Finances are an essential part of the modern human experience. However, the nature, and even the definition, of money is changing. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile banking and cryptocurrency, the concept of money is becoming much more digital than ever before. This provides numerous benefits to the people who chose to embrace these advancements, but it also introduces new potential problems. While online banking solutions are convenient and cryptocurrency offers new levels of anonymity, both come with the potential for running into hackers. Protecting yourself and your finances from cyber attacks is a major priority, and these tips can help you do just that.
The most essential problem to overcome in terms of cybersecurity is human error. By far, most security breaches are the result of simple mistakes on the part of end users, and reducing the instances of those mistakes is crucial for keeping your digital savings safe from harm. First and foremost among the best practices of cybersecurity is simply knowing how to spot the potential for danger. Avoiding unsecured websites is of the utmost importance, for starters. When browsing the internet, keep an eye on the URL of each website. A URL that begins with “https” is secure, while “http” indicates a lack of TLS certification.
What is TLS? It’s an encryption and decryption protocol that allows data exchanged on a given website to be scrambled during exchanges. This means that hackers that could potentially intercept your data can’t realistically hope to do anything with it. On the other hand, an unsecure website can allow hackers to not only intercept a user’s private data, but also rewrite the code of the site itself. This has led to many websites becoming veritable minefields of malware that disguises itself as innocuous, and sometimes even familiar, programs in order to get unsuspecting users to download viruses and other malicious software onto their systems voluntarily.
Best practices are important to staying safe online, but it’s also virtually impossible to stay on your guard at all times. Mistakes are practically inevitable, and that means that you’ll need a safety net. Cybersecurity software can be implemented to pick up the slack when those mistakes eventually occur. Antimalware is a good place to start. While malware is fairly easy to avoid, it’s also extremely prevalent, and the effects are often immensely detrimental. Antimalware software will be able to remove malware because it can cause any damage in many cases, and it can also quarantine malware from the rest of your system in others. However, this kind of software isn’t perfect, and it takes a mixture of caution and protective measures to stay safe.
In keeping with the spirit of cryptocurrency, another important cybersecurity tool is the VPN. Virtual Private Networks essentially obscure your IP address, and they do so by emulating a new network of origin, complete with a new, temporary IP address. Your IP address is essentially a form of identification, and that ID allows hackers to track the activity and location of a given user fairly easily. Using a VPN allows you to essentially lose the trail of hackers, because the temporary IP address can only lead them back to the VPN, rather than your system or network.
There is an emerging trend of using cybersecurity software to strengthen the lackluster security of passwords. The problem with passwords is that they can be incredibly easy for hackers to guess, especially using the freely available information about a given user on social media. Using multi factor authentication, users can strengthen a password by demanding additional certification from would be hackers, certification that is often tied to a smart phone app or a text message. The odds of a hacker having a user’s password and their cell phone is minimal, so MFA can thwart the vast majority of hacking attempts that involve a compromised password. Passwordless login solutions, as the name implies, skip the password entirely to stellar results.
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