In one of our previous articles on cybersecurity, we elaborated on four cybersecurity threats to be aware of: brute force attacks, phishing email scams, ransomware, endpoint security.
Understanding online dangers if of utmost importance these days. So many financial transactions moved to the digital sphere that more and more criminals are turning to cybercrime, expecting an easy grab. And, sadly, they succeed more often than they should.
Knowledge is frequently considered as the first line of defence. However, after that comes choosing and installing cybersecurity software for protection, so in this article, we decided to give recommendations on how to buff up your online safety with some easy tips-and-tricks.
Since most of us are working from home at the moment, we’ll start with home network security, and then give recommendations for a password manager like NordPass, a secure web browser, and encryption software for online privacy protection.
Home Network Security
To understand how vital home network security is during quarantine, it’s enough to take a look at statistics gathered by ZDNet. Brute force attacks 400% when most nation-states went into the first quarantine. Email phishing scams – by 667%, and ransomware cases became even more common.
The logic behind targeting home networks is that they frequently lack proper security implementations. When employees work from the office, they are connected to the corporate network that has its own firewall, risk management team, threat detection systems, and so on.
Once they switch to working from home, confidential business information leaves the secured space, and it’s up to every worker to secure their network to avoid unnecessary damages.
And home network security starts with a router. The router is your gateway to the Internet, so if a person can hack into it, they can see all your online data-flow, and in a worst-case scenario, steal your banking details or crucial business information.
Routers come with a manufacturer-issued password, and those aren’t necessarily the strongest ones. So, first of all, consider changing your router password to a more complex and unique one. Simply google your router model to find a tutorial on how to change its password.
Hiding your Wi-Fi behind a unique password is also a must. A hacker connected to your Wi-Fi can try to trick it into thinking he’s the administrator of that network and even infects your device with viruses.
Last but not least is a VPN. VPN is a privacy protection cybersecurity software, and it can be installed directly on a router. It changes your original IP address, which can be used to track you online. By changing it to an alternative, one tracking via IP becomes impossible. It also encrypts all your online data, so that no one can spy on your online activities. Not even your Internet Service Provider. A VPN on a router is a huge boost to online privacy and home network security.
Use a Password Manager
Password management is more important than ever since nowadays, we use dozens, if not hundreds, of different services. Once again, quarantine has affected this phenomenon, with a significant increase in credential stuffing attacks.
Credential stuffing relies on users reusing the same password on separate services. For example, a person had a Yahoo account with a password that leaked several years ago and is using the same password on Netflix or Spotify accounts. The hacker will try the leaked from Yahoo password on these services and if it’s the same – take over the accounts.
A password manager allows having strong, unique, and different passwords for each service you use, and stores it in a securely encrypted vault. This way, you will never use the same password twice, and the chance of losing your accounts decreases significantly!
Privacy Protection Oriented Browser
The most popular web browser is Google Chrome, but it doesn’t mean it’s the most secure one. Chrome is known for excessive data-tracking, and usually, it’s used for marketing purposes and ads targeting. However, gathered data can also leak and end up in the wrong hands, which can be used to launch well-crafted phishing campaigns.
Our recommendation would be to switch to Brave browser, that was designed with online security and privacy in mind. It has all the necessary features and Chrome extensions, plugins, and addons work on it too. It’s also highly customizable, so you will be able to configure it the way you want it to work.
This is a shortlist and just the first steps towards online safety. Still, even they are enough to defend against most widespread cyberattacks, and during these troubling times, additional protection is a smart choice.