5 Top Personal Cyber Security Tips to Stay Protected

It is imperative to stay vigilant and aware of the security risks posed to anyone using technology today. The onslaught of ransomware attacks in the past months has brought this to the forefront. While many think these attacks are waged only on businesses, they would be wrong. Boss GTS, the I.T security professionals in South Africa are aware of the inherent dangers and the correct paths to follow for safe online interactions. Consumers are also a target, and realising this is the first step towards awareness.

Software Updates 

One of the most vital cyber security tips to mitigate is patching outdated software. This refers to both applications and operating systems. Regularly patching and updating your software will remove any critical vulnerabilities that a hacker preys on to access your devices. Take these steps to protect yourself and your systems:

  • Switch on your automatic system updates on your device
  • Ensure that your web browser uses automatic security updates
  • Maintain all your web browser plugins and keep them updated

  • Antivirus and Firewalls
    AV or antivirus software is the first line of defence against cyber-attacks. The software prevents malware or malicious viruses from entering your device and compromising your data. Always use antivirus software from reputable and trusted vendors and use one antivirus solution on your device. Call Boss GTS, the I.T professionals in South Africa who can help with updating your software.

    Using a firewall is also a worthy defence against malicious attacks. A firewall helps to weed out hackers, viruses, and other malware. It determines what traffic is allowed to enter your device. Besides your laptop or desktop firewall, your router that connects you to the internet should also have a firewall.

  • Passwords and Password Management

Strong passwords are critical for keeping hackers out and securing your data.

  • Select a user-friendly password but ensure that it contains at least eight characters and a maximum length of 64 characters.
  • Don’t use the same password twice.
  • The password should contain at least one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number, and four symbols but not the following &%#@_.
  • Choose something easy to remember and never leave a password hint out in the open or make it publicly available for hackers to see
  • Reset a forgotten password. Make a habit of changing it once per year.

  • Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication
    • Two-factor or multi-factor authentication adds additional layers of security to your existing passwords and online authentications. Two-factor authentication usually includes a username and password; however, you could be required to provide additional information like a fingerprint or a personal identification code.
    • Multi-factor authentication would include more than two additional authentication methods over and above the username and password.

  • Don't Use Public Wi-Fi
    Don’t use public Wi-Fi without using a VPN or Virtual Private Network. VPN software ensures that the information or data that travels between your device and the VPN is encrypted. Encrypted data means it is more difficult for cybercriminals to access your data on a device. If you can't use a VPN, rather use your mobile device data than opting for a public Wi-Fi network.

The top causes of security breaches nowadays are phishing, hacking and malware which is amplified by instances of human error or neglect. It is extremely important to be aware of the dangers and educate yourself on how best to protect yourself from becoming a victim of cybercriminals and their criminal activities.

Boss GTS, the I.T security professionals in South Africa can guide you towards a safer, more secure online environment. Call us today on 032-8660010 and speak to one of our team members. We will gladly offer advice and assistance.