Basic Steps to Protect Yourself Online (Part – 1)

Malaika Naidu

There is no doubt that cybercrime is an ongoing and a very real threat. The first thing that comes to mind when most people read cybercrime is financial fraud and data leaks. However, cybercrime is constantly evolving and growing like a beast that seems untameable. Every time we think we have seen the worst or the most damaging internet crime, a new threat surfaces to take the digital world by storm.

Now let’s be brutally honest, if a hacker, or any other cyber-criminal, worth her salt decides to take on an average person, there is absolutely nothing that will actually stop them. However, you may deter the hacker and create obstacles that could potentially save you. Either she will go looking for an easier target or even if she persists your countermeasures will give you enough time to protect your data and save yourself from becoming a victim.

If it’s an ex or a disgruntled acquaintance with a personal agenda, well, let’s deal with that later.

So, how do you deter a cyber-criminal from coming after you? Much like in real life you would use a lock on your front door or an alarm in your car, there are simple measures and practices that can help protect you against at least the basic and most common cyber threats.

The Three-Step Plan is – (a) recognise cyberthreats, (b) take basic precautions to protect yourself, and (c) identify whom to ask for help if you become a victim of cybercrime. Let’s break down the precautions.

1) Go Beyond Just an Anti-Virus
First of all, get a paid package! Free versions are not up to date and CANNOT give you real time protection. Anti-virus softwares regularly update their algorithms and these are available only in the paid versions. Even though anti-viruses protect your online activity, they are not sufficient for complete protection.

2) Create Passwords Stronger than Hercules
Right off the top, do NOT use the same or similar passwords across websites. You can’t have Avengers123 for your email and Avengers456 for your Facebook. Figure out a system that allows you to create unique passwords for each login. Ideally, the pattern should have letters (LARGE and small caps) along with numbers and symbols.

Ex: Website Name – number of letters in website’s name – a symbol – end with ZXC (random string of characters – constant in every password).
So, you would get:
Gmail: gmail5@ZXC / Facebook: facebook8@ZXC / Quora: quora5@ZXC

TIP: Remember the logic and not the password!
Or use a good password generator.

3. Manage Social Media Settings
Clearly mark what information on your profiles is private and what is public. Always be mindful of the data you share. For instance, if you post your pet’s name or reveal your mother’s maiden name, you might expose the answers to two common security questions.

4. Make Your Wi-Fi Impenetrable as Fort Knox
A good starting point is to have a strong password and a virtual private network (VPN) when using public Wi-Fi. A VPN will encrypt data leaving your device till it reaches its destination. If anyone intercepts the data, it won’t be decipherable. Similarly, never leave your hotspot open without a sturdy password and share your hotspot only with those you trust.

5. Update Software Faster Than Seasons Change
Your operating systems (Windows, iOS, Linux, among others) and internet security softwares must be updated immediately when alerted. Cybercriminals often exploit these bugs and lapses to gain access to your computer or computer network. Patching these bugs makes you a less likely victim of cyber-crime.

These are just the tip of the iceberg and everyday doable precautions that will make you less vulnerable to cyber fraud and cyber-crime. Depending on the sensitivity of information you hold or the value you stake on your data, you will have to accordingly amp up your security systems.

To be honest, fighting cybercrime is everybody’s business. Think of it as an obligation to do your part in the fight against cybercrime. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. And comment below with other precautions you take. In part two of this article, we’ll incorporate some of your suggestions!

Simple precautions taken by you, can collectively make the internet a little safer.

43 thoughts on “Basic Steps to Protect Yourself Online (Part – 1)

  1. Freebies says:

    Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I抣l be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    • Malaika Naidu says:

      Hi Freebies!
      Thanks. Let us know if there’s any topic you would like to read about in particular.

      Keep reading!

  2. natural anti anxiety says:

    hello!,I really like your writing very so much! share
    we keep in touch more about your article on AOL? I need a specialist on this area to resolve my problem.
    May be that is you! Looking ahead to look you.

  3. Prodigy 5 says:

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging
    on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always interesting to read through articles
    from other authors and practice something from their websites.

  4. 산청출장샵 says:

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  5. Meizu says:

    Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to understand so much about this, like you
    wrote the book in it or something. I feel that you just could do with
    a few % to force the message house a little bit, however other than that,
    that is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  6. Seneca College Ranking says:

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to
    assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  7. poker domino says:

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before
    but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new
    to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  8. highest quality components says:

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough
    time locating it but, I’d like to send you an email.
    I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  9. Hairstyles says:

    I have observed that in the world today, video games would be the latest popularity with kids of all ages. Occasionally it may be out of the question to drag your kids away from the activities. If you want the very best of both worlds, there are many educational video games for kids. Thanks for your post.

  10. Hairstyles says:

    I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  11. MinhAn Window says:

    Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see
    if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has
    83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with
    someone!

  12. 망치게임 says:

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about,
    why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something
    enlightening to read?

  13. Hairstyles says:

    I do enjoy the way you have framed this particular issue plus it does indeed present me some fodder for consideration. Nonetheless, coming from what I have seen, I only wish as the reviews pack on that men and women keep on point and don’t start on a soap box involving some other news du jour. Anyway, thank you for this exceptional piece and even though I do not agree with this in totality, I respect your point of view.

  14. 구구게임 says:

    Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss
    and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would value your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free
    to send me an e mail.

  15. judi bola terpercaya says:

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t understand the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS
    issues? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  16. sua nghe gold says:

    I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading your article.
    But should remark on some general things, The web site style is great, the articles
    is really great : D. Good job, cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *