Cybersecurity is an aspect that is increasingly worrying small, medium-sized, and large companies. And it is not for less, since certain vulnerabilities can lead to computer criminals seizing sensitive confidential information, and deleting data causing serious problems for companies and professionals. They introduce viruses that hijack our information demanding payment to return the access.
Until now, cybercriminals used to focus on large companies and institutions. They try to deal the biggest blow possible if they managed to find poorly protected access. However, some computer security companies have been warning for some time that this trend could be changing. With the increasing boom in the economy and digital transformation, SMEs and the self-employed should focus on reinforcing their prevention by increasing their security levels, although database forensics are helping in case of emergency.
5 Important tips to improve cyber security
The fundamentals of cybersecurity is a really important topic, regardless of your age, gender or profession. Here are 5 tips to increase your cybersecurity.
#1 Use a password manager and multifactor authentication
First of all, use different passwords for different accounts. Also combine strong passwords, which are nothing more than including uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. But of course, remembering long and random passwords is impossible.
Also, having them saved in a file or in the browser is very insecure, the solution is to work with a password manager, where you only have to remember the master password to access a trunk where you have all the passwords encrypted.
Then, you may have heard of two-factor authentication or 2FA. In addition to a username and password to access sensitive sites, you have to enter a code that is generated by an application on your mobile. This code is renewed every minute.
To fraudulently access, for example, our bank accounts, email, or social networks, in addition to obtaining the username/password, they will have to physically steal your mobile.
#2 Protect the router and connection
The router, like any other smart device, is permanently connected to the Internet. Yes, most of the routers we have at home have their own operating system. Today it is a main target of the cybercrime industry according to recent databaseforensics data.
The router in our house, and ultimately, the rest of the routers to which we usually connect are the main gateway to our devices. The priority is to change the user and password to access the router administration page that comes by default.
These credentials are publicly known, a quick Google search tells you which username and password each router model has by default, and it is the first thing that any automated attack tries. Second, change the WiFi access password: As happens with the access credentials to the administration page, each router usually has a series of default passwords to access WiFi.
#3 Use a VPN and be careful of sharing personal info
VPN tools, or Virtual Private Networks for short, are nothing more than systems that ensure that everything you send or receive from the time it leaves your computer until it reaches the server and vice versa is sent securely.
It is a highly recommended tool for all those of us who usually connect to public networks, and therefore, are insecure. You simply enter your VPN tool, hit connect, and from then on everything you send and receive will be protected.
Then, be careful with the information you post on social networks. Absolutely everything you say on the Internet leaves a mark. A lot of personal information can be obtained on your social networks to be used to trick you into accessing sensitive sites. Social engineering and cybercriminals use it more and more as we are so generous with our personal data.
#4 Be careful what you check and install
Think twice if the application that you are going to install on your computer really needs it. Also check that the applications you have installed on your computer, tablet, and mobile are being used, otherwise, it is better to uninstall them.
Take into account the permissions that you give to each application that you are going to install. With special attention to those applications that want to have access to your contacts, access to your social networks, or your camera.
Similarly, Email remains a weak point for cybersecurity, with the main threat being phishing attacks. As a basic rule, you should never open an email from a suspicious or unknown sender, much less download or open content from an email whose address we do not know.
Any alarmist email that demands to click on a web link, especially those asking to do so urgently, should be distrusted by default. We should also be suspicious of all unknown or unexpected senders and not trust unknown attachments.
#5 Use antivirus and stay updated
Yes, on mobile too. Look for a good antivirus that has a version for your web browser. Schedule periodic scans.
Treat your phone like a computer because it is. Nothing to leave the mobile to the children. And if they are going to use the family computer always in your sight. The increasing use of mobile devices means that cybersecurity threats are growing. Keep your device up to date, with an antivirus, browsing with a VPN, and be careful about what you install.
On the other hand, having the system updated solves security problems and adds defenses against the latest known attack techniques. Updates are especially important for devices such as smart televisions which we do not have much control over them.
Check that all devices that have an internet connection have their operating system updated. Then remember to update your Antivirus and browsers. That if, make sure that you only download all the updates from the official website of the developer.
Need to mention, for a cybercriminal it will be greedier to access information from a financial institution than to access your accounts. But it turns out that the former is complicated and expensive, while the latter is not. And, the database forensics experts say that it can be replicated thousands, millions of times in an automated way. It is essential to understand this. Protecting yourself from the information or money theft is easier than you think.