If the topic of cybersecurity leaves you feeling lost and vulnerable, you’re not alone. Even the most seasoned IT experts are constantly on guard against potential attacks and how easily they can happen. This, among other reasons, is why they make performing a website malware scan part of their daily routine.
As noted American cryptographer and computer security professional Bruce Schneier so eloquently points out, “Data is the pollution problem of the information age, and protecting privacy is the environmental challenge.”
Even if you have zero knowledge of how cybercriminals operate and how to scan a website for malware, here are four tips you should know to decrease your chances of being victimized.
1. Protect Your Devices
The quickest way to end up a victim of cybercrime is not to protect your devices. Simple auto-lock features and biometric sign-on options will ensure cybercriminals can’t break in if they steal your smartphone or laptop. You can also download a URL malware scanner that helps ensure your device doesn’t connect to malicious websites.
Since vigilant hackers can gain access to your data through the software on your smart devices, it’s important you only download software from trusted companies. This goes for any cloud-based services you access to store data or share files. However, using a firewall or website malware scanner can significantly lower these threats. This helps ensure the websites you access are what they claim to be.
2. Avoid Public Computers
Hackers have devised many ways to gain access to our personal information, and one of their favorite methods is public computers. With sophisticated programs that will secretly log your keystrokes while you’re signing on to your bank account, any device or computer that has public access could be vulnerable.
Additionally, most public computers don’t have an updated website malware checker to notify you if you’re on a dangerous site. You should avoid using public computers whenever possible and never save your login details.
3. Use Strong Passwords
While solid passwords alone won’t necessarily safeguard you from security issues, they certainly provide a frontline defense against cybercriminals. That’s why it’s crucial never to use weak passwords that can be quickly figured out in seconds by even a novice hacker. Since the best, well-informed hackers tend to be good at what they do; they typically aim to guess these simple passwords or combinations when trying to break into your accounts and devices. If your password or part can be easily guessed, change it immediately to something stronger.
4. Be Wary of Social Media Contacts
Social engineering is just one tactic hacker use to glean private or personal information that could help them commit a crime. Whether that’s someone planning an identity theft or stealing your credit card information, social media is their playground for learning everything they can about you and using that to their advantage.
Even if they’re not aiming an attack at you personally, social media is an easy way to spread malware and find vulnerabilities. Hackers don’t even have to break into your social media account to do it. By using your publicly available information and images, they can set up their account and target your friends’ list with malicious attempts to get money from them or get them to download a file that puts their cybersecurity at risk.
Don’t Ignore These and Other Inherent Risks
Shrugging off these and other risks doesn’t mean you won’t become a victim of cybercrime. It only makes you more of a target. The good news? You don’t have to be an expert in cybersecurity or know how to perform a website security scan to follow these basic steps in protecting your valuable information from those seeking it to commit a crime.