How To Improve Your Online Account Security

by Jones David

Cybercrime is rising. In 2015, the cost of cybercrime was around $3 trillion, and analysts predict this number will reach $10.5 trillion by 2025. Ransomware attacks have increased, in addition to identity fraud. According to Tech Target’s cybersecurity data, identity fraud tallied a loss of more than $50 billion last year. As a result, everyone should take online security seriously, not just corporate networks. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your online accounts, and below are some strongly recommended steps that will ensure your account is more secure.

Use Strong Passwords

We take our passwords for granted, and we tend to overestimate our uniqueness when creating them. It turns out that people across the globe frequently use the same passwords or variations of them, making the job of cybercriminals much easier. Reports from 2019 suggested one million passwords are stolen every week, so imagine the growth today.

For example, as highlighted by ExpressVPN’s worldwide password infographic, one of the most common passwords in the United Kingdom is ‘Ashley.’ Likewise, ‘Juventus’ is the fourth most common password in Italy. Considering during the 2019/20 season, over 8.7 million Italians said their favorite club was Juventus, the danger of using this password is evident. Changing your password to make it more unique is key to avoiding potential account breaches, and it starts with making them longer (12-15 characters) and random. Passwords shouldn’t have meaning. Strong passwords are composed of random symbols, numbers, and letters.

You should also use different passwords for different accounts and websites. If you have trouble remembering them all, you can use a password manager or vault. This will help you store all of your passwords in one digital location.

Delete Suspicious Emails and Texts

One of the most common forms of malware is Trojan horses. The name is derived from a story in Greek mythology, and the malware disguises itself as a legitimate program to gain access to someone’s computer before infecting it. People sometimes refer to Trojan horses as a backdoor, and Forbes recently reported the SEC introduced their own form of Trojan horse by using an amendment that could act as a backdoor to cryptocurrency regulation.

With computers, you may receive an official-looking email from your bank with an attachment. After clicking on the attachment, a malicious code gets sent out, and your computer system is compromised. Most financial institutions will tell you they never send out unexpected emails or ask you for your personal information like your account numbers and username/password, but even if they don’t, a general rule of thumb is to never click on links in text messages, emails, or pop-ups from unknown or suspicious-looking senders or websites. In addition, you should also never reply to these messages. Some email services will automatically identify suspicious emails, so this is something to consider when you’re opening an account.

Update, Update, Update

Updating browsers, apps, or operating systems can be a nuisance. They can take forever, and sometimes you can’t use your device for the duration. However, if browsers or operating systems are out-of-date, the software is at risk of cyberattacks. Updating your software regularly will protect your online accounts.  

Source: Pixabay

Now is not the time to ignore the rise of cybercrime. It’s a problem for everyone, but it’s solvable. Implementing good cybersecurity practices like strong passwords and avoiding suspicious emails is one of the best ways to start tackling it.

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