The coronavirus pandemic has immensely impacted all aspects of our lives – our jobs, relationships, health, and safety. This situation was definitely overwhelming for most as the number of cases, border controls, and new mutations of the virus fluctuated constantly. Against this background, some people unconsciously neglect cyber security. Are you really safe in your own home?
I’m at home… Am I still at risk?
Recent data showed that 46% of global businesses have faced at least one cyber security threat. Within three consecutive months from June, large companies such as Honda, Garmin, and Canon ransomware victims attacks that have cost them millions of dollars.
That being said, personal and professional scams related to coronavirus have increased tenfold in the past few months and are linked to people’s bank accounts, among other things. After all these alarming events, the answer is yes. Your data is more vulnerable than ever. As more and more businesses are required to work from home, more and more cybercriminals are falling victim to taking advantage of people’s vulnerable and anxious states.
Read Also: Parenting Tips: While Working From Home
With that in mind, here are three privacy steps to get you started:
Set Secure passwords
Passwords are our first line of defense, but it’s a well-known fact that passwords can be easily hacked, especially if you’re an open book. Below are the top passwords according to CNN :
As can be seen from the list above, some people can be very uncreative and hackable. Even if your password isn’t on the list, you’re not necessarily secure either, especially if you constantly use personal information like birthdays or anniversaries. Now that you know the obvious, stay away from it.
Instead, follow this guide to secure your first line of defense:
Use at least 10-15 characters with a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Don’t use the same password twice for business and personal accounts.
For accounts with the most sensitive information, use two-factor authentication to add another layer of security. With two-factor authentication, not only is a password required but additional details such as a code can be requested via SMS or biometric.
Update your antivirus software
A computer virus is very similar to the flu in that it spreads from a host and renders those affected inoperable. Be careful as the malicious program can damage important files and (possibly) your entire computer by following seemingly legitimate and harmless ways. Your device might be full of them and you just don’t know it yet.
In today’s digital age, cybercriminals don’t just prey on gullible people. They’ve stepped up their game and created new types of viruses that can spread via:
- Email and SMS attachments
- File Downloads
- Social media links
- Video and audio files
When surfing the web or downloading files, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Besides checking URLs and email addresses, don’t click on pop-up ads or download files you weren’t expecting.
To do this, use trustworthy antivirus software and keep it updated as needed. Antivirus software acts as an effective barrier against hackers by removing spam ads, detecting threats, and protecting your firewall, among other things.
Store personal data in a private vault
You might not realize it, but your phone is just as vulnerable as your computer. Similar to computers, mobile hackers look for emails, banking apps or personal messages/photos that can be used for blackmail.
Below are some signs of a possibly hacked phone: * Decreased battery life * Suspicious activities/transactions that you never did with linked accounts * High data billing which may come from malware running in the background.