5 Things You Do Everyday That Make You Vulnerable Online
Unsafe internet surfing can endanger your security and make you cyber attack prone and vulnerable to multiple malware and cookies stealing. It is essential to be careful and pay attention to the small things we do while browsing to ensure maximum safety. Even simple acts like failing to log out of a portal or downloading the wrong app might lead to severe data theft. Here are the top five hacker-friendly actions most people do mindlessly and the best tips to avoid them.
Failing to Use Multiple Emails
Most people have a primary Gmail account and link it to all their vital services like a bank account, ISP service, etc. They also use the same email to subscribe to various anonymous newsletters and subscription services, and social media on the internet. Nearly every website asks for the user’s email these days, and the inbox usually gets bombarded with thousands of unread emails.
Always use a professional work email with encryption features that are highly secure to deal with business, finance, health, and insurance-related data. Use Gmail or other free email accounts only to browse social media and subscribe to unknown services. Make sure only minimal details regarding you get displayed to the public in the profile.
Go to Gmail or other email account settings and ensure you hide most of the data from public view. You can also try using encrypted email services like ProtonMail, HushMail, or CounterMail that provide extra safety.
Always use a reputable Antivirus software like Kaspersky that scans the emails and alerts you if there is anything suspicious. Update the Antivirus regularly. If you check email on your mobile regularly, install the same Antivirus designed for your mobile.
Not Installing Antivirus in the Mobile Phone
Mobile phones are fast replacing our laptops, and nearly 46% of all internet browsing occurs through our mobile phones. Besides, we download numerous apps daily to play, watch videos, hear music, and for various other services, from paying the vendors to booking a cab.
We can access specific payment gateways like GPay only in the form of apps. It is imperative to have a proper antivirus installed and running to safeguard mobile internet activities. The Antivirus used for mobile should pre-scan the apps downloaded, checking for their authenticity.
It should warn the users if there are any issues with tracking the user data or the App permission to access the core mobile data like contacts without the user permission. Avoid downloading such apps if you get a warning, and be careful to download apps only from reliable sources. Avoid using third-party app downloads as much as possible for your security.
Avoid browsing the unwanted and less known websites which are loaded with ads and look non-professional. Most Antivirus software acts like a shield preventing the users from entering susceptible websites. Heed to its warning and block those sites.
Packages like AVG Antivirus, Norton, and K7 Total security are well-known mobile protection providing packages. They will scan the apps regularly each time they are updated after installation and warn you regarding any hacking attempt. If you get such a message, log out of the app or website you are using immediately and quit using them again. Report regarding the issue, if possible, to prevent other users from encountering the same problem.
Neglecting Protection of Backup Data Stored in the Cloud
Most of the data gets stored in the cloud in mobile phone usage, including backups. Hence, using good cloud storage protection services is a must. Most mobile users and internet users are blissfully unaware of this threat.
If you opt to save your backup in the cloud or use other cloud services like Google Docs frequently, opt for cloud protection from a company like Paloalto. Their services will be beneficial for businesses saving their core data in the cloud.
Nevertheless, protecting important family memories like photos and messages and vulnerable videos is also essential. HyTrust, Symantec, vArmour, and Qualys are top companies providing high-end cloud-based protection to backup data and standard data stored in them.
Failing to Use Unique Passwords
Don’t try to use the same passwords in all your accounts. Never relate the passwords with your birthday, favorite color, and the well-known attributes about you. If your email account gets hacked and the password is the same for your bank account, it becomes effortless for the hackers to get hold of all your data.
Several people have a backup of their passwords saved in notepad and stored in their Gmail. Avoid such activities and use a proper password manager like 1Password. When you set passwords, keep different ones for your system, email accounts, and other services like social media.
Mix and match different types of totally unexpected items like history and geography. For example, mix History and Geography to make a password like July4Artic. Mix various things like your morning breakfast and the first car you see like BMWurger1.
Such passwords are hard to crack, and a suitable password manager will help you remember them easily. Avoid logging in to all the services using Google or Facebook button, though it is easy. Use specific passwords to log in to prevent the various apps or cookies from tracking your Gmail and Facebook data easily.
Using Unsecure ISP’s and Connecting with Anonymous People Online
Instead of selecting the free and low-cost ISP service providers with limited security, select a more robust one with advanced security features. Use an additional VPN service to prevent intruders from entering your device through the internet connection. ISP security is critical because it is the gateway to hackers entering and monitoring your data and browsing habits.
Do not accept all the friend requests on social media blindly. Use Nuwber to search for reliable information about the new people you befriend through social media. Continue chatting with them only if they are legitimate people, as many use false identities and try to hack your system.
The most common mistakes we make while browsing are using the same email account for personal and professional use, failing to install an antivirus in the system and mobile, and forgetting about cloud storage protection. Using weak or uniform passwords and a weak and low-security internet connection makes our personal and professional data available to numerous hackers and cybercriminals. Take care to avoid these threats and browse safely in the privacy compromised online world.