Nowadays, so much is available with only one touch of a button. We can communicate with our loved ones on the other side of the world, purchase anything from clothes to cars, and even make major financial transactions from the couch.
All this makes our lives easier, but there are some negatives to the technological revolution. One of the major drawbacks is cyber-security, and the coronavirus pandemic has seen a significant spike in illegal activity.
In April 2020, Google blocked 18 million Covid-related malware and phishing emails every day, as hackers attempted to use the global crisis to their advantage. With so much sensitive data now stored digitally, it is more important than ever that we take steps to protect our online privacy. Here are four ways you can do that.
Don’t Use Public Networks for Accessing Sensitive Data
If you’re out and about in a café, shopping center, or airport, it’s usually easy to log on to the public Wi-Fi and kill some time with some innocent browsing. Yet, it is important to be wary of the applications you use when connecting to these networks. Banking apps, for example, should only be opened when using a private, secure connection. Otherwise, you risk cyber criminals gaining access to your details and stealing your money.
Use a VPN
While browsing on your devices at home, you should also use Virtual Private Network (VPN) software to protect your privacy. Using a UK VPN can help to create an encrypted data tunnel so that any information you send and receive when browsing the web is safeguarded and cannot be accessed by anyone who may have intentions to use it for illegal purposes.
Be Aware of Suspicious Emails and Scams
More than half (56%) of IT decision-makers say that phishing attacks are their main threat to cyber-security. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of what a typical scam might look like. Phishing emails are becoming increasingly common. The victim is tricked into taking “urgent action” by clicking a link that results in the sharing of sensitive data or the downloading of malware. If you receive any messages that look suspicious or ask you to divulge personal information, delete it and report the issue if necessary.
Create a Strong Password
You likely have several applications and subscriptions that require a password, so make sure these are as strong as possible. They should include a mix of upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and other characters such as exclamation marks. Avoid using the same password for everything – it will only make the hacker’s life easier by offering them access to several areas containing potentially sensitive data.