By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
2017 has been a year of major online security breaches. In the past six months, numerous cyber attacks such as WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya have affected countless users across the globe. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of our lapses in securing our information, so this means you have to be proactive in protecting yourself whenever and wherever you go on the internet.
Prevent a breach even before it happens by following these 5 little-known ways to beef up your online security.
A strong, complex password provides great help in preventing attacks.
To this day, a vast majority of people still don’t create strong enough passwords. Oftentimes, cybercrooks rely on this oversight and exploit it for their own ends, because it’s become so easy for them to guess people’s passwords.
If you want to keep your data secure, you need to create a very strong and complex password. Use a minimum of 10 to 12 characters with a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid including personal information such as your birthday or anniversary because that is what cybercriminals would think of first.
In addition, you must not, under any circumstances, use only one password for all the accounts you use. Doing so is a surefire way of getting your information stolen or your systems being infected with malware.
Use two-factor authentication.
This is now becoming one of the most reliable online protection tools available, but plenty of online users either still don’t make use of it or don’t know about it at all. As an extra precaution, you should consider enabling two-factor authentication for all your online devices.
So what is two-factor authentication? It provides additional security by asking for not only your username and password, but also something that you and only you can provide, such as your fingerprint.
Most manufacturing companies are now installing two-factor authentication software in their cell phones and mobile devices. Samsung phones and iPhones both have fingerprint access aside from the usual password or PIN code options, so look for this on your device and enable it.
Know the difference between HTTPS and HTTP websites.
It’s real simple. HTTPS is secure and HTTP is not. Websites that have URLs beginning in https:// are encrypted by one of two secure protocols — either Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security.
For your protection, only visit HTTPS websites. Most browsers today warn you in the event you visit an unsecure website, so make sure you heed that warning.
Avoid using public networks.
A lot of people still assume that public Wi-Fi networks are safe, and that they are simply ways to log in to the internet. Because they are unsecure connections, public Wi-Fi networks are often used by hackers to spread virus and malware so they can steal the information of anyone who uses the Wi-Fi.
It’s best if you just avoid using unsecure connections. Unless it’s an emergency or another urgent matter, don’t connect to public Wi-Fi.
Cover the camera and/or microphone on your computer.
In June 2016, an innocent photo that Mark Zuckerberg posted to his Facebook account made headlines because it showed his laptop camera and microphone both covered with tape. Some people questioned whether he was paranoid or was he just taking a proper security measure to protect his information. He is after all, the owner of a multibillion-dollar company.
Internet security professionals were quick to support the Facebook CEO. Even you should take this practice into consideration because your privacy is also under threat. Nowadays, it’s so easy for hackers to gain access to your laptop or cellphone cameras and microphones using remote-access trojans.
Avoid any invasion of your privacy by taking this simple, easy, and very cheap security measure.
Do you want to beef up your online security? Then download HotSpot Shield VPN today. With HotSpot Shield, all your data is kept secured and encrypted. If you’re using public Wi-Fi, our VPN secures your browsing, ensuring that you have a private session.
Visit our website and download our free VPN for your device at no cost. You can also check out our blog for more tips on online security.