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How To Protect Your Digital Privacy

The internet as we know it has been around since the early 1990s, and many of us practically grew up using it. You have to agree that it is hard to imagine how the world would look without the internet. We all know about viruses, malware, ransomware, and other dangers lurking out there on the world wide web. 

However, with the rise of new technologies, there are even more threats to watch out for. You might think you know all the basics that keep your digital privacy secure, but you are probably wrong. Not everyone knows about the importance of antivirus software or a VPN (learn more).

Whether you are a business owner or just a regular internet user, updating your security measures is an excellent idea. So let’s begin!

Is your digital privacy really safe?

Last year was incredibly challenging in terms of cyber security. Many companies turned to remote work, and hackers saw it as the perfect opportunity for data theft. For instance, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center had 791,790 complaints in 2020. It is almost twice as much as in 2019.

Unfortunately, we are seeing the same trend right now in 2021. Businesses of all sizes, as well as individual users, have been hit by various cybercrimes. Most common are phishing and Internet of Things attacks. When we analyze all of this, one question remains – is your digital privacy protected?

The answer is probably no. Staying on top of cybersecurity could be tricky, especially with new threats appearing almost daily. The best thing you could do right now is to identify the possible dangers. And then learn how to deal with them.

What are the threats?

Data leaks

Just a couple of years ago, almost everyone used the same password for all their accounts. After the reveal that many large companies like Yahoo!, Under Armor, Marriott, and Facebook experienced data breaches, people started taking cybersecurity seriously.

Anyone could access a massive list of usernames and passwords on the dark web. It allowed hackers to break into accounts on various websites by using the same login information. Largescale data leaks are a huge cybersecurity threat for everyone because they can lead to identity theft.

Zero-day attacks

Zero-day attacks target system or software vulnerabilities right before a patch release. We have seen this done in the past with the 2014 attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. Hackers search for outdated software and use it to gain access to a system.

Large companies are at a greater risk because they can’t update all the software at once, which gives hackers more time to launch an attack. But individual users need to be aware of this potential threat and perform updates regularly.

Ransomware

Ransomware is still as dangerous as ever. This malicious software encrypts a system, denying access to users until they pay a ransom fee. How is it spread? Usually by phishing. The said fee varies from one hundred to thousands of dollars.

If you think that authorities can trace the ransom, you are wrong. Cybercriminals are clever, and they request payment in Bitcoin. Some might even go for gift cards. The statistics regarding ransomware are not promising. In 2020 around 66% of businesses in the US reported a financial loss due to this cybercrime.

How to minimize the threat

Luckily, you can start improving your cyber security right away and make your digital privacy as safe as possible. Here’s how:

Use a VPN

A VPN service is an absolute must-have when it comes to online security. This app encrypts your connection and makes it impossible for anyone to eavesdrop on your traffic. Additionally, there are some extra perks like access to geo-blocked content.

If you love to use public Wi-Fi networks, a VPN will add an extra layer of protection. The hot spots are not very safe, as most don’t have anyone monitoring for suspicious behavior. Therefore, it is best to use a VPN while you are away from your home network. 

Update your antivirus

As we mentioned before, zero-day attacks occur because of outdated software. Surely, updates and patches could force a user to stop their work and wait for a couple of minutes, but trust us – these are worth it. Regular system and software updates are a must. If hackers find any vulnerability, they will surely use it.

Don’t overshare on the internet

Finally, don’t reveal too much about yourself on social media. Your hometown or date of birth should be private. Hackers often look for these small details and use them to break into your accounts. After all, you have probably used the name of your pet as an answer to a security question. There is no such thing as insignificant information for cybercriminals. So be safe out there!

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.

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