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Technology, most especially the internet, has made remarkable improvements in the 21st century and so are the threats associated with its usage. Data and information breaches have sent many companies aground, and many more will still take massive hits before the year runs out.
For example, in February last year a popular fitness app, owned by Under Armour, was hacked and over 150 million users saw their info compromised, including sensitive information such as Phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses, and passwords. However, Under Armour was able to make some last ditch efforts to remedy the deplorable situation. They were are able to scramble most of the passwords of its users, and then stopped the unscrupulous hackers’ right in their tracks. Their success in handling the situation shows how prepared they were, but most of us reading this article aren’t.
1. Get a VPN Installed on All Your Devices
Most people using the internet are usually associated with a particular or unique IP address that makes it easy for your internet service providers and other lawful agents to monitor your activities. These regular companies, security agents aren’t looking for ways to hack or steal vital info from you. Some of these companies monitor your online activity to help them serve you ads or make the world a safer place. However, that cannot be said about malicious hackers. They can use your IP to monitor your online activity and use loopholes in your network to steal vital information from you.
A VPN, otherwise known as Virtual Private Network, is a private network you can use to hide your tracks online. How does a VPN cover your tracks? It does that by encrypting your outbound data and running it through a private server and then sending this encrypted data to the web. This encryption covers your online tracks and makes it difficult for hackers to see what you are up to when surfing the web.
2. Make Clearing Your Browser Cache a Habit
Anytime you visit websites, your information is recorded and saved over a given period of time. Websites and search engines can understand your browsing habits and interest, which they can use to serve you relevant ads. Unfortunately, hackers can also use these records or trails to penetrate your cybernetwork and steal from you. That’s why we all should form the habit of clearing our browser history, cache, and cookies. This will help us tie up all loose ends in our cyber network and further help to secure our personal information.
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3. Don’t Use a Single Password for All Your Online Accounts
We all know that there is this temptation of using one password for all our online account as it makes web life easy and hassle-free. Not having to store different passwords for numerous online accounts is a huge relief for many. According to Digital Guardian, at least 40% of online users employ different passwords for each site they visit, but the majority don’t. It’s not easy memorizing up to 30 passwords of hand when accessing your favorite sites. That’s why it’s good to jot them down and store them securely.
How to create a good and secure password
- Use a combination of Alphanumeric letters when formulating a password
- Try to include special characters like #$* as part of your password
- Avoid using common numbers like 1234, ABCD, date-of-birth as passwords
4. Activate a Two-factor Authentication for Additional Safety
Nowadays, you have lots of websites and online service providers employing the use of two-factor authentication when they need to verify your identity or when you try logging in. Apart from entering your regular password associated with that site, you may also be required to verify or authenticate the code sent to either your phone number or email, which will ultimately prove that the user is a genuine owner of the account. This additional safety measures in the form of authentication will help improve your cybersecurity and make it difficult for a hacker to easily access your account.
Staying secure while surfing the web is up to you and the security measures you put in place. Many hackers are looking for loopholes in the cyberspace at large to exploit. Don’t give them an easy time by installing a lousy cyber security system in place. Endeavor to use a VPN when browsing unsecured sites, strong passwords made up of alphanumeric letters, two-factor authentication and clearing your browser cache and histories. That way, you’ll be able to cover up your cyber tracks to a great extent, thereby securing your valuable data and personal information.