If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is the lesson that precaution is better than cure. In dismal times as these, we are already vulnerable, as we sit in suspense wondering what the catastrophic and lethal prowess of the virus. Today, medical facilities around the world are giving it their all to create the perfect concoction of a vaccine that can protect our physical health. But, in this era of digitalization, your physical health isn’t the only thing you need to be worried about.
With online transactions of data and money increasing by 53% in the past five months, the percentage of cyber-attacks increase in tandem. Again, with social distancing becoming mandatory, you do not even have a way out but make payments and exchange data online. But there must be a way, right? Of course, there is!
As we await the vaccine to be available so we can step out of this apocalyptic world, you can take certain simple measures to protect your data from cyber ambushes. Let us delve deeper to know how!
8 Ways to Avoid Data Theft during Covid-19
There is always a way out of every situation, however severe it may be. Just like the virus dreads masks and sanitizers, there are a few simple things that you can do to sanitize your data against cyber threats. To help you out, I have enlisted a few tactics that you can use to have the last laugh on the hackers.
Change your passwords often
Imagine spending copious amounts of time preparing your information technology assignment help without any in the UK, and ending up losing the hard copy in the hallway. Moments after, you find a classmate turning in the paper as his and getting the credit. How frustrating would that be? Now imagine someone taking your hard-earned money from your account.
Before you go all ballistic, here is what you should do – change your passwords often. Make this a regular habit. Moreover, do not use the same password for more than two apps or transactions. And, although Google is reliable, I suggest that you do not save your passwords in Google. Instead, note them down in a piece of paper (not your mobile phone) and keep it in your wallet.
Do not click every file-extension
Most hacking viruses are attached to files, an opening which lets the virus take over the data stored in your device. Quite often, you may receive emails that tell you that you have won 10000 pounds. Well, we are not that lucky. So, DO NOT click on the links in such emails.
And if it is documents and images, then keep an eye out for files with the extension ‘.PDF.EXE’. Now, if you are using Windows, you will not be able to detect such malware files using the names. Windows has a default feature that hides file-extensions of known documents. In that case, you can switch on the ability to see the full name of the file to protect your device from suspicious files.
Filter your email
Most hackers send emails in bulk to attack systems. This is why you must filter your email account. Apply filters that can stop your gateway mail scanner when it encounters files with spamming extensions. You can also restrict the permissions of the mail server so that it cannot send or open any.EXE files.
You can do this using ZIP files or via cloud services. If you are using Gmail, the search with the word.EXE in the search box to create a filter. Also, avoid opening files in the Social and Promotion folders, unless you know the source clearly.
Disable the RDP
Did you know that hackers can hack your messages by connecting to the location plug of your device? Most hackers gain remote access to a device by using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Even if the device has an active RDP port, the chances are that perpetrators will be able to hack through your device in under 10 minutes.
So, I suggest that you disable the RDP on your desktop, laptop, or phone if you do not need it. The process of disabling RDP is different for various operating systems – Windows, Android, iOS. Even for the same OS, it may differ from one version to another. Click here to know about disabling RDP on various devices.
Patch your software
Most of us avoid updates because we have to go without using our phone for, give or take, half an hour at most. We do not even know how heavily we have pay for this. Most virus files can crack through systems with outdated software because of the vulnerabilities and bugs. This makes it easy for the ransomware files to encrypt through security layers.
So, one major step to avoiding cyber threats would be to update your software often. If you are using Microsoft, you should know that the merchant releases software updates every month on the second Tuesday. And if you cannot boast of a sharp memory, you can enable auto-updating. Again, since hackers disguise viruses as update notifications, it would be better if you enabled permission keys.
Use a reliable security suite
While the above tricks were more about what you can do, nothing would beat getting efficient anti-virus protection for your laptop. For infallible security, anti-malware software will be your best investment to identify any such threats and protect your data against them.
Hackers around the world are continuously striving to come up with new malware variants and Trojan files. You will not be able to tell a threat file from a safe one. This is where an anti-virus comes in to add on the required layers of protection. As a security blanket, you can also install a software firewall to detect malware as it tries to connect to a server to encrypt system files. On that note, check out this link for the best software firewalls for 2020.
Identify and Authenticate Users
Say you are paying for IT assignment help to an academic website. In that case, go for a site that offers a multifactor authentication system to avert data theft. Opt for financial apps that send half the password to your mail and the other half to your phone number. Also, ensure that you have not backed up your number with the email idea in question.
This way, the hacker will have to access multiple elements for authentication from several sources. This will buy you time to report the cyber-theft and stop the transaction. Also, use apps that offer biometric recognitions, something that hackers cannot crack through. Click on the link to explore the various measures that you can take to implement authentication for end-users.
Disconnect from Wi-Fi
If your device faces a cyber threat even after securing it using the above tactics, then your presence of mind can save you from loss of data. If you run a file that did not seem suspicious (but had malware), then disconnect from the network you are using immediately.
Well, switching of data connection would seem like something tech-challenged dads do. But trust me, a snapped connection can stop the damage by preventing the file from communicating with its server. However, this is not the ultimate ninja technique and is only a last resort. So, do not wait for the malware to attack your device in the first place.
Your health is already at stake due to the COVID outbreak, but you can stay safe if you remain indoors and maintain social distancing. Similarly, if you follow these steps, you will be able to avoid the risks of data and identity theft. So, prepare your system for the attack beforehand. Also, do not give away personal information through emails or unsolicited phone calls. Do not keep predictable passwords, like birthdays or last digits of phone numbers. Instead, use symbols and numbers instead.
Stay safe and take care.
Author Bio: Robert Smith is a digital educator, and academic counselor working on behalf of a reputable firm in London, United Kingdom. He is also associated with the assignment help brand MyAssignmenthelp.co.uk, through which he gives offers Computer Engineering Assignment Help.