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The world is slowly shifting a lot of its activities to the online space. Most activities are happening online, which means that the use of computers continues to be a priority. Simple activities such as communicating and staying in touch with family and friends, shopping, paying utility bills, and banking become easy, fast, and convenient. While most of these benefits are great, operating online comes with several risks. Below are some of the most common tips on how to protect yourself online this 2020. Read on to discover what you can do to make things better for yourself and your business.

The Need For Online Security

Protecting one’s identity and integrity while transacting online is crucial in today’s world. Lately, the increased usage of online services has also led to increased cybercrimes and cyberbullying.

It is, therefore, important to find a lasting solution to problems. People need to understand that the reality of cybercrime is real and that the need to take the right steps to protect themselves is ever more needful today. It starts by understanding what these crimes are and how to protect yourself from them.

What is Cyber Crime?

Cybercrime is a computer-oriented crime that involves computers and networks. These occur either when the use of a computer facilitates the commissioning of a crime, or when it becomes a target of the crime. In most cases, these types of crimes threaten people’s financial wellbeing or their national security and privacy.

Cybercrimes are diverse and are motivated by different reasons. It could be for financial gain, personal or political mileage. The most common types of cybercrimes include internet and email fraud, identity fraud, financial or card data theft, corporate data sales, and ransomware attacks. Rarely are computer crimes committed without financial gain.

Identity Theft

This refers to the deliberate use of someone else’s identity, which is often motivated by potential financial gain or advantage, usually as a method of gaining a financial advantage or obtaining credit and other benefits owed to the person. This theft often leads to loss or serious disadvantages to the identity owner.

Online privacy is, unfortunately, not guaranteed. The moment you agree to use online services, you are at risk of cybercrimes. Below are some of the most common types of cybercrimes you ought to look out for.

Malware attacks

Malware attacks are some of the most common cyber-attacks happening in the modern world. This happens when a computer system or network suffers from some kind of virus or malware attack caused by an outsider. Cybercriminals can take advantage of any compromised computer and use it to access any data they need.

Phishing

This annoying type of cybercrime focuses on spamming emails and other communication channels by sending messages en masse. It shows up as an unwanted email that keeps popping up. Usually, the phishing campaigns come with infected attachments that need a response. Falling prey to such schemes causes the criminals to access confidential data..

Ransomware attacks

Also known as ransomware, this is the kind of attack that prevents users from accessing their files unless one pays to gain access. It works by forcing users to pay for what they can access freely. One of the first creations of this kind of attack was back in the 1980s. Over time, the ransomware evolution is advanced. Current developers of such attacks demand payments through credit cards.

Stealing, leaking, or manipulating data, information, or intellectual property

Manipulation of data is the process of altering digital documents and other confidential data to change crucial information. On the other hand, the stealing of data is taking data that does not belong to you and holding it for purposes of gaining from it.

Hacking

Hacking also affects online privacy. This is the unauthorized access to data in a network system or computer. People who do this explore potential weaknesses and breach defenses by exploiting weaknesses in computer systems or networks.

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Tips to protect yourself online in 2020 and beyond

It is clear that many cybercrimes exist today. However, this should not discourage users from benefiting from convenient online services. The possibilities that online presence creates surpass any challenges and security risks.

What’s more, it is possible to protect yourself online. All it takes is carefully applying suggested tips to achieve results. Consider the following tips for enhanced cybersecurity.

1. Create a strong password and unique password for every account

It is possible to prevent cybercrime by creating strong passwords. Make sure to master it and avoid making copies that other people can guess or replicate. Alternatively, use strong password managers to generate random strong passwords.

2. Enable two-factor authentication

It may seem like an obvious thing, but it is a crucial online privacy trick that works. Use settings that allow for password and security checks before allowing access. Always enable email authentication as a two-step factor technique.

3. Check a website’s SSL Certificate

Consider the site’s URL and only open those starting with Https. The S stands for security. The SSL certificate secures all data as it moves from the browser to the website’s server.

4. Don’t save financial information on shopping sites

Avoid saving financial information on random shopping sites. Doing this exposes you to risks as cybercriminals can easily gain access to your confidential information.

5. Keep your operating system and software up-to-date

Doing this simply ensures that you benefit from all improvements that come with the latest software updates. This can boost your computer or mobile device’s protection.

6. Be cautious of e-mail links and attachments; watch out for phishing scams

Treat every spammy email with caution. Never open suspicious attachments or click on links you are unsure about. Only open attachments that you expect from users that you know.

7. Read the website’s privacy policy

Understand the dos and don’t of the website you visit. Always contact companies directly in case of any suspicions.

8. Be cautious when accepting or agreeing to prompts

Not everything you get online is for you. Prevent cybercrime attacks by verifying that the prompts you click on are legit.

9. Be cautious where you’re logging in from

Don’t make a habit of logging into your email from any computer. You may never tell if there are tracking mechanisms put in place. Try as much as possible to log in from a personalized computer or your own mobile device.

10. Always think before you share something

Social networking sites can be major sources of insecurity, especially when you are unsure of whom you are talking to. While they make great socializing platforms, always pause before oversharing personal information. Cybercriminals tend to monitor everything that leads them to what they want.

Bottom line

Securing your privacy online is not a matter of choice. If you are to be successful and manage to prevent cybercrime, then consider applying all the measures that seal loopholes in your system. Keep track of all your private information, and eliminate all potential weaknesses.

In the end, managing cybersecurity may not be easy for everyone. This is where experts such as Teamstack come in. Teamstack is a cloud identity and access management platform that provides your workforce with secure, convenient access. It works with 500+ applications, greatly simplifying the entire process.

Your business size does not make you immune to cyber-attack. Preventing the escalation of any of the common attacks is your best bet at thriving in the online space as a business.

If you lack the know-how, then bringing in a team of experts is the best move. Consider taking a few crucial steps that enhance your online privacy and protect your organization’s integrity.

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