10 Helpful Tips to Ward Off Cyber Criminals Effectively

Experts define cyber crime as any criminal act on computers and computer networks. Cyber criminals hack into your accounts, steal your personal data, and steal your identity. They use viruses and malware to infect computers and grant them remote access to your device. No one wants to be the victim of a cyber attack.

Ward Off Cyber CriminalsDo you remember Y2K, the Millennium Bug? Rumor called it a computer glitch that would start on the first day of the year 2000. In reality, the new millennium only brought incorrectly displayed dates and minor computer issues. But this event showcased the common fear of cyber criminals.

How to Keep Cyber Criminals Away

Always use Firewalls and anti-virus software

Firewalls control the network traffic that flows to and from your computer. This built-in security system prevents certain programs from running on untrusted networks. Meanwhile, anti-virus software scans your computer for viruses and removes them. Your computer should always have a firewall and anti-virus program running while in use.

Come up with robust and randomized passwords

You have a password for every account you create online. H2 passwords contain uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Random letters, numbers, and symbols make the least predictable passwords. Individual passwords should exist for each account.

Change your passwords at least once a year

Changing your password once a month isn’t sufficient anymore. When people have to change their passwords, they tend to alter them instead. They modify the numbers at the end of the password or swap out lowercase and uppercase letters. You should still change your password at least once a year. But, you should always change your password after cyber criminals compromise your accounts.

Don’t store passwords or sensitive data online

Cyber criminals hack online accounts and access your personal information. Don’t store any sensitive data online where it is easily accessible. Backup personal files on an external storage device, such as a flash drive or external hard drive.

Encrypt and secure all mobile devices

Install anti-malware apps on your mobile devices – smartphones and tablets are computers, too. Android devices have a large selection of anti-malware apps. Encrypt your phone and SIM card with h2, secure passwords. And only download apps from trusted sources.

Back up important data on an external storage device

Copy your most important files onto a flash drive or external hard drive, and keep it somewhere safe. If a virus infects your computer or disables it, your backed up files are still safe. If the external device is not connected, cyber criminals cannot access the uploaded files.

Don’t forget about social media privacy settings

Everyone has an online presence with social networks. Make your social media accounts as private as possible. If you set it so only your friends can see your content, only add people you know. Assume that anything you post online is permanent, and think twice.

Beware of pop-ups and scam emails

Cyber criminals use emails to scam their targets. Never open messages in your spam folder – your email filters suspicious messages here. Don’t click on links from third-party websites; download files from their official sources. And don’t click on pop-ups, especially if the pop-up prompts you to enter personal information.

Don’t visit websites that you know are unsafe

Avoid visiting suspicious or insecure internet sites. If you are aware that a web address is a scam site, don’t go there. Look before you click on a link to make sure it is the right one. If your internet browser flags a website as insecure, do not visit it anyway. You may expose your computer to viruses or malware.

Be careful while connected to public WiFi networks

Unprotected WiFi networks are free to use but insecure. Avoid personal banking, accessing corporate data, or other sensitive activities on public networks.

Endnotes

Cyber criminals are a serious security risk to everyone around the world. Following these tips will help keep you under their radar, and help you protect your identity. It never hurts to be careful!

Top/Featured Image: By © User: Colin / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

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