As 2020’s coronavirus crisis continues across the world, users are faced with an increasing number of digital viruses.
It seems that a pandemic is a perfect time for cybercriminals to capitalize on the changing face of the workforce, the potential for misinformation, and the profitable nature of fear.
In line with world events, the cybersecurity threat landscape has shifted considerably. While the threats of old still exist, they have been joined by new challenges.
Here, we go over 4 top ways to secure your devices in 2020 and why you need to pay more than lip service to cybersecurity.
1. Antimalware Protection
As we mentioned above, the COVID-19 situation has provided an absolute boon for cybercriminals who are responding to the crisis with vigor.
Because people are faced with an incredible amount of uncertainty, they are unfortunately primed to fall victim to clever social engineering tactics.
Emails, text messages, and fraudulent websites, which appear to be from the World Health Organization and other respected health bodies, have been found to contain malicious software.
If a user engages with the messages, they may unwittingly download malware or sign over personally identifiable information to threat actors.
It’s safe to say that many people around the world are particularly vulnerable to phishing attacks at the current time.
Relying on your ability to differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate emails, for example, does not really provide enough protection, particularly when hackers are producing content that is hard to pin down as fraudulent.
Instead, you should invest in a quality antimalware program, such as Malwarebytes. One subscription can cover multiple devices and there is an app for both iOS and Android devices.
2. VPN Encryption
With a hefty proportion of the world’s workforce still working from their living rooms, businesses are faced with a unique challenge; how to ensure company data stays safe when staff are using their own devices and working on unknown networks, which may or may not have adequate perimeter security.
Buying a VPN for improved security is one key way that remote staff can ensure any data transmissions are protected, something that is incredibly important when sensitive company or client information is involved.
Virtual Private Networks effectively stop cybercriminals from snooping and intercepting data, which is essential when staff is connected to company systems.
3. Multi-Factor Authentication
Thanks to Google and Apple’s advanced systems these days, we have more convenience than ever before when it comes to how in-sync our devices are. Information on our phones is seamlessly transferred to our PCs and vice versa.
The downside to this increased connectivity and data sharing is that once an account is compromised, hackers have access to far more than just that account.
One way to skirt the potential risks here is to opt for multi-factor authentication whenever possible. Just be aware that SMS verification carries its own set of risks; if your phone is stolen or lost, it can provide easy access to your other accounts.
4. Password Management
Although we’ve been warned for years about the dangers of recycling passwords across accounts or choosing weak passwords, it seems that poor passwords are still a significant risk factor in 2020.
According to Safety Detectives, the most common passwords in the world include “qwerty” “password” “123456” and “I love you”.
Suffice to say, using any common password is inviting trouble. Instead, stick to long-form passwords that are random.
Remembering around 100 different complex passwords is hard, but a password management system such as LastPass or Dashlane can take the stress out of logging in and out of accounts.
Following the four easy steps above will mean that you’re in much better standing when it comes to keeping your devices and your data secure in 2020.