A Simple Guide To Beefing Up Your Online Security

Harley Dixon
August 17, 2020 0 Comment

Today’s technology has totally changed our lives in more ways than we could ever have imagined, and while there’s no denying that having access to the online world has been mostly a good thing, there are a number of drawbacks that have made life more difficult, such as cybercrime.

This usually involves the stealing of personal and/or financial data and then using that data for self-enrichment. These types of crimes are most often targeted at those that could be considered computer illiterate, but even the most tech savvy can fall for similar ploys. Phishing, hacking, and man-in-the-middle attacks are just some of the more common ones, and lead to countless millions lost to online theft every year.

Fortunately, with a few simple changes, it’s easy enough to beef up online security and keep these kinds of criminals at bay.

Phishing Scams

A phishing attack is one where a compromising email is sent out, and will often have details pertaining to the targeted group of people. A good example is a criminal sending out an email that links to a specific bank, except the criminal has created a false page that closely resembles that of the bank. The email will then fool the recipient into following a link to the bank, and putting in their login details, which are then stolen and used to access the person’s real bank account. It’s a malicious crime that works because millions of people around the world don’t first double check links and other details before clicking on them.

The best way to avoid a scenario like this is by first checking to make sure that the email was actually sent by the bank in question – and if it’s not immediately clear, it’s usually best to ignore. It’s also good to remember that banks will never ask their customers for their personal login details under any circumstances.

Password Managers

One of the most common passwords in the world is “12345”, despite the fact that security experts have been warning against simple passwords like these for decades now. Simple, easy to guess passwords are usually short work for any experienced hacker with the right equipment, so it makes sense that a complex password is better, with the caveat being that they are harder to remember. One way around this is by using a password manager, which is a specialised and secure way of storing all passwords and other sensitive information, while only needing to remember a single password in order to access all of the others. There are a number of different password managers available for free, and it’s usually up to the user to decide which one suits them the best, perfect for those that bank online often or enjoy entertaining online games.

The Matter of Antivirus

For most Windows users, having an antivirus seems like a must, especially as online crime becomes more prolific. Windows 10, however, tends to be quite well defended by the baked in antivirus software, and many experts agree that antivirus suites can be detrimental. Instead, it’s generally a better idea to make sure to only download files and emails that have a verified and safe source.