It would be hard to imagine life without our electronic devices like smartphones and laptops. Most of our daily activities, like entertainment, banking and evening paying our bills now involve our electronic devices in one way or another. While these devices bring a whole lot of convenience, they can also come with a few drawbacks. Our personal devices store not only some of our treasured memories and messages but personal details and passwords that could potentially be used to hack into your accounts. This is why personal electronic devices are becoming a lucrative target for cybercriminals. We must take steps to keep our data safe, but how exactly do we go about doing that? In this post, we will be taking a closer look at what each of us can and should be doing to keep our tech safe from cyber threats.
Ensure That Your Devices Are Password Protected
Passwords are the first line of defense when it comes to keeping your devices secure and protected from cybercriminals. This is not exactly new information and most of us have password-protected devices. However, it is important to remember that not all passwords are created equally. Many people use passwords that can be easily guessed, for example, the name of a pet or a birth date. These passwords are not good enough to keep hackers at bay and it is important to make sure that you use strong passwords that cannot be guessed easily. It is also a good idea to use your smartphone, tablet or PC’s biometric security options. For example, facial recognition or fingerprint scanners are a good alternative to passwords and offer a higher level of protection than a weak password.
Update Your Devices Regularly
It’s vital that you make sure that your device is always updated to the latest software versions, as these updates are intended to improve your experience. It’s especially important for operating systems because the software providers will often address bugs and security loopholes with updates to remedy any potential problems before they occur. However, devices that are not updated regularly cannot receive these important updates. For this reason, it is advisable to always keep your device set to auto-update itself. In this way, your device will always be on the latest software version which makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain unauthorized access to the device.
Read Twice, Click Once
Hackers and cybercriminals often go to great lengths to make fake links seem real. All that is needed is a misspelt word or a hyphen where it shouldn’t be, and you can be redirected to a website that you never intended to visit. More people than ever before are falling victim to phishing attempts and this form of attack is a favourite amongst hackers. Always make sure that you only click on links from known senders and that you are visiting a secure website by checking that the website uses the HTTPS protocol and that it has a valid certificate. This is especially important when making online purchases or performing online banking transactions because nobody wants a hacker to gain access to this type of information.
Be Suspicious of Unknown Numbers and Callers
Hackers often call unsuspecting victims from “private numbers” to extract personal information from them. Unknown callers can claim to be calling from your financial institution or governmental institutions and ask for personal information. It is important to make sure that you do not give any personal information to unknown persons as this can be used to compromise the security of your devices and accounts.
Switch Off Unused Network Connections
Another easy way of protecting yourself against any potential hacking attempts is by switching off your device’s network connections when they are not in use. Public Wi-Fi and internet connections are like hunting grounds for hackers and they will often scan these networks for vulnerable devices that they can easily access. By switching off network connections when they are not needed, you can greatly reduce the chances of being hacked. Also, remember to avoid using public internet connections when performing financial transactions or logging into sensitive digital assets.
Ensure That Your Data Is Backed Up Regularly
Despite our best efforts, hackers do often manage to gain access to devices. In many cases, devices are targeted with ransomware which locks users out of their own devices and then encrypts the data so that the victim cannot easily use or recover any lost files. Using automated backup software and scheduling automated backups frequently is one of the best ways to ensure that your data is always backed up and available when you need it most.
What To Do If Your Device Is Compromised?
If you notice that your device has been compromised, you must act immediately. Since personal devices almost always contain a large amount of sensitive information like credit card details, passwords and bank account numbers, the first thing that you should do is notify your financial service providers of the breach. Also, remember to deregister the device if it is being used for two-factor authentication so that hackers cannot use it to access your accounts and cause further damage. Naturally, you should also immediately change all your passwords, including those that you use for social networks, to try and minimise any damage done.
Securely Erased Devices – As Good and Secure as New Devices
Many people who are looking to replace an existing device with a refurbished one are concerned that refurbished devices might not be as secure as new devices. However, the truth is that refurbished devices are just as secure as any new device. This is because reputable refurbished device resellers use the latest and best possible methods to erase every device completely and securely before it is shipped to any customer.
At Wisetek Store, our refurbished digital devices are 100% secure and are as cyber safe, if not safer than buying a brand-new device. This is because Wisetek Store is part of the larger Wisetek group, which has years of experience in the field of secure data erasure and data destruction. They help many of the world’s top companies safely and securely dispose of their IT assets, so you can rest assured that your refurbished device will be completely safe.
While technology such as smartphones makes our lives much easier, it is vital that we take control of the security of our data. Hackers are ruthless and will try their best to attempt to hack your devices but by following the above tips, you can make it much harder for them to access your devices and enjoy using your tech. Simple changes can have a big impact and it is not necessary to have sleepless nights because of unsecured personal tech.
Is it time for a new smartphone, tablet or laptop? Why not take a look at Wisetek Store’s large range of premium refurbished laptops, refurbished MacBooks, refurbished phones, refurbished desktops, refurbished tablets and more? They are just as secure as new devices, but you can save significant amounts and enjoy using premium tech!