10 Practical Strategies to Secure Your Digital Life

Is your cyber life secure? How do you know? Data security is critical more than ever before. If you’re not careful, you could end up victimized by any number of cyberattacks common in today’s world. If other people use your network, not protecting your network puts their devices and data at risk. Here are 10 strategies to help you secure your online life. 

1. Implement strong network security strategies

Whether you’re running a small business or fortune 100 company, you need network security. Network security protects your data from a plethora of breaches and attacks using hardware and software solutions.

2. Implement a zero-trust architecture strategy for your business

Zero-trust is exactly what it sounds like. Rather than grant employees and contractors access to your entire network, a zero-trust strategy grants access to company data as only when it’s necessary to do their job. A network security strategy typically includes controlled network access, antivirus software, application security, endpoint security, firewalls, and strong analytics. With most firewalls, threats are detected and blocked in real-time. Strong network security will protect your network from 
  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Trojans
  • Spyware
  • Adware
  • Ransomware
Cyberattacks are constantly evolving and becoming more dangerous every minute. If you’re storing personal information from your customers, you need strong network protection to prevent that data from being stolen.

3. Use a VPN on private and public Wi-Fi networks

Your data is vulnerable when you connect to public Wi-Fi. A VPN won’t give you 100% protection. But it will stop most.  A VPN does a few main things: 
  1. Protects your identity
  2. Hides your location 
  3. Encrypts your internet traffic. 
Normally, your internet traffic is passed through your internet service provider’s (ISP). This gives your ISP access to all of your browsing information, which means they can hand it over to any other third party. When you’re on a public Wi-Fi network, it works the same way – the ISP receives your browsing history, along with anyone in on the network that’s set up to Monitor its traffic  When using a VPN, your browsing history is encrypted and therefore impossible to read. Since a VPN encrypts your internet traffic, you’ll be protected from the hackers that like to sit around at public wifi and hijack other people’s browsing sessions. If a hacker gets access to your computer through a public network, they could install a keystroke logger and get access to your bank account and just about anything you do from then on  
  1. Limit the amount of personal information you publish online
Each time you post personal information online, you’re making yourself more vulnerable. Cybercriminals use individual pieces of data to piece together a full profile of you. Then they use that information to commit crimes.  Posting bits of information may not seem as harmful as you post, but the cumulative effect of posting personal information over a period of time literally hands criminals the information to steal your identity. Some criminals use identities to open credit cards while others make fake ID cards to obtain loans. Some criminals use stolen identities to rack up utility bills when their own account has been shut off. There are a host of reasons why people steal personal data and the less information you publish, the better.

5. Shred every piece of mail you recycle or throw away

Cybercriminals don’t just look for information online. Sometimes they get information in the physical world by breaking into mailboxes and stealing trash. Yes, cybercriminals resort to stealing trash – and sometimes entire recycle bins – in an attempt to obtain personal data.

6. Never save your passwords in your browser

Most of the top browsers store your bookmarks and passwords in the cloud rather than on your local machine. This puts all of your login credentials at risk if your browser experiences a data breach. While you can use password management that stores your passwords using one main password, your login credentials aren’t entirely safe. If your password application is installed on your local machine it’s safer than in the cloud. However, if your device gets stolen and you haven’t logged out of your password manager, you’re extremely vulnerable.

7. Immediately lock your smart devices

Smart devices usually come with either no password or a factor-generated password printed in your device’s manual. Change You should also create a separate Wi-Fi network just for your IoT devices. If someone manages to hack into your device-only network, they won’t have access to your computer or other devices.

8. Mac users: turn AirDrop on/off for each use

For Mac users, it’s a good idea to turn AirDrop on and off for each use. You can set AirDrop to accept file transfers only from trusted devices, but that could be a problem if someone has already compromised your Mac to trust their device. The safest way to protect your Mac is to manually turn AirDrop on and off for each file transfer you perform. Additionally, if you’re not using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, turn those features off until you need them.

9. Train contractors you employ, no matter how small their task

Sometimes you just need to hire someone to upload files you don’t have time to manage, or you need someone to perform ten minutes of work on your website. Small tasks can still place you at risk for a cyberattack if the person performing those tasks doesn’t take precautions. Always train any contractors (and friends) you hire to do quick work for you online. Make sure they aren’t performing the work from unsecured public Wi-Fi and if they must, then make sure they use a VPN. Be assertive and require their agreement to not store your passwords in their browser. Last, always create a unique account for each contractor and delete or disable the account the moment they’re done with the work.

10. Back up your data regularly using immutable storage

If you fall victim to a ransomware attack, you’ll be glad to have a backup of your data. Instead of paying a ransom and hoping the criminal decrypts your data (most of the time they don’t), you can simply restore your data from a healthy backup.

Call Now