5 Cyber Safety Tips to Survive the
Internet, Hackers and Scammers
“You know something is wrong when the government declares opening someone else’s mail is a felony but your internet activity is fair game for data collecting.” -E.A. Bucchianeri
The above quotes simply said, the phrase "cybersecurity" that refers to any technologies, procedures, and practices used to safeguard online information from illegal access or misuse. Locking the door is one way to make your house secure. Using a bike lock is how you keep your bike from being stolen. You keep your priceless possessions in a safe to keep them safe. But how can you safeguard your online identity? By adhering to internet safety guidelines and cybersecurity best practices, individuals contribute to cybersecurity every day.
In this article, we'll talk about what cybersecurity is and why it's crucial. We'll also discuss current developments in cyber safety tips and provide you with several pointers for protecting your online privacy and security.
The voyage of navigating the internet often creates the trauma of being hacked. Behind any unknown emails, websites, and social media invitations there are always bad actors looking to take advantage of uninformed individuals. Even your Wi-Fi router and those nowadays common QR codes can be a threat. Virus and malware risks should also be added.
The risk zones are frequently unknown to users of computers and mobile devices. However, using the internet does not have to be a constant journey across the desert. Knowing what to avoid and how to protect oneself is what it takes to stay safe online.
The following five tips are under your control and can help to safeguard your online activity.
1. QR codes can be useful, but can also be harmful
QR codes are website links with postage-sized images that are used for various purposes. By pointing the camera of your smartphone at it to access a website, tech help address, promotional offer for a purchase, or restaurant menu right away.
However, QR codes can also direct you to a malicious website that contains malware or worse. Because QR codes may be programmed to link to anything, your security and privacy are seriously threatened.
Tip: Before you scan a QR code, pause. It's probably safe if the code is shown on a reputable website or printed paper. Check it out if you aren't sure or if not.
You can obtain trustworthy QR reader applications that will run a security check on the final location of the QR code.
2. Steer clear of 'Unsubscribe' email scams
For hackers, this is a well-known ongoing fraud with a high success rate. Emails with product offers or other business invitations are sent to potential victims. The opt-out action step is alluring, appears to be well-known, and is sensible.
To withdraw from receiving emails, use "Click here to unsubscribe." Sometimes the obnoxious recurring emails will ask you if you want to stop receiving them. Some even provide a cancellation link for subscriptions.
Tip: Make no selections at all. You can verify your active address by responding or clicking on the links. The same rule applies: never enter your email address in the "unsubscribe me" form. There'll be more senders behind.
Marking the email as spam is preferable to deleting the undesirable email, especially if it came from an unknown sender. It is then placed in the spam folder. A filter can be set up to automatically delete emails from that sender before they reach your inbox or you can add them to the sender's block list in your email application.
3. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to make logging in on a different device dependent upon you
On a desktop computer, sign in to your Facebook account and go to Settings & privacy to accomplish this. Select Security next, then log in. After that, modify the Two-factor authentication choice by scrolling down.
To prevent Facebook hackers, turn on the following two extra features:
- Turn on the Facebook mobile app's code generator feature.
- Set up email alerts for logins.
To start, launch the Facebook mobile app, tap the magnifying glass, type "code generator" into the search field, and then tap the search icon. To go to the following screen, hit the "Turn On Code Generator" button after selecting the outcome Code Generator, where you will find a 6-digit code that is updated every 30 seconds. To log into your account on a different device, you must do it within that brief window of time by entering this code.
- Create alerts for unauthorized logins next
Either a computer or a mobile device can be used for this.
Visit Settings & privacy > Settings > Security and login > on a computer.
- Receive notifications of unauthorized logins
App on a mobile device: choose Settings from the Menu.
Next, select Security and password.
To choose your preferred notification methods, tap Setting Up Extra Security > Get notifications about Unrecognized Logins.
- Use strong passwords
One of the simplest ways to improve your cyber security is to use strong passwords. A strong password should be at least 8 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessed words like your name or birthdate.
4. Protect your wireless router
Home Wi-Fi routers are now squarely in the sights of hackers due to the surge in people working remotely since Covid 19. Because residential installations are frequent these days, they lack the level of security and protection found on commercial networks, virus attacks on home Wi-Fi networks are increasing.
- ZuoRAT, a nasty attack tool, is a remote access trojan made to get into routers in small offices and home offices. With it, cybercriminals can steal your data and take over any websites you browse while connected to your network. Computers running Windows, Linux, and macOS may be impacted. One of the worst aspects of ZuroRAT is its ability to spread its infection to other routers, giving hackers further access.
Tip: Use these strategies to strengthen the security of your home or workplace Wi-Fi network:
- Make sure your routers have WPA2 or WPA3 encryption enabled. The old WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) security protocol is frequently configured as the default factory setting, or none is specified at all. For instructions, consult the router manufacturer's website or the user manual.
- Change the SSID (Service Set Identifier) and password for your router. This is important. The factory default often displays the router's make or model and uses a standard password, like 0000 or 1234. rename the SSID so that it can't be used to find you. A name that contains your entire name or part of it should be avoided. An extremely strong password should be used.
- Change the router's password frequently for enhanced security.
- Update the router's firmware regularly. For instructions on how to download the most recent updates, consult the user manual or the manufacturer's website.
5. Watch out for Fake Tech Support Schemes
Some fake artists will call you on the phone and claim to be a tech support division for a reputable software or computer company. The caller claims to be phoning as a result of a computer alert about malware or a virus on your device. The scammer demands your credit card information in exchange for fixing the problem.
- Hang up. No viruses are on your PC
- My computer is in danger
In each of these scenarios, the fake artists want to intimidate you into following their directions. They ask you to do something that may damage your bank account and may allow them to spread real illnesses in exchange for them fixing the supposed issue.
Use the following recommendations to safeguard yourself from tech support scams:
- Never fall victim to someone trying to trick you into visiting a website or clicking a link.
- Never permit the so-called tech support agent that contacted you to connect remotely.
- Never share financial information for technical support that you did not request. Legitimate tech firms won't phone you and demand payment to resolve an issue they claim to have found on your device.
Some of the national organizations who are constantly keeping their vigilance in these studies are NCSA or The National Cyber Security Alliance, Cyber Security and Infrastructure security agency (CISA) AICTE, and All India Council for Technical Education. They worked to advance cyber security, privacy, knowledge, and awareness. For more such updates read here.