Cybersecurity attacks have covered the headlines throughout 2021 as online hacking groups make their mark on large corporations and small businesses, demanding millions in return for the release of the data that teams depend on to work each day. While enterprise businesses are all over the news, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Just as the hackers continue to improve their attacks, cybersecurity professionals continue to improve the tools that businesses have at their disposal to protect their networks and devices each day.
While there are plenty of comprehensive premium solutions, there are several cybersecurity measures that can be taken to protect your data from the millions of online attacks happening each day – all for free. Below are the top 5 steps that you can take today to protect your accounts without spending a dime.
The Best Cybersecurity Steps You Can Take for Free
1. Keep Software Up-to-Date
How many times have you hit “remind me later” when a software update pops up on your computer? Installing the latest updates helps your machine run at its best and ensures that you’ve got complete protection from the latest hacking tactics. Turning on automatic updates (and sticking with them) is one of the most important steps to help protect your entire system.
2. Learn How to Spot a Phishing Attack
Did you know that phishing attacks are involved in 70% of data breaches? Spending time learning the telltale signs of a phishing attack can help you stay alert when a malicious message hits your inbox. While AI-powered email security delivers the ultimate peace of mind, staying in the loop on the latest tactics go a long way in helping you avoid becoming the next victim.
3. Improve Your Password Management
CNET reports that, since 2017, hackers have published over 555 million stolen passwords on the dark web with more coming each day. Choosing passwords that are entirely ransom, mixing together strings of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation marks all come together to improve password security. If possible, enable multifactor authentication (MFA) on every account to keep hackers out of your data and develop a baseline defense against unwanted logins.
4. Create Frequent Backups
When ransomware attacks strike, it’s possible that data could be encrypted or deleted. Creating frequent backups of your machine can minimize downtime in the event of an attack and helps restore your data to get you back to work as soon as possible. While premium enterprise solutions often cost more, home users can use any external drive with enough capacity to backup their hardware and create an image of their machine that they can revert to when disaster strikes.
5. Never Leave Your Mobile Device Unattended
While many of today’s attacks take place online, it’s equally important to keep an eye on laptops, phones, and tablets when you’re out and about. If you must leave your device, make sure that it’s locked and that any external drives are encrypted to ensure that data can’t be stolen. Never keep sensitive data on mobile devices; only store that on a secure machine that is connected to a private, protected network.
Did you know that there are 8 different ways that someone can steal a password? Fill out the form to the right to download our guide, The Art of Password Theft, to learn about the common methods that hackers take and how to protect yourself online.