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5 Tips To Protect Yourself From Cybercrime

With the advent of the Internet, a new group of criminals emerged. These people do not harm their targets physically but can wreak havoc in their lives. Cybercriminals use the anonymity offered by the web to extort blackmail or scam an innocent person. Therefore, it has become vital today to protect yourself adequately from such online attacks.

Listed below are 5 simple steps that can go a long way in ensuring your safety when browsing the Internet.

1. Internet security suites are essential

Since people mostly transact using the Internet today, someone can illegally access your connection easily and discover your financial records, such as your credit card, social security and other personal information.

Internet security suites protect against just such eventualities. These programs detect ransomware and viruses, eradicating them immediately.

2. Password strength matters

While you may like to set-up accounts with easy to remember passwords, doing so can severely hamper your security online. Rather than selecting a word, instead come up with alphanumeric passwords, containing both letters and numbers. Your password should contain over 10 characters. To make matters more difficult for cybercriminals, incorporate symbols into your password, along with numbers and letters.

3. Check your social media privacy settings

Almost every day you hear news stories where a celebrity’s social media account gets hacked, leading to the publication of intimate details or pictures. Therefore, you must be careful with your social media settings.

Apart from ensuring that only friends can view your posts on sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, you should also be mindful about what you share. For instance, those sharing their pet’s name on these platforms may be at risk since they exposed the answer to one of the most common security questions.

4. Preventing identity theft

Scammers are forever on the prowl, formulating new methods to learn your identity and personal information. Identity theft occurs when you unknowingly provide your private information to cyber attackers. The only way to prevent the same is to use a virtual private network or VPN.

A VPN is crucial when looking to safeguard data while using a public Internet connection, such as a Wi-Fi.

5. Stay up to date about security breaches

In July 2019, the press reported that a hacker accessed the private financial records of over 100 million Capital One Bank customers. Major data breaches like this one are always reported in the media. You must monitor these developments to adopt better safeguards for your data.

If such a breach directly affects you, contact the merchant in question. Change the account password immediately.

Following the precautions mentioned above can minimize your risk of falling prey to such cyber-crime activities. However, if you believe that someone has breached your personal data, contact the federal trade commission or the FBI immediately for help. Your swift actions in the matter can prevent similar breaches from taking place for other people.

Place fraud alerts and gain your credit reports when such a security breach takes place.     

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