5 ways to protect yourself from Cybercrime

There are several things which end-users do wrong, some of these errors can make the lives of cybercriminals easier. Here are the top 5 things which you can do to improve security…

1. Educate yourself and keep updated on the latest threats

Your brain is the most important weapon. If you know what to look out for and how to secure yourself then you should be fine. Remember “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. If a company that you deal with suffers a security breach, change your password. Being up to date with these things can save you a lot of money and hassle.

2. Don’t use the same password on more than one account

Yes, I know it’s tempting, but using the same password on several accounts is not a good idea. It’s risky because if one account get’s violated, the attacker is likely to try the password for your other online accounts. However, using strong and unique passwords makes it harder for the attacker to gain access. Never write your passwords down or give them away!

3. Be careful what you open

Just because it looks real, doesn’t mean it is. This can cover many things. The most popular are emails. I mean, have you ever received an email from a bank that you don’t bank with saying that you owe money with a big URL in the middle. This most likely is a scam. In this instance, check who the email is addressed to if it’s addressed to either your email address or to a generic user. It’s likely to be fake. Real emails are usually addressed to you direct. The other thing to look out for is the sender’s email address. Organisations don’t usually use free personal email addresses, they use professional ones that often contain the name of the company. So If you are receiving the email from “bankname@gmail.com” It’s fake.

On the other hand, if one day, you find a strange icon on your desktop from a program that you don’t remember installing. Don’t open it, it’s likely to contain a virus. On this occasion, I would run a virus scan. Most antivirus providers offer a right-click scan. This is where you right click the file and select Scan.

4. Stay updated

Software updates can be annoying. Especially when they take forever to complete. It gets worse when you’re in a hurry, it’s like the computers can sense that. In reality, updates are essential in keeping your device secure. Cybercriminals tend to find holes in programs and the operating system. Updates help to patch these holes up.

5. Use good antivirus software

There are mixed opinions on antivirus software. But the truth of the matter is that if you know what you’re doing and what to look out for, Free Antivirus software should be enough for you. Windows Defender, AVG and Sophos Home Free are great options. However, if you are the opposite then paid antivirus solutions to provide more features which will help prevent your device from being infected. It’s also important to remember to keep your software updated. I recommend installing Malwarebytes in on-demand mode alongside your antivirus program. This is so that they don’t conflict. Malwarebytes is a great program for removing malware.