Hackers, as well as other cybercriminals, have upped the ante as the world progressed. It may be that you’ve never had your computer compromised which is a good thing. However, that doesn’t mean you should not exercise care.
Thus, it is imperative that you not only secure your computer but your files as well as network. Here’s how you can stay on top of your internet security.
1. Encrypt Your Files
If you were to argue that today everything is subject to being monitored, you are not wrong. Still, safeguarding your sensitive information will go a long way. Encrypting your files is easy. BitLocker and FileVault are good options to encrypt Windows or macOS.
The same can be achieved through a USB flash drive and also via a decent VPN service. Fancy online shopping? Make sure the website is encrypted and look for ‘https’ in the address bar.
2. Use a Master Password Program
A master password program helps keep all your passwords in one place. Not only does it makes them manageable but keeps them secure. Password managers such as Sticky Password or LastPass are bankable options.
Furthermore, make your passwords uneasy to guess. Complex passwords are difficult to crack. A recommended password should contain at least eight characters and a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters plus, computer symbols.
Also, do not reuse passwords and never use information in passwords such as birthdays or information which is personally identifiable.
3. Use a Different Operating System
Using a different OS can work wonders for you. For instance, Linux is more secure when compared with Windows or Mac. It’s just the way it’s built.
4. Use a Private Browser
If you want to keep prying eyes at bay, use a private browser such as Firefox Focus or Brave. They ensure that all of your activities on the web are kept private. Use the DuckDuckGo search engine to bolster your online anonymity.
Moreover, a private window which is pretty much embedded in every browser today can also help you keep your web surfing under the radar. The session leaves no traces in the form of cookies, search history, and browsing data.
5. Close Your Ports
A computer comprises of different ports. They are numbered 1 through 64435. While some ports use transmission control protocol, others rely on datagram protocol. The latter enables computers to identify data transfer when they connect to each other over a network.
For hackers, even ports are a playing field. So to prevent ports from being misused, always employ a firewall or the default Windows Firewall would do as well. Just make sure the firewall shields are up. That way you can close your ports such as TCP port 25.
Why is it essential? Because restricting access to ports can prevent the spread of mass-mailing worms by cybercriminals over a network which in turn, safeguards connected workstations against viruses and other threats.
6. Use Intrusion Detection Software
Intrusion detection is important. It’s being preemptive before a major catastrophe strikes. With the help of a right intrusion detection mechanism, any or all unusual activity is curtailed. It works best coupled with antivirus and firewall(s) in place.
Many of the intrusion detection tools are free including Splunk, Sagan, Fail2Ban, and Bro among others. An intrusion detection program can kill a threat by performing actions such as user accounts suspension, blocking IP addresses, alerting and recording as well as reporting suspicious activities, etc.
7. Update Software
Software updates for both your operating system and programs are crucial. They pack necessary security patches to combat the latest threats from infecting your computer.
Turn on Automatic Updates on your OS. Meanwhile, keep browsers in addition to, plugins (Flash, Java, etc.) up-to-date.
8. Use Antivirus Software
Antivirus is the best defense when it comes to detecting intrusions. That way your data stays safe. Once installed, run or schedule it for regular virus scans for keeping your system free of viruses.
On the other hand,
Anti-spyware helps identify threats in real-time since spyware tends to spy and gather information on individuals/ organizations alike.
Spyware software is difficult to detect and thus, its intrusion usually goes unnoticed. It is likely to bombard you with unwanted ads or will direct you to certain websites via search results. Anti-spyware package blocks such threats.
Avast, Malwarebytes, Bitdefender, SUPERAntiSpyware, and Panda Security are all great antivirus/antimalware software.
9. Use a VPN
Any hacker or data snooper will have no way of telling you where you are located. Therefore, threats are averted when you are surfing, shopping or streaming over the internet.
10. Secure Your WiFi Network
Lastly, it is essential that your WiFi network is secured. If a hacker was to get hold of your router it can wreak havoc. There are various methods on how you can protect your WiFi network but nothing comes close to a VPN.
Additionally, you can update your router’s firmware, login, and password, use WPA2 for strengthening security and by turning off WPS.