In recent years, the cumulative amount of high profile breaches has made the front page of the newspaper a terrifying read. Almost everyone has heard of the Equifax and Target breaches that leaked millions of people’s data for anyone and everyone to grab for free.
However, in that same period, there were over a hundred more preventable cyber attacks against businesses like Microsoft, Yahoo, and Sony. While the fallout of these attacks was not as impactful as Equifax, the effect remained similar. People have begun to understand that in the digital age everyone is a target to a hacker. This means, by the law of averages alone, that you will be targeted at some point if you haven’t been already.
These can come in the form of spoofed emails that emulate people you know or respect in order to obtain secret credentials or brute force attacks that attempt to crack your passwords through an automated execution protocol that works to solve complex password problems.
Rethink Your Password
This is the most repeated piece of advice in IT history. Having a unique, strong password will make your computer infinitely more secure which, in turn, will lead to better sleep at night knowing that someone guessing the password would fall just under 1 in a trillion odds.
First, you must understand what goes into a good password. It must be at least 8 characters long and use mixed cases. It must include letters, numbers and special characters to increase complexity. Most importantly, it must be securely kept in a place that only you can access.
This can be in a virtual security manager or a password manager, like LastPass, or in a secure physical location like a personal safe or locked drawer. Now, this may seem extreme, but, a proper password that is secured away can make your computer much more secure and will, with little exception, nullify most types of hacking attempts.
If you are smart enough to keep your information to yourself then you will make yourself effectively impervious to social exploits and brute force attacks. Truly, a good password can completely turn the odds in your favor and make your computer too tough to crack.
Another incredibly important step you should take is to encrypt all your folders that contain sensitive or privileged information. This falls into the realm of anything from SSNs to Bank Statements.
The reason being, anyone who can somehow bypass your great password will have to get through a different batch of painful craziness in order to bypass encryption key locks that can be infinitely complex. Some even go as far as encrypting entire drives on their computers which, in all seriousness, is not a bad idea. Of course, you would ideally make a password for each and every folder.
While this can be a laborious process it can also be the surefire way to lock down your computer for good. An incredibly small amount of people even use proper passwords let alone use file encryption, but, those that do are amongst the safest users of technology in the world. Not only is using encryption on your file systems recommended, it is also recommended for your internet access.
This can be done through the use of proxies that can obscure where you are located and can hide your browsing history so that unwanted parties can not build profiles based on your data. Using proxies are not always fail-proof, but, they are nonetheless important for anyone who wants to browse the web securely.
You will most likely be targeted at some point and you must be prepared to the best of your abilities so that you are not completely taken apart by a bad actor or hacker. In this article, we will cover the different methods individuals can pursue in order to shore up their defenses against people who would like your information to buy a new jet ski or sway an election.
Cybersecurity is becoming more and more of a necessity every day as the use of devices expands and the internet reaches all corners of the world. Truly, hacking and breaching are incredibly profitable criminal enterprises and the number of bad actors online is increasing daily.
You must make sure that your password is strong and protected so that your first line of defense is strong. It is also recommended that you encrypt every part of your technology, especially promising new technologies so that you are practically immune to hacking attempts. With these tips, you will be able to make protect your data with force and will be able to sleep a little better at night knowing that your data and information are safe.
Ellie Martin is co-founder of Startup Change group. Her works have been featured on Yahoo! , Wisebread, AOL, among others. She currently splits her time between her home office in New York and Israel. You may connect with her on Twitter.