Cybercrime is globally disruptive and economically damaging, causing trillions of dollars in financial losses and operational impacts to individual and business victims. Microsoft’s 2021 Global Tech Support Scam Research report observed that seven out of 10 consumers in India were targeted by a tech support scammer in the last 12 months. This spurt in cybercrime has made it very important for individuals to know how to stay safe, online. Here are 10 must-dos to keep your email, accounts, devices safer and avoid identity theft:
#1 Share your personal information in real time only, preferably in person or by phone. Be careful of what you share on social media.
Share personal info in person or by phone. If you absolutely must email personal information, use encryption tools provided by your email service provider. Protect yourself from social media hackers. Before you post to social media, think of all the information that can be harvested from your post.
#2 Be skeptical of messages with links, especially those asking for personal information
Find a phone number on the sender’s official website and call them directly to confirm the message is legit.
#3 Be on guard against messages with attached files
Never open unexpected attachments, even if they seem to come from people or organizations you trust. If you’re concerned that the message may be important, call the sender to verify.
#4 Go passwordless and use an authenticator app for stronger security
They can’t steal your password if you don’t use one. Turn passwordless by signing in with your phone, switching to Windows Hello.
#5 If you must use passwords, make them strong and unique with a password manager
Strong passwords have at least 14 random characters and symbols. Use your browser to remember passwords and manage password changes.
#6 Enable the lock feature on all your mobile devices
Require a PIN, fingerprint, or facial recognition to unlock your device.
#7 Install software updates immediately
Many app and operating system updates are security fixes for currently active issues, so install them promptly.
#8 Ensure all the apps on your device are legitimate
Only install apps from the official app store for your device.
#9 Keep your system secure using ‘Tamper Protection’ or adjusting security settings
Always use the latest version of your operating system. Increase the security on your system by using features like Tamper Protection on Windows 11.
#10 Keep your browser updated, browse in incognito mode, and enable Pop-Up Blocker
Install browser and operating system updates immediately to maintain the latest security standards.