Top Cybersecurity Tips Everyone Should Know 2023

Alex McConnell
Alex McConnell
14/10/23
5 Minute read
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Article Contents

    Online safety is second nature for some — but it’s not easy for everyone to stay up to date with the latest cybersecurity advice. Whether you use the internet to stay in touch with friends and family, play games, or meet new people, everyone needs to know how to stay safe online.

    Don’t share passwords with anyone – even friends and family

    This might be one of the most obvious cybersecurity tips but it’s also often overlooked. Sharing passwords is a surefire way to make your accounts less secure, especially if any of your passwords have been used more than once. Even if your friends and family don’t mean to reveal your passwords, they might get hacked or fall victim to a phishing scam.

    The easiest way to avoid this is to stop sharing passwords altogether. But if you really need to share your password, using a password manager is the safest way.

    Phishing is one of the most common online threats. It involves tricking people into revealing sensitive information, usually by clicking a malicious link or downloading an unwanted program onto your device.

    Our cybersecurity advice? Avoid phishing scams by taking a zero-trust approach to link clicking in emails and text messages. If you’re not 100% sure who sent it, don’t click.

    Install phone and computer updates as soon as possible

    Device updates are regularly released by operating system developers. These updates can seem like an annoyance, but it’s important to install them as soon as you can. They contain important security patches that fix vulnerabilities in previous versions.

    If you don’t have enough storage space to download and install the update, delete some old files to make room.

    Don’t use the same password more than once

    Reusing your password might seem convenient, but it’s an easy way for hackers to gain access to all your online accounts. If they discover your password, they can use credential stuffing bots across other sites to login using your details. One of the most valuable cybersecurity tips overall is to never reuse passwords.

    If you find it difficult to remember lots of different passwords, a password manager can help. They store all your passwords across multiple devices, giving you secure, easy access to your accounts. You’ll just need to remember your master password.

    Don’t share your personal information over the phone

    Cybercriminals can use information they gather about you online to trick you into revealing personal data over the phone. They might call and pretend to be from your bank or another service.

    If you get an unexpected call from someone asking for personal information, verify who they are before you reveal any information. It’s usually best to hang up and call them back from a different phone using the phone number on their website.

    Look out for scams on dating apps

    The rise of online dating has led to an increase in romance scams and a need for new cybersecurity advice to combat them. These involve seducing people online, then tricking them into sending money to pay for plane tickets, customs fees, or medical expenses.

    Romance scammers often don’t have many photos, use overly affectionate language, and come up with lots of excuses for why they can’t meet you. Cut off contact with anyone you suspect to be a romance scammer, and don’t send money to anyone you haven’t met in person.

    Limit who can see your social media accounts

    Many social media platforms have introduced ways to help you keep your personal information private online. Head to the privacy and security settings in your account and make sure your privacy levels are limited to a level you’re comfortable with.

    Think before you post sensitive information on social media

    Criminals can build a profile of you based on the information you post online, using your posts to work out where you live, where you work, the names of your pets, relatives and more. These can all be used to reveal sensitive information, clues to your passwords or details that criminals can use to pose as you. One of the most simple but valuable cybersecurity tips is to thoroughly check what you’re posting before you upload it, ensuring your posts don’t reveal too much about you.

    Use two-factor authentication

    It’s not just cybersecurity advice, it’s almost essential. Keep your accounts secure with two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA or MFA). MFA involves using your phone number or email address to verify a login attempt on your account. The site will send you a code via text or email, which you can enter to confirm who you are. Nobody can sign in without access to your device.

    MFA is more useful for some accounts than others. As a minimum, it’s a good idea to use it for online banking and other financial services (such as PayPal).

    Check for HTTPS on websites before entering personal information

    HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. It means nobody can view or intercept data sent to a website. It’s important to check you’re using the secure version of a website before you enter any sensitive information (such as passwords and bank card numbers).

    HTTPS is visible in the site address bar. Most modern browsers show a small padlock icon to the left of the URL if the site is secure. To be on the safe side, don’t make payments on any websites that don’t have HTTPS.

    Be careful when connecting to public WiFi

    Public WiFi isn’t as secure as your home or office network. People can spy on your online activity via public WiFi and capture sensitive information.

    One of the most valuable cybersecurity tips is to avoid accessing services like online banking when connected to public WiFi. Make sure any sites you visit use HTTPS. If you rely on public networks regularly, consider using a VPN (virtual private network) to protect your data when you browse.

    Back up all your important files

    If your device gets hacked or stolen, you could lose all your important documents and/or photos. Back these up in a cloud-based storage service. Some devices will do this automatically.

    Google Drive, iDrive, and Dropbox are among the most popular online storage systems, and offer limited storage for free.

    Use a passphrase instead of a password

    One of the oldest cybersecurity tips but one of the most effective – longer passwords tend to be more secure. Using a three or even four-word passphrase is much more secure than using a single word.

    Passphrases aren’t immune to credential stuffing attacks, so it’s still important to avoid reusing your passphrases.

    Use parental controls to keep your kids safe online

    All websites that are designed for or likely to be accessed by children must follow the Children’s Code. This includes adding parental controls so you can manage what your children see online.

    You can set parental controls on websites, devices, app stores, apps, and browsers. Make use of these controls to protect your children when they use internet-connected devices.

    Avoid using USB sticks

    USB sticks and other portable storage devices can spread malware and viruses between computers. While they used to be necessary for transferring data, there are now much safer, more secure ways to share information between devices.

    Cloud-based storage facilities allow you to share your documents with other people via email. You can also use WeTransfer to share large files for free.

    Protect your business from a range of threats

    Following cybersecurity advice alone won’t always be enough to protect you against online threats. As instances of online fraud continue to rise rapidly, bad bots are able to evolve faster than security teams can stop them, leading to potentially serious consequences for businesses and their resources. Netacea have developed efficient, effective bot management solutions that can protect businesses against a range of threats, including account takeover, credential stuffing, fake account creation and more.

    Block Bots Effortlessly with Netacea

    Book a demo and see how Netacea autonomously prevents sophisticated automated attacks.
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