Working on the internet is an essential part of the professional routine of many people. All such people, who use the internet daily, would agree that having the ability to use a computer and be connected to the internet is nothing short of a blessing.
Imagine using a typewriter and flipping through the pages of numerous books and newspapers to get the information you need. Tedious, right? Thankfully, we have the computers and internet today to get our work done with the minimum required effort.
Where there are blessings, there are also some risks. While it is imperative that using a computer and researching on the internet is an important skill most knowledge workers need to have, protecting your data from cyber thieves is also an important concern that shouldn’t be neglected.
Imagine working hard on a research paper for a year and getting it hacked with all the information leaked on the internet. That’s a year worth of research and hard work has gone to waste. Nobody would like that and this is precisely why it is recommended for all knowledge workers to have at least a basic understanding of cybersecurity. If you are a knowledge worker concerned about your data, then here are five cybersecurity essentials you need to know to keep your laptop safe.
Encrypted communication everywhere
These days, many knowledge-workers need to operate from remote locations. It is really important for creative and research professionals who have to work in the field to collect first-hand information data from target groups. Such people need to connect to the internet and prefer using the free internet from the coffee shops and diners.
So, imagine you are one such person surfing the internet on your laptop using some unprotected network such as public WiFi. Any hacker, who can also connect to this network can easily access your information and view your online activity.
They can easily do this through techniques called packet sniffing and man-in-the-middle attacks. Once your data is hacked it will be exposed to other cybercriminals online and they’ll be able to use it in all sorts of crimes.
To prevent yourself from such scenarios, you can use a VPN to encrypt your network so you can browse the internet safely from any location. With a VPN you can easily hide your IP address and encrypt your online traffic so that third parties or cybercriminals cannot see it.
This will prevent all such hackers from collecting your data and dispersing it all over the internet. Your hard work will remain safe and your life will stay private. You will be able to enjoy all the benefits the internet has to offer from any location without fearing any cyber attacks.
Strong passwords changed regularly
Always set strong passwords and change them regularly. This is the easiest way to enhance the security of your system. Even in the case when your laptop’s security is compromised, the cyberthieves will not be able to benefit from it for longer periods if you are always replacing one strong password with another one.
Weak passwords are easy to predict and break. Once a cyberthief has broken into your laptop, they can access all your files and data and use it to blackmail you. You will be in a tight situation and will do everything they say to keep your information safe.
To save yourself from all this, make sure you set strong passwords and change them regularly. To set a complex password use special characters, letters, and numbers. It should also be a lengthy one like something eight to 15 characters long. Also, never write down your passwords or store them on or near your device. Generally, it is considered good practice if you update your passwords after every 90 days.
Strong antivirus software protection
Whenever you buy a new laptop or give it a new operating system make sure you install a good antivirus software. It is a crucial step in ensuring that your laptop remains safe from viruses.
If your computer is infected with a virus, your data will be compromised and hackers will be able to remotely control your laptop. This includes controlling the camera and mic on your laptop.
This access will compromise your professional and private life. No matter how many times you change your passwords, the hackers will know them and use your information to their advantage.
If you install a good antivirus software, it will actively scan your computer for viruses and secure your system files, emails, and other personal or professional data that you may have on your laptop. An antivirus software from a good company will also run periodic scans and always keep your computer safe from all viruses.
Anti-spyware and anti-malware
Malware and spyware are located all over the internet and these are sneaky things that can do damage similar to a virus. If you want to protect your computer from such threats and browse the internet safely, you need to install a good anti-spyware and anti-malware software.
When buying an anti-malware or anti-spyware software, try to look for qualities you would require from a good antivirus program. If these programs run full system scans periodically on your system, they will easily quarantine and remove malware and spyware infecting your laptop. The best thing is to have a multi-layered approach to secure your system.
Add a firewall
Speaking of multi-layered security systems for your laptop, you simply can’t ignore the importance of a firewall. Firewalls are high-tech shields for your system that prevents hackers from getting into your computer. A good firewall acts as a perimeter around your laptop and easily blocks unauthorised outgoing and incoming access. Many computer operating systems come complete with their own firewalls, we still recommend that you get a professional one to keep your data safe from hackers.
Keeping your data safe is your right and you should do everything to protect it. Data is everything in the modern world and if yours is not safe then you will face some unexpected hardships that may prove to be disastrous for your life and career.
We recommend you apply the five cybersecurity essentials we have mentioned in this article and keep your laptop safe from getting hacked.
Read the original article on Digital Street SA