11 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Cybercrime

Cybercrime is pervasive and inevitable! Viruses are omnipresent! So, how should you protect yourself from being a victim of malware, ransomware and cybercrime?

As we know cyber frauds in India is increasing and spreading like a rage of fire, especially with the current remote working scenario due to the worldwide pandemic. At this period, it’s vital to threshold our business in the market and save your secured data from cyber criminals.

Let’s start by being smarter than the criminals. But before that, let’s look at a few facts:

  • 1 out of 5 businesses who paid the ransom never got their files back.
  • A company is hit with ransomware every 39 seconds.

Now that we know how cybercrime has become an ongoing threat on the internet let’s head-on with the central part of the blog.

Cybercrime – As the name suggests, it is a form of threats, hacks, malicious acts surrounding the online world. It can be security breaches, theft and financial exposing. Other cybercrimes include things like cyber-stalking, revenge porn, bullying, harassment, and child sexual exploitation.

Protect yourself against Cybercrime with the help of Following Ways.

1.Strong Passwords

We all want passwords that are easy to remember. Hence, we go for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. that are easy to remember. But that’s putting your device and possibly your finances at risk.

Passwords should be of eight characters (including a combination of letters, numbers and symbols).

You can also use a password manager, that will assign and store unique, encrypted passwords for different sites for you. You log in to the manager, that applies a password to the respective website. You don’t need to remember the password since it isn’t stored on the site a hacker won’t get it.

2. Ensure your software is up-to-date

Cyber frauds most likely to use exploits or flaws to gain access to your system. Patching those flaws and updating your software will minimise the chances of them being able to gain entry to any personal data or information.

3. Don’t fall for pop-ups

Beware of fraudulent emails and text messages!

If an email or pop-up window asks you to enter username or password, don’t do it. Instead, open your browser and visit the site directly. If you are yet not convinced, then contact the company or entity that supposedly got you. Know that established and recognised companies will never ask you for your login information through an email.

4. Secure your internet network with a strong encryption password and a VPN

It stands as a good idea to begin with robust encryption password and virtual private network. A VPN will encrypt all the traffics other than your devices until it reaches the final destination. If cybercriminals do work to hack your communication line, they won’t intercept anything except encrypted data.

Use a VPN whenever you have a public Wi-Fi network, whether it’s in a library, hotel, airport or café.

To reduce the possibility of cybercrime, keep your software and apps safe online. With VPN you know you are not being tracked and save your internet traffic unbreached. It is an essential internet tool that provides the best quality of security when it comes to the internet.

5. Manage your social media settings

Ensure that your personal and private information is locked. Keeping your posts on the public is never a good idea. Social engineering cybercriminals can easily get your data, so the less you share, the better.

Revealing personal information like your maiden’s name or pet’s name can expose the answers to common security questions.

6. Protect yourself from identity threats

Identity threats can happen anywhere, whether you are travelling or relaxing at your home.
You should be aware of the increasing number of cyber frauds in India. When tricked into giving away personal information due to fraud or deception, emails and messages can lead to potential identity threats or even financial losses.

Thus, it’s crucial to guard your data. A VPN can help in protecting the data you send and receive online.

7. Educate your children about internet risks

Hasn’t internet always been a concern for parents?

Teach your children about internet scams and what is the acceptable usage of the internet. Communicate with them and assure them that they can come to you if they face any stalking, bullying or online harassment.

8. Secure your computer and mobile devices

Firewalls are the first line of cyber defence – activate it. It blocks connections to unknown or bogus sites and will keep various viruses and hackers.

Use anti-virus/ malware software. Prevent viruses from infecting your computer by installing and regularly updating anti-virus software.

For mobile devices, keep certain things in mind like download applications from trusted sources, install the latest OS updates, keep your applications and operating system current with the latest system updates.

9. Protect your financial details

Remember this: Legitimate banks or companies will never ask for any personal details or ask you to transfer money into an account.

People face fraudulent who are looking to steal money or personal information by asking people to fill some random online forms with their details.

10. Protect your data

Critical and sensitive files like tax returns and financial records need to be protected – use encryption. Moreover, make regular backups for your essential data and store it in another location.

11. Know what to do if you become a victim of cybercrime

And finally, if you identify that you have become a victim of a cybercrime, you require to inform the local police (Cyber Cell in some cases). This is vital even if the crime seems minor. If you notice cybercriminals have stolen your identity, then follow the steps below:

  • Contact the banks and companies where the fraud occurred.
  • Place fraud alerts and get your credit reports.
  • Register complaint with Cyber Cell or Local Police station.

 Key Takeaways:

  • You must be worried about your online banking, credit card or financial activities. This would make you sceptical about cyber-crime.
  • Focus on what you can do to protect your device and data.
  • Keep complicated passwords, and don’t allow others to visit your password-protected sites in your absence.
  • Avoid uncertain sites and chatrooms.
  • Encrypt sensitive files.
  • Don’t respond on pop-ups, texts and emails that ask your login information.
  • Look for a secured VPN connection and don’t share your details with strangers.