Given that more and more of our daily interactions and transactions are taking place online, it’s no surprise that cybercrime is becoming an increasingly serious problem around the globe. In fact, according to some estimates, the ill-gotten gains arrived at by hacking, phishing and other forms of digital criminal activity will exceed a whopping $10.5 trillion every year by 2025.
For that reason, businesses operating in every industry imaginable are now ramping up their cyber security defenses to introduce proactive and preventative measures to keep their operations safe online. And that goes for individual consumers, too; cybercrime is now just as big a threat to casual internet users as it is to corporations. If the rising tide of cyber incidents has you worried, here are a handful of ways to protect yourself online in 2022.
Install a firewall and anti-virus program
There is a wealth of technological tools which can help to safeguard your information and your system while online. Firewalls are a great way to ring-fence your network from unwanted traffic, while anti-virus programs can stop malware in its tracks and keep your device (and its contents) safe from interception and corruption. Be sure to always update these apps on a regular basis to stay one step ahead of the cyber attackers, too.
Use a VPN
As a means of masking your IP address and encrypting all data sent over your internet connection, a VPN is an excellent means of beefing up your digital security in a single stroke. Not only will it make it far more difficult for a hacker to breach your account or access your sensitive information, but it can also enhance your browser experience in a variety of other ways, too. It’s no wonder, then, that VPN downloads and installations have skyrocketed in recent years.
Mix up passwords
Your log-in credentials are one of the most targeted entry points into your online presence, which is why it’s essential to choose a strong password that is unguessable even by close friends or family. For the best results, use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, change your password on a regular basis and never recycle the same cipher on a different website or platform. If you do, you risk giving the keys of your entire online castle to a hacker through one single slip-up.
You can use all the fancy tools at your disposal and favor passwords that are as impregnable as they can possibly be, but the statistics show that 90% of data breaches in 2019 were caused by human error. To avoid the same fate befalling you, it’s absolutely crucial that you remain vigilant of the threat landscape and treat any suspicious messages, calls or emails with the response they deserve – namely, refusing to engage and reporting them to the appropriate authorities. You are your best and strongest defense against cybercrime, so keep your skillset sharpened.
While cyber attacks are becoming more and more commonplace each day, you can ensure you stay safe online by following these simple tips.