10 bad habits you need to get rid of in 2022

If you insist on not protecting your digital world, consider this: One-third of people who have been the victims of identity theft in the United States say they did not have enough money to buy food or pay bills last year because they fell victim fraud.

2021 was one of the most "productive" years for cybercriminals. In the first half of 2021 alone, almost 19 billion files were exposed.
If, however, you still do not want to find new ways to protect your digital world, consider this: One-third of people who have been the victim of identity theft in the US claim they did not have enough money to buy food, or to pay bills last year because he fell victim to fraud. This is according to data from the US Identity Theft Resource Center.2022

For 2022, experts from the global cybersecurity company ESET urge us to be vigilant, to be proactive and to change these 10 bad habits to improve our cyber-hygiene in the new year:

Do you use public Wi-Fi networks?

We all go out and move a little more these days. And that brings with it the temptation to use public networks Wi-Fi. But there are dangers. Hackers can use the same networks to track your internet traffic, gain access to your accounts, and steal your information. To stay safe, try to avoid public hotspots altogether. If you must use them, do not sign in to important accounts while connected to public networks.

Do you use weak passwords?

The passwords are the keys to our digital door. Unfortunately, as we have so many codes to remember these days - about 100 on average - we tend to use them without thinking about security. Using the same password for multiple accounts and using easy passwords give hackers a huge advantage. They have software to crack weak encryption, try frequently used password variations, and try to use compromised passwords on other accounts. You can use a password manager to remember and use strong, unique passwords or passphrases. Additionally, you can enable two-factor authentication (2FA) in each account that offers it.

 Think before you click!

Fishing - Phishing is one of the most widespread threats in cyberspace. It uses a technique known as social engineering, where the attacker tries to trick the victim into clicking on a malicious link or opening a malicious attachment. They take advantage of our innate confidence and often try to force us to make a decision very quickly, giving the message a sense of urgency. The number one rule for preventing these attacks is to think before you click. Double check the person or company sending the email to make sure it is legitimate. Take a breath. Do not make hasty moves.

Do not use security programs on all devices?

It goes without saying that at a time when cyber threats are on the rise, you should have a malware protection program installed by a reputable company on all of your computers and laptops. But how many of us enhance security on our mobile devices and tablets? According to research, we spend almost 5.000 hours each year using these devices. And there are many opportunities to come across malicious applications and malicious websites at this time. Protect your device today.

Do you visit unsafe websites?

The websites that have https: // in front of them use encryption to protect the traffic from your browser to the website. The https has two purposes: to certify that the website in question is genuine and not a product of phishing or fraud, and to ensure that cybercriminals can not eavesdrop on your communications to steal passwords and financial information. It is not a 100% guarantee that nothing bad will happen, as even today phishing websites use https. But it is a good start. Always look for the padlock symbol.

Do you associate work with personal life?

Many of us have spent much of the last two years erasing the dividing line between work and personal life. As the line has become blurred, cyber threat has infiltrated. Many times we use the email address and job passwords to sign up for shopping websites and more website. What if these websites are violated? Hackers may be able to break into your account at work. Using unprotected personal devices for business purposes also adds to the risk. It's worth the extra effort and the separation of processes between work and fun.

How; Do you provide detailed personal information over the phone?

Just like Phishing via email and SMS, this method uses social engineering techniques to trick users into clicking, so phishing over the phone, called vishing, is an increasingly popular way for scammers to extract personal and financial information from the victims. Scammers often camouflage their real numbers to legitimize the attack. The best rule of thumb is not to give sensitive information over the phone. Ask who they are and where they are calling from, and then call the company directly to check - not using phone numbers provided by the caller.

Do not do backup?

The ransomware (ransom = ransom) costs businesses hundreds of millions every year. But there are ransomware variants that threaten consumers as well. Imagine being locked out of your home computer. All data on it, and possibly files stored in the cloud, such as family photos and important documents, could be lost forever. Regular backups, according to best practice rule 3-2-1, provide peace of mind in case the worst happens.

Are you not protecting your smart home?

Nearly a third of European homes have smart devices such as voice assistants, smart TVs and security cameras. But these devices are an attractive target for criminals. They can be compromised and turned into botnets to launch attacks on others, or used as a gateway to other devices and your data. To keep them safe, change the default passwords at startup. Also, be sure to select a vendor that has a history of fixing known vulnerabilities in its products and investigate possible security vulnerabilities before purchasing a gadget.

Are you using up-to-date software?

One of the main ways cybercriminals can attack your computers and devices is vulnerabilities in operating systems, browsers, and software. In 2020, more vulnerabilities were identified than in any other year: over 18.100. That equates to more than 50 new software vulnerabilities per day! The good news is that you can turn on the auto-update feature and click update when prompted, so this task does not have to take up much of your time each day.

We all look forward to seeing what 2022 holds in store for us. Make sure it is a year full of only good surprises, improving your personal cyber security today.

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