Five Easy Tips to Improve Personal Network Security in 2020

Fig. 1: Feature Image. Source: Pixabay/Canva                                                                                                                   By: John Asama

Every 39 seconds there is an hacking attempt, According to a Clark School study at the University of Maryland.

The rise in number of cyber attacks in recent times has made Network Security an issue that needs utmost attention. Attention not just from professionals but from every individual.

And it gets worse, Cyber Crime has become a most lucrative venture. With many elite hackers earning as much as $500,000 annually. The elite of the elites even gets more!

Online financial crimes are on the rise, and with the current global move where more businesses are moving online, financially related cyber attacks are expected to rise.

Due to this upsurge in the rate of hacking attacks, it has become pertinent that individuals become aware and take decisive actions to Improve their Network Security while using the online space.

Below are Five Easy Tips to Improve Your Network Security

1. Learn More About Network Security

Which is exactly what you’re doing now. *cool*. Read on.
As there is a shortage of Cybersecurity Professionals, the most effective way to keep yourself and business safe from cyber attacks is by taking an interest in learning how to prevent the attacks.

Learning about Network Security equips you with the knowledge of how to avoid cyber attacks.

In previous times cyber intelligence had been left for only those who chose cyber security as their career path but due to the overwhelming shortage of Cybersecurity Professionals it has become of utmost importance that every individual acquires at least a basic knowledge of Cybersecurity in order to protect oneself better in the online space.

There are several online platforms to learn about Network Security, Platforms like:
– StationX
– Coursera
– edX
– Heimdal
– Harvard Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age

Other courses and resources you can get for free are;

– Springboard’s Foundations of Cybersecurity
– TechExam.net’s certification preparation community
– SANS Cyber Aces Online
– Reading the Cyforce Technologies blog
– U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Virtual Training
– Cybrary Introduction to IT and Cybersecurity

2. Control Physical Access to Your Devices and Network Components

You should control access to your devices and network components, whether they are for personal or business use.

Truth is, no matter how we try to separate our personal life from our business or professional lives, we still get them mixed up at some point, especially when you use the same device for personal and business purposes.

Allowing uncontrolled access to any of your devices bearing sensitive information could just be the right opportunity for a cyber attacker to breach your network security. And there are a lot of ways that could happen, it could be due to carelessness on the part of the person granted access or a dozen other factors.

3. Install, Use and Regularly Update Antivirus

This goes without saying. If your computer device and information is worth a bag of salt to you then it deserves to have an up-to-date antivirus installed and running on it.

There are several antivirus softwares available, ranging from free, semi-free and the premium ones.

Some free antivirus you can use for your computer are:

– Panda
– Avira
– Sophos
– Kaspersky (Free Version)
– Bitdefender

Some of the most trusted antivirus are listed below;

– Kaspersky Total Security
– Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
– Norton 360 Deluxe
– Trend Micro Maximum Security
– Sophos Home Premium
– McAfee Internet Security
– ESET Smart Security Premium

It goes without saying that the premium (paid) antivirus are better than the free, so if you want top-notch security for your devices then you should get a premium antivirus software.

However, there’s no harm in starting with a free one, some of them offer protection to a degree but they are not very guaranteed. And many antivirus softwares have a free version where you are allowed to get access to some features but have to upgrade to the pro version to use all features.

Next up is;

4. Regularly Change Passwords.

Common sense, I bet.

Frequently changing passwords is probably the easiest and most basic way to protect yourself from Cyber Attacks.

With zero cost, It requires just a little bit of effort to undertake.

But like the cliché goes; little things matter.

And as an addition, avoid using same password for multiple accounts.

71% of accounts are protected by password used on multiple websites.

Using thesame password across multiple sites allows for vulnerability if you are breached in one area.

And as much as possible, using same password for personal and work accounts should be avoided for greater safety.

And Finally,

5. Make Backup Copies of Important Data and Information

American Multinational Equifax was hacked so were many others.

One can only go so far in trying to figure out a Network Security solution in case of cyber attacks but no matter how much security is in place, a hacker may still find his way.

This happens basically because hackers are not aliens, they’re the humans with live with daily. The hacker launching attacks on you could be a close associate from whom you would never expect such.

Backing up data is a great way to keep yourself and business on the safe side.

Most of the data backup platforms are very easy to use as they require little or no attention after activation. They are able to run on their own and auto backup data.

Some of most popular backup platforms and their rates are;

– My PC Backup $8.19/month
– BackBlaze $6/month
– Carbonite $6/month
– Crash Plan $10/month/computer
– Livedrive £5.00 /month
– Norton Cloud Backup $11.21/year.
– Arq Backup $49.99/User.
– Google Drive$1.99/month.
– iCloud $0.99/month

Knowing which plan is best for you can be tasking but you can just anyone you can afford from the list for a start.

Read more about back up here

Tip: Most of the backup platforms mentioned above offer free plans you can start with or at least a money-back guarantee, if you do not like the plan.

To wrap up, Network security is a need now more than ever where there are many hydra-headed Internet monsters out to attack you and your business.

Regularly updating yourself with the right knowledge is your best shot at keeping the hydra-headed monsters away from your personal and work life.

Here is a checklist to help  you know how secure you are from Cyber Attacks;

– Are you improving your knowledge on Network Security?
– Do you control access to your computers and network components?
– Do you use and regularly update your antivirus
– Have you backed up important data and information? And finally;
– Do you regularly change your passwords.

The number of checks you have speaks of how secure you are against cyber attacks.
How secure are you against cyber attacks? Share with us. 

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