With more of our most sensitive information becoming digital, online security should be our top priority. However, a lack of fundamental internet security knowledge exposes UK consumers to fraud and data loss.
Recent research found that only 21% of consumers in the UK used unique passwords for each online site, a surprisingly low figure. Furthermore, as of 2019, 42% of UK individuals still did not have antivirus software installed on their computers. This lack of protection allows hackers to thrive in the UK, where 25% of inhabitants are victims of cyber-crime. The troubling reality is that consumers are significantly more likely to be victims of computer-related crime than of any other type of crime.
The good news is that there are three simple steps you can take right now to significantly improve your internet security:
- Enhance Your Passwords
According to NordPass, the most popular password in the UK in 2021 is "123456," which has been used 571,107 times. A professional hacker would need less than one second to crack.
While most individuals use passwords tougher than "123456," "complicated passwords" and two-factor authentication have lulled us into a false feeling of security when it comes to data security.
• Never use the same password for multiple accounts: A single password, or even variants of the same password, is a hacker's fantasy. Gaining access to just one account exposes all accounts.
• Change your passwords regularly: Security experts recommend changing your passwords every 90 days.
• Don't use your pet's name: Because so much of our personal lives are publicized on social media, we should always assume that anyone can have access to such basic information.
•Use a Password Manager: They provide a simple method for creating, managing, and storing all of your internet usernames and passwords. This data is subsequently protected in an encrypted database, which is significantly more safe than your notebook.
- Setup Anti-Malware Software
Installing anti-virus software is no longer sufficient as dangers to your online data have developed and become more clever. Anti-malware software not only protects your computer against infections, but it can also detect and delete any unusual activities, as well as discover threats it has never seen before (unlike anti-virus). By installing anti-malware software, you may be assured that your computer is safe from more complex software attacks.
To find the best anti-malware software for you, follow the link: https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-malware-removal-and-protection-software
1. Employ a VPN
Your IP address is hidden from third parties using a "Virtual Private Network." This will mask your online identity and encrypt your internet traffic, making it harder for a third party to trace your online activities and steal your information. Sending and receiving information online is therefore visible only to you and the VPN provider; to everyone else, the data appears as "gibberish."
To find the best VPN service for you, follow the link: https://www.techradar.com/vpn/best-vpn
More and more elements of our daily lives are moving into the digital world, and crime is no exception. The three steps outlined above are quick, simple and, most importantly, effective at enhancing your online security. When the consequence of cybercrime could be the exposure of all your most sensitive data, it is never a moment too soon to boost your online protection.
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