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Best Ways to Protect Your Information Online

Updated: Jan 30

woman using a credit card on a cellphone, practicing online safety

Cybersecurity threats and attacks occur each day, whether to us, someone we know, or major corporations that spend thousands of dollars each year to protect against them. In fact, it is estimated that a hacker attack happens every 39 seconds, adding up to about 2,200 attacks per day. Just as other aspects of tech are evolving, hacker technology is evolving as well.

With the internet being necessary for many day-to-day tasks, such as remote work, conducting research, online shopping, sending emails, etc., it can seem difficult at first to take steps to protect yourself from a cybersecurity attack. However, there are easy ways to protect your information online; it is also beneficial to seek help from others that you trust if you find yourself in an unsecured situation. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to practice good cybersecurity.

1. Create strong & unique passwords

Many of us are guilty of using the same password for multiple different accounts which can make it easier for hackers to access more than just a little of your personal information. To better protect your data, create unique passwords for each of your accounts. This way, if one account happened to be breached, your other accounts would remain safe from the attack.

In addition to making passwords unique between accounts, it is just as important to make sure they are hard for hackers to figure out. Avoid passwords that might be easily decoded, such as birthdays, addresses, or even family names. Using a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters as well as numbers and symbols is a great way to make a password unique. Utilizing a password manager tool, such as ones built into web browsers, can help you keep track of your different passwords. Any accounts that contain your bank information or social security numbers would also benefit from frequent password changes.

2. Utilize two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is something that many platforms have put into place when their users login to their accounts. By setting up a code that is sent to your verified phone or email, or using facial recognition technology, there is extra security against cyber threats. Even if a hacker were to figure out and enter the password to one of your accounts, they would not have the code that was sent to only you, meaning they would not be able to access your account.

3. Enable social media privacy settings

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are used by millions of people each day. It is important to be cautious when deciding what to include in your posts; try to avoid sharing information about your location, birth date, or other personal details. If you are to share this type of information, be sure to utilize the platform’s privacy settings. You can choose to keep your account viewable only by your friends or followers, or even choose only specific individuals to give that type of access.

4. Be aware of a website’s security

Before entering personal information into a website, it is crucial that you make sure the website is secure. Check to see if the URL begins with “https” and has a lock symbol next to it - that means you are on a secure website. Avoid using your personal information on sites that begin with “http” and/or have no trust seals, no privacy policies, and no contact information. About 4.1 million websites have malware at any given time; hackers embed different types of malware into these unsecure sites that might seem trustworthy at first glance.

5. Look out for phishing scams

Phishing is a popular way that cyber criminals trick people into handing over their personal information. These individuals pretend to be legitimate sites, typically places where the victim of these attacks has an account. They send emails to these users which contain a link that opens a window to type in personal information, which hackers then have access to.

Did you know that 92% of malware was delivered via email? If an email seems suspicious, chances are it probably is. Look for any spelling or grammar errors, and pay attention to the address that the email is coming from; if it is different from the email address that is normally associated with the sender, it is most likely spam.

6. Be cautious with public Wi-Fi

Most public password-free Wi-Fi networks lack encryption, making it a more unsecure way to access the web. If you are at your local coffee shop using the free Wi-Fi for a change of scenery while you work or surf the internet, try to avoid entering any personal data, especially credit card and bank information. Wait until you are home or on another password-protected network to use that type of data.

7. Consider extra protection

When it comes to your personal information and data, you can never be too safe. Using a VPN helps your security by masking your IP address so that no one can track your information and activity. You might also wish to install an ad-blocker to avoid those bothersome advertisements that appear while you are on the internet. Some of these ads are used by hackers to install downloads onto your device without you knowing, making it an easy way to compromise your personal information.

As cyber attacks continue to grow and evolve, we must be as cautious as ever with our personal information. Taking the time to consider these tips on how to protect your personal information online will help you remain safer as you surf the internet. Spreading this awareness to friends and family is great in helping them with their data as well as we work to reduce cyber attacks.

Looking for a position in cybersecurity or another tech-related field? Sedna Consulting Group has a team of experts with over 15 years of experience in helping talented individuals find the position they are looking for. Send us a message on LinkedIn or Instagram to learn more about how we can assist you on your career journey.



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