As hacking attacks are becoming more sophisticated, there is a need for users to enhance their security measures. Simply opting for basic data protection measures like using a password is no longer enough to guarantee data security. Therefore, if you want to keep your data safe, you need to take extra security measures to make it hard for hackers or even malicious programs to attack and gain access to your data.
Keep your operating system and other programs updated.
With time, developers of operating systems discover vulnerabilities in their own systems. They typically send updates designed to seal these loopholes to make it harder for hackers to exploit them. Therefore, if you fail to update your operating system, you will be leaving your data vulnerable to attacks. The same also extends to programs and applications that you are using on your computer.
Given that new security threats emerge daily and that even the slightest vulnerabilities can have devastating effects on the security of your data, you need to update your systems and programs as soon as updates are released. You can even go a step further by allowing automatic updates. Doing so will ensure that the system updates itself as soon as an update becomes available, even without prompting it.
Install antivirus software
A good antivirus program will scan for malware and other malicious programs designed to either delete, corrupt, or steal your data. After they detect these programs, they will then place them on a sandbox or directly delete them, depending on their settings. Installing an antivirus is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that your data is safe from corruption or theft.
However, the protection that antivirus software provide extends beyond neutralizing existing threats. Since the best programs in the market come with advanced security firewalls and the ability to detect and neutralize threats in realtime, they can protect your system from getting infected in the first place. What is even better is the fact that there are free versions of great antivirus software. Therefore, to secure windows, choose one of the free antivirus software in the market. The only thing that you should keep in mind is always to ensure that the software is always updated and that it is always active when you are using your computer.
Change your passwords regularly.
Using old passwords leaves your system vulnerable, especially in cases a data breach occurs without your knowledge. When you change your passwords regularly, you essentially neutralize the value of an earlier attack, and thus you ensure that your data is always protected.
Also, since companies tend to put out press releases in the event of data breaches, taking steps to change your log-in information as soon as they announce such a breach will help. This is so because, in most cases, there is usually a gap between when hackers steal data and when they sell it to someone who can use it to steal data. Therefore, if you change your login details before taking action, you can keep your data from getting stolen.
Use two-factor authentication
Using strong passwords is still an effective way of protecting both your data and your privacy. However, since hacking attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and since you can become exposed because of security breaches in the websites that you are accessing, it is always advisable that you create an extra layer of security.
Two-factor authentication affords you an extra layer of protection since knowing your password will not be enough for a hacker to gain access to your data. They will also need to have access to a special code that will be sent to your phone. This two-step process of authentication is usually complicated enough to discourage most hackers from targeting you. It is also a good way to protect yourself from brute-force attacks. And since most popular websites have this feature available for their users, activating it is a free way to boost your data security.
Carry out regular backups
In the modern age, data is one of the most valuable resources there is. And while it is always possible to protect your system from malware and hacking attacks, there are times when, despite your best efforts, these attacks succeed. In such cases, having a good backup of your system and files will go a long way towards ensuring that you do not suffer irreparable loss.
Use a VPN
While most people use VPNs mainly to get around geo-blocking content restrictions, that is not all that they offer. A huge part of why VPNs are a must-have for anyone concerned about their security and privacy is the advanced encryption features that the services offer.
VPNs encrypt your traffic using the best encryption technologies available in the market. This, in addition to the fact that they can effectively hide your IP address, makes them a crucial security feature. Therefore, if you want to protect your data when accessing the internet, you should think about using a VPN.