With over four billion internet users around the globe totaling roughly 59% of the population, the internet is rife with opportunities for cyber criminals to steal users’ information. And with technology constantly evolving and the internet growing, it’s not likely to get safer anytime soon. It therefore pays to take extra precautions when surfing the web. We’ve compiled these three easy tips to protect yourself from cyber criminals.
Tip 1: Use HTTPS
Short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS indicates that a website has an extra layer of security for its users. This layer encrypts data exchanged between a user’s browser and the web server that delivers the data requested by the user. To use a simpler comparison, imagine someone tapping your landline, but instead of getting to listen in on your conversations, they’ll hear people speaking in a foreign language.
In August 2014, Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, announced that having HTTPS makes your website rank higher in its search algorithm. And since October 2017, the browser began flagging non-HTTPS websites as not secure whenever users try to fill out something as simple as a contact form on it. In July 2018, Chrome started showing a “not secure” warning on any website that does not implement HTTPS, whether or not users are filling out a form there.
Because of Google’s measures, the security protocol has been widely adopted. Even if your website does not contain or ask for sensitive information, implementing HTTPS engenders trust and a sense of security among internet users, while remaining on HTTP will make web visitors abandon or avoid you sooner or later.
Tip 2: Embrace multifactor authentication (MFA)
Since account credentials can be easily stolen via phishing attacks, username and password combos are no longer enough to keep cyber criminals at bay. To ensure that the one accessing an account is truly that account’s owner, additional identity authentication steps must be implemented.
These steps can involve the use of the account holder’s device — the one logging in must first verify their phone number, receive a one-time password on their smartphone, then enter that code in the access portal before the code’s validity lapses. Alternatively, MFA may ask for a face, retina, voice, or fingerprint scan for authentication.
Tip 3: Update browsers and devices
Did you know that dated versions of browsers, operating systems, and even other software packages can create an easy entry point for cyber criminals? Often, new updates are created specifically to fix security holes. However, people tend to procrastinate and leave applying updates for another day. Hackers take advantage of this by searching for outdated devices to infiltrate while their victims watch YouTube on last year’s version of Firefox.
Cyber criminals are looking for any holes in your security stack. If you want managed 24/7 cybersecurity assistance that provides enterprise grade security that can be deployed across any organization then reach out to Beringer Technology Group today and ask about our Cyber Security Risk Assessment Solution.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and Training, Unified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.