Cyber attacks are on the rise. As we all spend more time accessing the internet for work, shopping, communication, and more, the threats from criminals are rising.
According to some studies, cyber attacks increased 50% year over year in 2021, and it’s not just big corporations and business leaders being targeted. The threat on consumers is increasing too, with countless phishing, scam, and ransomware attempts made on a daily basis.
Failure to properly defend yourself in the digital world could mean you put your crucial personal data at risk. The result could be a lot more than just a few lost files, with many cyber attacks leading to fraud, theft, and defamation.
Fortunately, there are some ways you can improve your personal security in 2022, and stay one step ahead of the criminals.
1. Protect Yourself from Ransomware
Ransomware represents one of the most significant threats facing consumers and businesses alike in 2021. According to IBM, the average cost of a ransomware breach in 2021 was around $4.62 million – and this wasn’t including the ransom.
As more consumers move online, criminals are finding new ways to hack into systems through downloads, phishing emails, and compromised passwords. When a criminal accesses your system, they seize control of your device or data and block access. The hacker then demands a ransom payment in exchange for the return of your data.
While ransomware can be difficult to detect and prevent in some cases, tools like RAV Antivirus can help consumers to stay defended. Multi-layer protection systems can identify possible ransomware-like activity on your computers and devices, and simultaneously eliminate viruses which might otherwise give criminals access to your data.
2. Update your Browsing Habits
Simply connecting to the internet is enough to potentially put your devices and data at risk in today’s complex online world. With that in mind, it’s important to think carefully about how you use the web. First and foremost, you should always secure your broadband connection with passwords on your personal Wi-Fi, and never use a public connection.
Secondly, you can consider using a VPN to give your browsing habits more privacy, and prevent people from spying on your location.
There are even tools available which can help you to secure your browsing activity when you’re online. For instance, RAV Antivirus comes with tools which scan each of the websites you visit for dangers. The solution also has built-in anti-tracker and ad-blocker features to defend your data.
3. Keep Software Up to Date
Outdated software with a connection to the internet represents one of the easiest ways for criminals to get access to your data. With that in mind, it’s worth making sure you keep your device, and any software installed within it as up-to-date as possible.
Make sure your browser plugins are always working on the latest version, and your operating system isn’t constantly waiting for an update. Most importantly, ensure your antivirus, firewall, and malware protection software is always up-to-date.
Although antivirus software can seem like an extra expense for any consumer at first, it’s still the most effective way to fight off malicious attacks. Antivirus solutions which include firewalls and malware protection will help to keep you informed when criminals attempt to gain access to your data.
If you haven’t upgraded your antivirus software in a while, it might be worth looking into modern tools which come with bonus features like AI and machine learning to help systems detect attacks as quickly as possible.
4. Improve Your Passwords
You’d be surprised how many cyberattacks happen just because of a poorly-chosen password. Unfortunately, most of us don’t use passwords the way we should. Around 67% of Americans still use the same password for a host of online accounts.
While it can be difficult to remember a number of different passwords when you’re living in today’s digital world, there are various tools which can help with this. For instance, online password managers allow you to store all of your passwords in one location, with one “master password” to access everything.
Another way to strengthen your passwords is with two-factor authentication. Multi-factor or two-factor authentication adds another layer of security to your connections by asking you to enter something alongside your password to access anything. For instance, you may need to input a code sent to your phone.
Remember to Stay Educated
Aside from the four steps above, one of the best things you can do to improve your cyber security standing, is stay educated. The threats facing today’s consumers are constantly evolving, as criminals find new ways to reach out and snatch access to our credentials.
For instance, phishing scams are becoming increasingly popular in recent years, which involve convincing customers to click on emails, files, and links hiding viruses and malware.
Staying up-to-date on the latest threats in the security landscape and how they effect you will ensure you can protect yourself as much as possible in the years to come.
Working as a cyber security solutions architect, Alisa focuses on application and network security. Before joining us she held a cyber security researcher positions within a variety of cyber security start-ups. She also experience in different industry domains like finance, healthcare and consumer products.