11 Ways to Protect Yourself from Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks are becoming more and more prevalent as viruses, malware, and hackers grow increasingly smarter.

We explain how to protect yourself from cyber attacks. Here are 11 ways that you can help to protect yourself from cyber attacks, or minimise the threat if compromised.

1. Upgrade Your Operating System

Keep your operating system up to date with the most recent version. Older, outdated operating systems are often much easier to hack or infect.

2. Turn On Automatic Updates

Turning on automatic updates takes the guesswork out of updating your software so that you won’t forget. Most programs have a simple checkbox that you can use to turn this on.

3. Anti-Virus Software

Having paid anti-virus installed on all of your devices is crucial. Some computers come with anti-virus software pre-installed but it’s worth noting paid anti-virus provides much stronger security and protection. Like the saying goes, you get what you pay for!

4. Back Up Your Data

Backing up your data is essential. Back up your most important data regularly, at least once a week. To make the task easier you can set up automatic back-ups using an app such as OneDrive or Google Drive.

5. Create Secure Passwords

Use secure passwords that are hard to guess. The best passwords will have a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. If you have trouble coming up with ideas you can use an online secure password generator. Also always use a different password for each account. Use 1Password which is a securely encrypted app you can use to log all of your passwords so you don’t ever forget them!

6. Set Up A Firewall

Always ensure your firewall is on so that you are alerted to potential threats. A firewall can identify and block cyber attack attempts before they happen.

7. Validate SSL Certificates

Set your browser to determine the validity of SSL certificates from the websites you visit. This will help you to recognise whether or not a certain website is secured, and safe to use with private information such as credit cards.

8. Avoid Installing Bundled Freeware

Take caution – lots of free software can have malware packaged with it! Before you install anything do your homework first. Read user reviews, and watch for check boxes or buttons that install other items during the installation process.

9. Be Careful What You Download

Before you decide to download that piece of software, movie, or music, make sure you know if what you’re downloading is safe or legal. Viruses can sometimes hide in otherwise innocent-looking files.

10. What To Do If You Get Hacked

In a situation where you get hacked take action immediately to change all of your passwords, and watch for email notifications of new IP addresses accessing any of your accounts. Also keep an eye on your banking and credit cards for unauthorised activity, and if necessary contact your bank to get your cards cancelled.

11. Never Ever Pay Hackers

If your account gets compromised and you receive an offer from the hackers to restore your files for a price, run! There’s no way to be certain that they will restore your precious files if you do pay, and either way you’re dealing with cyber criminals!

Each of these things can go a long way in helping you to avoid being victimised by a cyber attack. Your security is worth the effort!

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