Top 5 poor cybersecurity habits, and how to overcome them

The main reason for humans to adapt to a rapidly evolving digital lifestyle is convenience. For example, banking apps allow us to send and receive money while staying cozy inside our blankets. But convenience can come at a cost.

Social media platforms make us feel closer to loved ones far away. Yes, it has also made one feel insecure and lonely and keeps us scrolling for dopamine. 

Plus, with the introduction of cloud services, developers have been able to expand their services. This cut costs as they don’t have to erect data centers in each service radius.

Not just that – cloud computing allows files to be accessed from anywhere. This makes collaborating with a diversified team possible, and convenient.

However, the other side of this coin is cyber threats, and you should be alarmed. Although worldwide data breaches were down by 58 percent during the first quarter of 2022, the amount of stolen data is still huge—a whopping 18 million data breaches, to be exact.

So, now more than ever before, be careful when dealing with the internet of things. To ensure smooth sailing, here are some of the poor cybersecurity habits to let go of in 2022

1. Poor password hygiene

Remember your first password? Yes, your ex’s name, followed by a non-existent “forever”. 

That is the simplest example of a weak password. If your ex’s current partner was an amateur hacker, he’d have access to your email forwards from unknown people trying to meet you, just 2kms away.

If your password is still similar to the above example, then friend, you are beyond help. But just any password will not be secure. 

The best way to create a secure password is as follows:

  • Do not use personally identifiable information – address, phone number, or names
  • Combine letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Make it as long as possible
  • When changing your password, do not use previously used combinations or one you use for another account
  • Try not to use actual words – it will be a piece of cake for the bots to find the combinations

Another best password etiquette is using a password manager for all your accounts. You don’t have to remember all passwords, only the ‘master’ password to gain access to your password manager. Also, make sure you utilize the two-factor authentication feature – it’s a lifesaver.

2. No thinking, just clicking

Children like to have a taste of everything they come across. If the childish licking of objects is dangerous, so is the childish clicking on links and pop-ups without caution. 

Have you ever won the latest iPhone? No, you did not, because you most probably never entered a draw. These are scams you need to be wary about. 

Through phishing, attackers craft emails as if they are coming from a reputable source. They use malicious links to steal passwords or install malware on the victim’s device.

To add to this, be wary of voice phishing. Be extra vigilant when you receive texts or calls from unknown entities asking for financial or personal details.

3. Neglecting software updates

Developers regularly release updates with bug fixes. Attackers tend to find flaws in operating systems or any other software installed on your devices. They then infiltrate the entire system by exploiting minor vulnerabilities. Hence, updates come with security enhancement too.

To ensure your devices are not exposed to these vulnerabilities, you have to constantly update your software. Enabling automatic updates for the operating systems and other applications will get the job done without wasting your time. If you have a strong WiFi connection, updates will happen in the background without a hassle.

4. Not securing all devices

We have different devices for various purposes. Laptops for work. Tablets for note-taking, and mobile phones for basically everything. But are all our devices secure?

Make sure to secure all connected devices with robust security applications. Install anti-malware or antivirus protection from leading security brands. There are options to connect all your devices with one subscription. This way, you can worry a little less about landing your feet on cyber-thornes. 

If you have a smart home setup, you have more reasons to secure your digital infrastructure. There are many ways in which hackers try to enter your home. So, make sure you purchase and install secure digital products.

5. Mixing personal and professional life when working from home

When the pandemic sponsored rapid utilization of remote work, the lines between our personal and professional lives became thinner. 

By registering yourself on a shopping site using your work email and password, you open your company systems to unknown risks. If the site is compromised, hackers can easily access your company’s cloud. Yes, hacking is not always a complicated screen with flying numbers and scary codes. Sometimes it’s as simple as deploying malware in a vulnerable network. 

Therefore, try to separate work and personal life. Use different devices for work purposes. Avoid using personal apps on company devices. 

If you frequent cafes for a change in environment, do not connect your work or personal devices to public networks. Free WiFi is great but often unsafe and could be costly.

The biggest mistake you can make is to assume you are too small to be a target. According to RSA security, a consumer account sells for just $1. You may think you are small, but your price on the dark web begs to differ. 

Everyone is at risk. You cannot underestimate the threat a cyberattack poses. It’s time to wake up, check under your bed for monsters, and practice better cybersecurity habits.

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