One of the most important parts of operating safely online is to keep your data private. Whether personal or business data is your concern, it is all under threat from attackers unless you take the proper steps.
There is no need to be afraid online as long as you are doing your part to stay safe. So we are going to discuss some easy cyber security tips to help everyone stay safe and hidden online.
Securing your Home Network
A good place to start is making sure that your home network is secure. For our example we will call your “home” network the one you use the most. This could be your literal IT network for your personal house, or your work network that you use everyday.
Regardless, this network is the one that you use the most, and thus, needs to be secured.
We wrote an article all about how to secure your router, but we will just hit on some of the key points.
- Change the router name and password. Follow our password tips to create a secure password that nobody can break! This is the first and most important lock to keeping someone out of your network, so you want that password to be strong!
- Disable WPS. WiFi Protected Setup allows you to push a button and let someone connect to your network. This just makes it easier for someone to possibly attack your system.
- Hide your SSID. This is the WiFi name that shows up when you want to connect to a network. Keeping it hidden will stop people from easily trying to break into your network.
- Filter MAC Addresses. Essentially this is a way to control what you allow to connect your router. Every device has a MAC address, and you can make it so only the ones you allow in are able to connect. This helps keep people off your network!
Use a VPN!
A VPN is probably the best way to keep yourself private and secure online. It always be added to any network you are on as a way of adding additional security. Think of the above tips as a strong lock for your house. A VPN is like an invisibility cloak if someone was able to break the lock.
A VPN (or virtual private network) is essentially a private tunnel that allows you to connect to the internet without your information being sent out. A VPN hides your IP address from others lurking online. This makes it so that nobody can truly tell where you are, or who you are.
This is a GREAT solution for those who work on public WiFi connections. Public Wifi is a hotbed for attackers who are waiting for vulnerable targets. Adding a VPN makes it so you are hidden within the public WiFi.
VPNs are also perfect for those who work remotely and need to create a safe connection. You can create a VPN network that is essentially a tunnel through the internet that repels anyone who does not have the key to get in.
Social Media Privacy
Just about everyone is on social media. We all know that we need to be careful about what we put online, but most people don’t really think about what that means.
Social media can be used very successfully to get information and steal your accounts. There was a dramatic rise of phishing attempts that began on social media in 2020. Targets are vulnerable and willing to give away information to just about anyone.
The first tip is to keep all your accounts private. Only allow those you actually know to see your information and be careful about who you allow in.
It is also important to be careful when talking with new people. Maybe you have a private account but join a group for dog park meetups on Facebook. Maybe you start chatting with someone that you think is just trying to arrange a meeting, however simple questions about things like dogs names, or where you are from could give away security question information.
It is amazing how targeted some attacks can be, so you always need to be certain the person is trustworthy before giving too much away.
Update and Secure your Firewall
Your Firewall is an essential part of any cyber security toolkit. However, too many people put blind trust in it because they do not understand it.
Think of a Firewall as a chain-link fence. It keeps many things out of your yard, but not everything. It’s not a perfect fix. Maybe there are ways for creatures to get over certain parts, they have dug under the fence, or put holes within it that make it easier to get in.
These weaknesses need to be addressed and fixed or threats will be able to enter.
Securing your Firewall is all about closing open ports that could allow an attacker to enter. Make sure your Firewall is safe to keep yourself hidden online!