this will protect your information and thwart his or her attempt to invade your personal privacy.
It is also important to understand that you should consider securing all of you devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets and even your smart speakers. If the hacker manages to hack your smart speaker account they will be able to track all of your recent purchases and can even access all of your recordings. Make sure you have the voice match function set up for your account, especially on online platforms such as Amazon. Every smart device is vulnerable to hackers, so make sure all of your devices are secure and your accounts are well protected.
At the end of the day, every step you take to protect your digital identity is a smart move. Cyber-crime has been a prevailing issue in our society for decades now. This may seem hard to believe but you can actually purchase hacking tools and software dirt cheap. So hackers have access to everything they need and as an internet user, it is our inherent responsibility to make sure that your data is secure. Fight fire with fire and use the aforementioned tips to protect yourself, your loved ones and your business.