The new year is here, and now is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and start 2019 off on the right foot. While many people’s New Year’s resolutions will be centered around eating healthier and exercising more, here at Emsisoft we’re more concerned about your digital wellbeing.
Cybersecurity promises to remain an important topic in the year ahead as more internet-connected devices enter the home, attackers increasingly leverage the power of AI and consumers come to rely even more on cloud-based services. But all is not lost! Regardless of what 2019 brings, good basic cyber hygiene is still the best defense for protecting yourself against modern digital threats. We’ve rounded up 10 simple Internet security tips to make 2019 your most cyber secure year ever.
1) Make backups
A good backup strategy offers the ultimate peace of mind. In the event of data loss – due to, say, ransomware or hardware failure – you can simply restore your system to its original safe state.
The 3-2-1 backup strategy is a great starting point for most home users and SMBs. It involves:
• Keeping 3 copies of your data.
• Storing 2 of these copies locally on different devices (e.g. external hard drives)
• Storing 1 copy offsite (e.g. using a cloud-based backup service). Maintaining an offsite copy is critical for ensuring your backup is safe even in the event of theft or a natural disaster.
Implementing a good backup strategy does require a bit of planning (and probably a small amount of money) but the investment is absolutely worth it. Sleep easy in 2019 knowing that your files will be safe from harm even if your system falls.
2) Invest in reliable antivirus software
3) Splash out on a VPN subscription
If you’re a frequent traveler, regularly on the road for work or generally concerned about your privacy, you might want to think about getting a subscription for a VPN service. What does a VPN actually do? Well, when you browse the Internet, there’s a transfer of information taking place back and forth between your computer and the websites you access. However, this information can potentially be intercepted, allowing attackers to steal sensitive information such as your passwords, emails and login credentials.
A VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection between your computer and any websites your visit. This makes it much more difficult to identify your system as a source of data, and it also means that any information that is intercepted is encrypted and more or less useless to the bad guys.
4) Enable 2FA wherever possible
Two-factor authentication (or 2FA for short) adds an extra layer of security that is used to ensure that people trying to log in to a website or service are really who they say they are.
Enabling 2FA means that, in addition to entering your username and password when accessing an account, you’ll also need to provide another piece of information that proves your identity. For example, many banks will issue tokens that generate a one-time use password or send you a verification code to your mobile phone.
Most banks, email providers, online stores and other major service providers will offer an option for 2FA, so be sure to enable it wherever possible. It only takes a few extra seconds to log in using 2FA, but it can single-handedly thwart cybercriminals from getting access to your personal accounts (although it should be noted that 2FA is not a perfect solution).