4 Effortless Ways to Stay Safe Online
Keeping safe and secure online is important for both businesses and individuals alike. With the rise of AI-powered hacking attacks, the task is becoming incredibly daunting.
Nonetheless, it is easy to boost your and your clients’ online security. In this article we share the top four basic action steps you can take to ensure you are keeping your safety online on track.
Table of Contents:
- Enable multi-factor authentication.
- Use strong passwords and a password manager.
- Update software the moment an update or patch becomes available.
- Stay on high alert for phishing attempts and report them.
1. Enable multi-factor authentication.
Multi-factor authentication (MTA) adds another layer of protection by requiring further authentication via SMS, email, etc. The process takes place automatically when a new device is signed in, thereby reducing the risk of an attempted hack being successful. This means that should your username and password be stolen by a third-party hack for example, cyber criminals will have to access another security platform of yours for a complete takeover.
2. Use strong passwords and a password manager.
Always create strong passwords that contain 12+ characters made up of random upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Passwords should never be ‘guessable’ words or phrases and should have no connection to any personal information.
If you are concerned about remembering all your passwords, then make use of a password manager. For this, you only need to remember one strong master password and successfully complete the MFA to gain access to all your passwords when you need them.
3. Update software the moment an update or patch becomes available.
The reason software updates for antivirus, and other programs are created is because developers are continuously improving the functionality of the software, thereby upgrading the technology’s ability to keep you safe against new viruses and malware.
It is therefore essential to install updates for all the programs you use in the operation of your business, the moment they become available. Not only will it fix any vulnerabilities and improve functionality and compatibility, but it will also reduce your safety risk. Cyber criminals exploit errors in software to their advantage.
4. Stay on high alert of phishing attempts and report them.
Phishing attempts are often obvious, which is why Spam filters have become good at detecting them. However, cyber criminals are applying social engineering combined with AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology, making their attacks more advanced and highly convincing.
Knowledge is power. Stay up to date on all new tactics implemented to ensure that you can get to know just how convincing these attempts can become.
If you have suffered a cyber-attack, or managed to catch a threat in time, then report them immediately to the companies they are impersonating.
Currently, many tax-related frauds doing the rounds, so visit SARS’ website to stay aware of these types of attacks.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
- Treat any message that drives ‘fear’ (you will lose the parcel/your page will be deleted etc.) and prompts you to click a link urgently as SUSPICIOUS.
- Online safety does not need to be confusing or frustrating.
- Enable multi-factor authentication on all your accounts to enhance security effortlessly.
- A strong password contains 12 characters consisting of non-sensical letters (upper and lowercase), numbers, and symbols.
- Use a password manager if you are concerned about safe storage of all your passwords.
- Run updates on all your software to prevent criminals from exploiting vulnerabilities.
- Phishing attacks are becoming extremely advanced, stay informed to protect yourself and report attempts to help to protect others.