Tips & Tricks for Staying Safe Online

Tips and Tricks for Staying Safe Online.png

In today's digital world, the threat of cyber attacks are always present, even at home. Safeguarding your personal data and digital assets requires a proactive approach. Here are ten steps you can take to minimize the risk of becoming a victim:

  1. Activate Multifactor Authentication (MFA):  When available, MFA adds an additional layer of security to your accounts by requiring multiple forms of verification, such as a phone call, biometric scan, or one-time code. By enabling MFA, you create a significant barrier against unauthorized access, even if your password is compromised.
  2. Keep Software Updated: Software updates often include patches for security vulnerabilities. By enabling automatic updates for your operating system and applications, you ensure that your devices are equipped with the latest defenses against cyber threats.
  3. Exercise Caution Online: Cybercriminals frequently use phishing emails and malicious websites to trick unsuspecting users. Before clicking on links or opening attachments, carefully scrutinize the sender's email address, check for grammatical errors and verify the legitimacy of the communication through alternate channels, if necessary.
  4. Fortify Your Passwords: Strong passwords are essential for protecting your accounts from unauthorized access. Create unique passwords for each account, incorporating a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Consider using a reputable password manager to generate, store, and autofill complex passwords securely. But remember, even password managers can be targeted!
  5. Stay Educated: Cyber threats are continually evolving, making it crucial to stay informed about the latest trends and security best practices. It may not be exciting to do, but if you can regularly educate yourself through reputable sources such as cybersecurity blogs or online courses, you can reduce your risk.
  6. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): When accessing the internet, especially on public Wi-Fi networks, use a VPN to encrypt your connection. A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet, shielding your online activities from prying eyes.
  7. Secure Your Devices: Enable device encryption to protect your data in case your device is lost or stolen. Additionally, install reputable security software such as antivirus or antimalware programs to detect and remove threats from your devices proactively.
  8. Backup Your Data: Regularly back up your important files and documents to an external hard drive or cloud storage service. In the event of a cyber attack, such as ransomware, having a recent backup can help you recover your data without having to pay a ransom.
  9. Be Wary of Social Engineering: Cybercriminals often use social engineering tactics to manipulate individuals into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that compromise security. Be cautious when interacting with unfamiliar individuals or receiving unsolicited requests for personal or financial information. 
  10. Limit Information Sharing: Be mindful of the information you share online, particularly on social media platforms. Adjust privacy settings to restrict access to your personal information and consider the potential consequences of sharing sensitive details such as your location, contact information, or financial data.

By implementing these ten practices, you can significantly reduce your vulnerability to cyber threats and protect yourself and your digital assets in an increasingly digital world.

Remember, slow down and resist immediate action when receiving an e-mail or text. Look for anything unusual in the message. Always think before clicking or responding to something. Avoid phone calls and texts from unknown numbers.

Interested in further protecting yourself with a personal cyber policy? Contact Troxell or get a homeowners quote and ask how cyber insurance can be added to your homeowners policy.