With our computers almost constantly connected to the internet, we need to start re-thinking our online security. If a hacker was to get into our computer, they would immediately get access to all data stored in our PCs. We all want to avoid such a catastrophe. So how can we keep our computers safe? The security experts have some simple, yet solid advice on how you can do just that.
Use Strong Passwords And A Password Manager
“I believe that one of our best protection against being compromised is passwords. The password complexity on most websites is set to a minimum. For instance, they can stipulate that a password must be a specific length and include a specific mix of character types. Unfortunately, any password that a human being may easily recall is likely to be cracked sooner rather than later by brute-force guesses. Using a trustworthy password manager is the safest way to keep your device secure from hackers. These password managers safely store all of your passwords and create randomized strong passwords that are nearly impossible to guess using brute force or other password cracking methods.”
Sam Browne, CEO/Founder Find a Band
Whenever Possible, Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
“Two-factor authentication is a security mechanism in which the second component of the password is entered via a completely different channel. It’s one of the most effective ways to keep your accounts secure from hackers these days. For example, when you log into a program, you can be sent a one-time PIN via email or text message to a registered phone number. Having your password compromised isn’t enough for the bad guys to gain access to your account with 2FA. Although I believe, offenders can get around 2FA if they put in enough effort. They might even try to hack your email password or use a SIM swap scam to take over your phone number. However, since this entails a significant amount of additional effort and risk, it’s unlikely that you’ll be targeted in this manner at random. As a result, 2FA is one of the most effective deterrents available.”
Miklos Zoltan, CEO & Cybersecurity Researcher Privacy Affairs
Use Encryption Wherever Possible
“Encryption is a method of scrambling data mathematically so that it cannot be read without the correct key. Websites that begin with ‘https’ use a secure encrypted form of data transmission. So you and the receiving website are the only ones who know what’s being said. Just your IP address and the address of the website you’re accessing are visible to outsiders, such as your service provider or someone checking data packets as they move through different stops on the internet. You should avoid not only websites that do not use encryption, but also use chat services that have “end-to-end” encryption. A good example of this is WhatsApp. End-to-end encryption ensures that no one, including WhatsApp, can see what’s being said in your conversations.”
Michael Robinson, Security Expert Cheap SSL Security
Update Your OS
“Update the operating system and other applications on a regular basis. This prevents hackers from gaining access to your computer by exploiting flaws in out-of-date software (which can be exploited by malware). Allow Microsoft product updates so that the Office Suite is updated at the same time for added security. Consider retiring software that is extremely vulnerable, such as Java or Flash, as many websites and utilities are moving away from them.”
Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager Buyer’s Guide
Cyber Hygiene, Leveling up and Being Vigilant!
“At a basic level, use good cyber hygiene: secure access to your computer by using password protection – use a long, strong password or passphrase with a mix of characters, and don’t reuse a password that you use somewhere else. This way, if someone gains physical access to your computer, they won’t have an easy time getting in. Also, keep the software and applications on your computer up to date – there are always new security holes being found, and applying these patches can help plug those holes. Level up: Use a firewall on your computer. Both Windows and MacOS have built-in firewalls you can enable to put a layer of protection between your computer and the big bad internet. A firewall, along with antivirus and antimalware software, can help protect you from cybercriminals. In addition, encrypt your hard drive using a program such as Bitlocker or Veracrypt. This will ensure that even if someone steals your computer and can bypass the password you set up, they won’t be able to access your information. Be vigilant! Even with the best password, firewall, and encryption, if you click on a link in a phishing email, you put yourself at risk. It’s like having a security gate and locks on your door, but opening everything up to anyone who walks by.”
Stacy Clements, Owner of Milepost 42, provider of cybersecurity solutions to small businesses
Following such security measusers like installing a good anti-virus, using a VPN, avoiding public Wi-Fi an using good passwords and Encryption can help keep your computer safe from hackers.