You are never too young to start learning how to protect yourself online. With the number of cybercriminals and cyber-attacks on the rise every single day, it has never been more important than now to you learn how to protect yourself online. Keeping yourself safe doesn’t have to involve a complete overhaul of the way that you use technology. Even simple changes can help to increase your digital security.
1. Avoid Oversharing
You need to be mindful of the way that you use social media, as what you share can make you a target for cybercriminals. The first step to securing your social media accounts is to use strong passwords. You should use passwords that are difficult to guess, change these passwords regularly, and have a different password for each social media account.
The way that you update your privacy settings differs slightly depending upon the particular platform that you are using. On Twitter, change your account settings to ‘protected’ to ensure that your tweets are only visible to approved parties. On Facebook, set your account to visible to friends only and consider making your Instagram account private.
2. Update Regularly
As Spectrumwise says, underestimating cyberthreats and neglecting to implement or update your security measures can put you at serious risk. Updates for the operating system or applications that you use do not only involve the design of functionality improvements. Updates are often launched to address security vulnerabilities. You should update your software frequently to ensure that you continue to have the highest possible protection.
3. Be Wary of Public WIFI
You should be particularly wary when you are using public WIFI because it is usually not encrypted. Using an unencrypted network means that everything that you do online, whether it is shopping, studying, or talking to friends, can be viewed by a third party. You should be very mindful about your online behavior when using a public WIFI, avoid entering any personal details or account information. You should also consider using a VPN to further protect your details when using a public WIFI network.
4. Spot the Signs of a Phishing Scam
School and university databases are a common target for cybercriminals, so it is vital that you learn to spot the signs of a phishing scam. You should be cautious about clicking on an email from an unknown source. Avoid clicking on a link from an unknown source, as this might well lead to a malware attack.
5. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Of course, you should always be using strong and secure passwords that are difficult for a hacker to guess. However, to add an additional layer of protection, it is useful to also use two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication, as the name suggests, provides you with an additional security layer. This means that if a cybercriminal is able to hack your password, they would still not be able to access your account. Often two-factor authentication simply requires you to input a code that is sent to your phone. So it is not too difficult or time-consuming but can hugely improve your cybersecurity.