Cybersecurity: What You Can Do, Right Now, To Protect Yourself

While the internet is a vast ground of opportunity, there are also a number of dangers lurking beyond the useful information and occasional cat video. Hackers, using an ever-growing variety of techniques, are working hard to steal the personal information — and money — of whomever they can.

While the internet is a vast ground of opportunity, there are also a number of dangers lurking beyond the useful information and occasional cat video. Hackers, using an ever-growing variety of techniques, are working hard to steal the personal information — and money — of whomever they can.

According to the FTC.gov website, “the FTC received over 490,000 consumer complaints about identity theft in 2015.” And statistics show that this number is growing, year over year.

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So what can you do, right now, to protect your personal information? Ten Forbes Technology Council experts offer this advice:

1. Audit Your Security Risks

Now is a good time to conduct an audit looking at all software and systems you are using. Examine which make sense to keep in 2017, and which need to be updated. By conducting an audit, you can also close outdated accounts that present a significant security risk. It’s also an ideal way to take stock of your security protections to look for areas that are lacking. – Neill Feather, SiteLock

2. Understand The Vulnerabilities

Many consumers assume businesses are taking care of the security so they have not looked into how they could even be vulnerable. The more you understand about the ways in which data and personal information can be stolen, the better you will be able to protect yourself by changing those habits that leave you vulnerable to criminals. – Chalmers Brown, Due

3. Use Common Sense And A Password Keychain

Don’t click on links received in your email. Period. Most of the time you can easily open a browser and navigate to the link yourself. Make sure websites say https:// if you login on a public WiFi. Turn on two-factor authentication. And finally, use a password keychain to hold random and unique passwords for all your accounts. Take those simple steps and you’ll be well armed against the bad guys. – Nicholas Thompson, Hearth & Mettle

4. Real Life Guides Online Security

When you are not online, you don’t talk to strangers, you don’t accept things from strangers, you don’t give personal information to strangers, you lock your car, and you lock your house. When going online, don’t share personal information with strangers, don’t click on things (links, files, etc.) that strangers send to you, and protect your online accounts (lock them) with a good password. Think, then click. – Cesar Cerrudo, IOActive

5. Back up Your Critical Data

One way to protect your data from ransomware or encryption-based attacks, which are very popular, is to back up critical data. It may seem like a time-consuming process, but it’s important to have a plan in place (the 3-2-1 rule works best) and to take advantage of free software that lets you back up and restore the critical data you have stores on your phone or PC. – Doug Hazelman, Veeam Software

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