How To Protect Your Online Accounts

In 2022, statistics show that each day approximately 30,000 cyberattacks happen around the world. Since we’re spending considerably more time on the internet, we need to boost our cybersecurity strategies to stay protected. 

To help you stay informed we’re bringing you a summary of the most common threats you can face while surfing the web, together with a few easy security measures to implement in your daily online presence. 

Security Risks That Affect Online Accounts

Unprotected credentials are one of the major factors that lead to identity theft. Once a hacker steals your personal information, they can use it to commit an array of fraudulent activities like unauthorized transactions that can lead to major financial difficulties.

One of the increasingly common cyberattacks is phishing. During a phishing attack ,hackers attempt to pose as a reputable source and lure victims into clicking on malicious links or downloading malware-infected files.

Our advice is to ignore any suspicious emails, links, or attachments that come your way. Another serious threat to your security is spyware. To put it simply, spyware are malicious software designed to work in the background and silently collect personal information that includes social security numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, and personal data you don’t want anyone to snoop around.

Common ways to get spyware on your device are downloading software from an unknown source, clicking on a suspicious pop-up, or downloading an infected email attachment. It’s important to be careful and don’t click on anything without properly looking through its contents. 

How To Secure Your Online Accounts

For those who want to upgrade their security framework, here are some practices and tips to consider.

1. Protect Your Online Activities With a VPN

If you want to protect all of your online activities at once, a virtual private network (VPN) is your weapon of choice. A VPN creates a tunnel so that your data can safely travel the internet to desired locations, and it simultaneously encrypts all your information to protect it from potential eavesdroppers.

VPNs can significantly improve your privacy by hiding your real IP address and swapping it with a different one. Since your actual IP address is hidden, no one can trace your online activities back to you.

Most VPN providers have apps for different devices and operating systems, and you shouldn’t have issues finding the right version for your gadget. For example, the app by ExpressVPN can be an excellent choice for those who like straightforward apps that choose all the main features for them. 

2. Don’t Connect to Public Wifis

Connecting to a free WiFi in a coffee shop to send your family the latest photos from your vacation won’t kill anyone, but it shouldn’t be a something you do regularly. Open networks are an excellent place for hackers to hide in plain sight and steal your valuable information by posing as someone you trust, most commonly an internet service provider.

Therefore, stick to your cellular data network and if you must connect to a public WiFi, choose password-protected ones since they tend to be safer than networks without passwords.

3. Maintain Good Password Hygiene 

A good password habits are the cornerstone of every security strategy. Unfortunately, people don’t put much effort into securing their credentials. According to Google’s research, 52 percent of people use the same password for securing multiple accounts.

If you want your credentials to stay out of sight, keep in mind that your passwords need to be strong, and you should change them at least once every 60 to 90 days. Also, don’t store your passwords on your devices because your accounts might get affected if it gets stolen or lost.

4. Switch to an MFA

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) includes at least three separate layers of protection over your accounts. The first layer is most often a standard password.

The second layer, in most cases, includes a one-time passcode delivered in an SMS message or even a specially designed device like a token or USB key, while the third layer relies on your unique physical characteristics like fingerprint or face scan to grant you access to your credentials.

This way, a hacker would need to go through all three levels of protection to access your data, which is highly unlikely. 

5. Use Separate Email Addresses for Personal and Business Accounts

Even though connecting all of your accounts to one email address seems convenient, the mere thought of dealing with the aftermath of a security breach may encourage you to think otherwise.

Since access to an email account can potentially lead to breaking into all other accounts connected to it, consider at least two separate emails. Create one email for social media and similar personal needs, and the other for business purposes. This way, if an incident happens, it will be much easier to handle it. 

Conclusion

Keep in mind that protecting your accounts is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. You should find your own pace and include tools and practices you find most beneficial. There is a lot to choose from, and it may seem overwhelming, but keep it simple. Start with these tips and develop your security strategy from there.

Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon