In the 21st century, we rely significantly on PCs for communication, work, and entertainment. Therefore, our reliance on computers makes us susceptible to cyber-attacks, and we must take proper steps to secure our PCs from the nasty world of hackers and exploiters.
Also, if you are a biz owner, depending heavily on PCs to conduct vital business activities then it becomes even more important to incorporate proper security measures to safeguard data and critical information related to your business.
As you would never want your confidential data to end up in the wrong hands, protecting your PC from cyber threats becomes vital these days! So, these are the top 8 steps to protect your data, thwart cyber-attacks, and keep your PC safe.
What is Cyber Threat?
Cyber threats are spiteful actions and attacks targeting networks, PCs, Mobile devices, data, and digital systems. These malicious cyber assaults target to compromise the privacy, availability, and integrity of personal information to create trouble or profit. Viruses, spyware, ransomware, DoS attacks, phishing attacks, hacking, data violations, etc. are some of the most commonly used attacks to affect an individual or business.
In order to safeguard your digital assets from these infamous assaults and to create a shield against them, individuals and businesses need to take proactive measures.
You can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks in the following scenarios (not limited to these):
Online shopping and other transactions where you provide your Credit card details.
If you access social media websites, your personal information can be leaked.
Your identification-related data like Social Security Number, Aadhar Card (in India), Passport Number, etc. can be used maliciously to fake your identity.
If you use emails for communication, someone may hack into your email account and use it to carry out some illegal activity.
You use cloud storage to store your personal data like pictures, videos, documents, etc.
These are just a few scenarios, there can be many other scenarios where you may fall into the trap of cyber-attacks, hence it is best to be prepared and take the required measures to ramp up your PCs and other devices' security.
How to Protect from Cyber Threats?
Everybody knows about cyber threats, and now it's time to safeguard your computer from these looming hazards. Device protection doesn't mean having nitty-gritty technical knowledge; you should have essential information to implement it. These are the best tips to protect your PC from cyber threats.
1. Establish a Secure Connection
A secure connection is essential to fortify a user's connection with a website. Here HTTPS plays a pivotal role. By ensuring authentication and encryption for online connections, HTTPS forms a stable link between a website's server and the user's web browser.
As a user, you should never access a website that is not available on HTTPS. Modern browsers like Chrome will give you proper warning and stop you from using such websites.
Website owners, on the other hand, should buy an SSL certificate and install it on their server for optimum security. The data transferred between two parties through this stable connection is assured to stay confidential and will never be changed or forfeited by unauthorized parties.
2. Install a firewall
One of the best ways to safeguard your PC from malicious hackers is to prevent them from accessing your system. And this can be done using a firewall, which stops the outside attempts to enter your PC. Trojan horses, malware, and other potentially hazardous applications won't be able to affect your computer's performance. The fact that Windows PCs have built-in firewalls may make you delighted if you have one. In case you don't, most online security software can install a firewall, too.
If you use a Linux based PC, then you are safe from most of the virus software available these days and same can be said for MacOS users. Windows operating system users are most-susceptible to viruses.
3. Utilize powerful passwords
Using robust passwords is another crucial way to safeguard your PC from cyber threats. A tough password must contain at least 12 characters and should have a combination of lowercase & uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers. You must avoid predictable passwords, for example, your birthdate, name, and standard terms.
You should also not use the same passwords for different services. Try to use unique passwords for different platforms.
4. Back your data up
You must never ignore backing up your data and vital files, as it will help protect you from losing crucial data and files in case some data is hacked and you lose access to it.
You can store your data and its backup at different locations, including external hard drives, cloud storage, and other protected sites. You must backup your data from time to time to keep an updated backup.
5. Employ 2FA, aka Two-Factor authentication
The most hassle-free and trustworthy method to protect your PC is turning on 2FA. By enabling 2FA, you will have a lesser risk of identity theft, get maximum safety, and protection of sensitive data. For example, if you preserve confidential data, including personal and financial details, using 2FA can aid you in safeguarding this data from spiteful access and keep it safe.
2FA is also available for a lot of web apps and mobile apps these days. You should enable 2FA for your email accounts at least because email accounts are the center point of all communications.
6. Configure stringent web browser and email security settings
You may maximize your cybersecurity by configuring stringent safety settings for your email app and web browser. Enable 2FA for all the important web apps that you use.
Additionally, you can disable cookies in your browser's settings to prevent websites from tracking your online activities.
7. Protect your home network
The login credentials on the router should be updated monthly, at least if you want to stay on top of your home Wi-Fi network's security. Make sure your login password is secure and complex while creating it. You may configure encryption when it is enabled because it can occasionally be a feature designed to safeguard wireless connections. Please search for the appropriate firmware upgrade for your router and apply it.
8. Never run or install unfamiliar programs
Malicious hackers may conceal malicious software or Trojan horses inside an application that might appear legal and harmless. Although malicious software can be inserted into any application, cybercriminals typically go after games and desktop backgrounds because of how popular they are with consumers. Therefore, you ought to only store, set up, or run it if you're 100% optimistic that a program is secure and authentic. Before downloading a program, you should check it through the web program's safety protocols.
Protecting your PC from online threats requires ongoing, nonstop effort. You must, among other things, install anti-virus programs, create strong login credentials, and be alert to fraudulent initiatives. You are also required to stay current with cybercriminals' various techniques to access gadgets. Consequently, if you implement the steps to protect your PC from web threats, your computer will continue to be safeguarded.