Nowadays, your data is more valuable than ever as it can be sold for profit on the black market. Your vital information could be used to commit crimes. The truth is that we are all susceptible to becoming victims of cyberattacks.

However, although there will always be risks, we should admit that we increase the chances of becoming victims because of the mistakes we make while using the internet.

In a professional setting, human error is the top cause of data breaches. The sad part is that most of them are avoidable. These include weak passwords, phishing scams, and malware, which is possible to avoid if you’re careful enough.

Here are some things you definitely need to stay away from and what you should do to protect yourself online.

Reusing The Same Old Password

Almost every account you own is locked behind a password. Passwords are not the perfect form of defense against an attack, but if you make them complicated enough, hackers won’t be able to decipher them easily.

According to recent statistics, 86% of passwords are weak and fail to meet the standards of what is considered safe.

Moreover, people don’t change their passwords for at least 2-3 months. Aside from changing passwords regularly, you need to make sure they are complex. This means using upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. If you believe you won’t be able to memorize your password, then write it down and keep it somewhere safe.

Not Using Two-Factor Authentication

Two or multi-factor authentication means having more than just a password to protect your account. Other security measures could be a fingerprint scan, another password, or even a facial scan.

These extra security measures will make it harder for hackers to get your details as they have to pass by multiple gates.

Using Public Wi-Fi Without VPN

Public Wi-Fi connections are a treasure trove for hackers. The keyword here is “public,” which means that the network is not encrypted and secure, says Norton. While public Wi-Fi connections are great, the risks they pose to your online security are worrying.

If possible, do not connect to public Wi-Fi without using a virtual private network (VPN). Using a VPN will protect your network from hackers at the cost of a slower connection. However, a slow network is still a far better scenario than having your data compromised.

There are various VPNs out there for desktop and mobile devices. The best and most secure VPNs aren’t free, but they are a worthy investment to keep your data and information safe.

PR professionals, as well as other industry professionals must stay connected most of the time. As public Wi-Fi connections are a hazard, it is advised to invest in a portable Wi-Fi device of their own.

Posting TMI On Social Media

Posting too much information (TMI) on social network sites is always a bad idea. A lot of people make this mistake. Little do they know is that posting information such as address, family member names, and even work schedules could be abused by malicious people.

This is a big mistake often made by PR professionals as they are always on the lookout for new connections. While connecitions matter in the PR world, it’s also vital for them to know that limiting audience will guarantee their safety as well.

That said, be more careful and responsible when posting online. Another solution is to set your account to private, so only your friends can see what information you post.
Ignoring Software Updates
Software and OS developers will regularly release updates for their products. Apart from adding new features, these software updates are mostly intended to patch out any security holes that they have discovered. As such, avoiding these crucial updates is a big mistake.

For example, updates are common in anti-virus programs. When hackers create a new virus, they will simply alter the code of an existing one so that it goes unnoticed. This allows them to create malware at a faster rate. The developers of anti-virus software create these updates so that their programs can detect the new malware.

Keeping Bluetooth And Airdrop On

Unless you are sharing files with a paired device, make sure to turn off your Bluetooth or Airdrop. Aside from draining your battery, keeping these connections on also compromises your device. Exploits like Blueborne will give hackers the ability to access your files through your Bluetooth.

Conclusion

Hackers will likely become more aggressive in the coming years as the value of data continues to jack up. If you want to avoid becoming a victim of their attacks, then you may want to consider reviewing your habits when it comes to browsing and sharing information online.

Nick Galov, Hosting Expert and Content Manager at techjury.net. Nick is on a mission to improve the world of web hosting. When he got the chance to contribute to the betterment of all kinds of software, he simply couldn’t say no. When not geeking it out, he enjoys lager and football.

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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