The world is becoming data-driven, where almost every online action is recorded. Because of that, the value of your information has risen significantly, and it’s now considered a commodity.
Everyone analyzes your information for marketing purposes, including people from companies, social media platforms, and hackers. Why is Internet security important nowadays, and what should we do to protect ourselves from the dangers of cybercrime?
We can all take a few measures to reinforce our online internet security, and here are a few of them.
1. Protect Your Identity
Cybercriminals constantly look for new ways to steal your identity and other personal information.
Protect yourself from identity theft by using strong and unique passwords for each account with a password manager, maintaining up-to-date antivirus software, avoiding suspicious emails and websites, and shredding sensitive documents before throwing them away.
Furthermore, don’t share personal information online or over the phone unless you’re sure who you’re dealing with. And don’t respond to emails or texts that ask for money or personal information.
Check your credit report annually, and dispute any inaccuracies right away.
You can also use identity protection services to monitor your credit reports for unusual activity and alert you if there’s a problem.
Lastly, be careful about using public computers or wireless internet connections when shopping online or conducting other sensitive business transactions.
2. Protect Your IP Address
The IP address is the number that identifies your computer or device on the Internet. Your IP address is similar to a street address for your computer, so other people must know where to send information when sending you emails, downloading files from websites, or joining a multiplayer game.
If another user finds out your IP address and uses it to send spam or attack you, it can be very damaging.
You need to protect your IP address from prying eyes. You do this by using a proxy server or VPN service.
Proxy Server for IP Protection
A proxy server is a mediator between you and the rest of the Internet. When you enter a URL and click “Go” in your browser, it goes through the proxy server first, so when someone looks at your IP address online, they’ll see that of the proxy server instead of yours.
VPN for IP Protection
A VPN hides your IP address by routing all your Internet traffic through an extra layer of security. This makes it much harder for anyone trying to spy on your activity online or steal sensitive information from your computer. A good VPN will also encrypt all your data so that no one can read it (even if they successfully intercept it while it is transmitted over the Internet).
3. Protect Your Data
Data security is a critical component of information protection. You must use appropriate physical, technical, and administrative safeguards to protect your data.
To protect your data from physical loss or damage, you should:
- Install locks on all doors to rooms where laptops are stored.
- Store backup media in locked cabinets or safes.
- Limit your building or office access during non-business hours through locked doors and other security measures.
- Limit access to sensitive data by only allowing authorized persons to work with that data.
To maintain the integrity of your data over its entire life cycle, you need a comprehensive set of technical safeguards that include:
- Backup procedures
- Disaster recovery plans
- Antivirus software
- Intrusion detection systems
- Encryption of sensitive data while at rest (e.g., stored on disks).
Data encryption is a process that transforms information into an unreadable format called ciphertext. There are two basic types of encryption: symmetric encryption and asymmetric encryption.
In symmetric encryption, the sender and receiver use the same key (password) to encrypt and decrypt messages.
In asymmetric encryption, also known as public key cryptography, each party has two keys: one they keep secret (private key) and one they make public (public key). The sender uses the receiver’s public key to encrypt the message, which only the receiver can decrypt using their private key.
4. Keep Your Devices Secure
The best approach to safeguard your devices is to use an antivirus program that guards against malware, spyware, and viruses. You should also make sure you’re using a firewall to block unauthorized access to your computer and network.
If you want more protection, consider installing anti-spyware software on your PC. Anti-spyware software can help protect you from malicious software designed to steal your personal information or use your PC as part of a botnet.
To keep your data secure, you don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert. However, you must take additional precautions and be more vigilant about password protection.
But with a little common sense and a healthy dose of caution, you can keep the wolves at bay for quite some time. Good luck!