10 Basic Tips To Protect All Your Devices From Threats
Gone are the days when people used to use only a single device for fulfilling all their needs. Today, you’ve got a desktop in your home, a laptop for work, a smartphone in your pocket, a tablet for those situations when a laptop fails to deliver, a complete home networking system for connecting all these devices. And we all are happy by this technology revolution. After all, all our digital data are synced and help us keep up with the World. But, ask yourself one question.
Are you feeling secure with all your data so easily available through your different devices? Have you done enough to keep them secure from the prying eyes and threats coming from the Internet?
Well, it seems if the market share of a product increases, it becomes a ripe target for malicious attacks. We’ve already seen how 600,000+ users Worldwide of the “most secure” operating system got infected by a pesky Trojan. One of the best-selling smartphone operating system gets targeted by Malware writers everyday. I’ve not named any products here, but, I guess you got my point. We are not secure any more using the traditional security measures, we used to use. Hence, I thought of sharing with you all some basic tips that I use to protect my devices off threats.
1. Configure built-in security settings for all your devices
Whenever, you buy a new device or install a new operating system, the first thing to do is to configure the built-in basic security options of the device.
For example, the WiFi Router+Modem that I brought few months back had no WiFi security configured. By default, my WiFi network was open to all. To secure my network, the first I did was, I changed the default password of my WiFi Router+Modem. After that, I secured my WiFi network with WPA-PSK+WPA2-PSK pass phrase which was compatible with all my other WiFi enabled devices. Through this two steps, I secured my WiFi network from my neighbors and “free users”.
2. Before installing any software, install a security suite
This is kind of very important step which most users don’t follow. Before filling up your Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone with apps, install a trust worthy security suite. You should never proceed to installing any app or browsing the Internet before installing a good antivirus or security suite.
3. Keep a track of what and how much you’re sharing
Don’t just blindly keep synced everything with all devices. You may never need that much stuff to be available on everything. If you’re using cloud storage services, keep your private files that you don’t want anybody else to read encrypted. Basic principle, lookout what is getting shared.
4. Watch out for what you install
Most Malware gets through when a user never pays attention to what they are installing. If you are suspicious of something, don’t install it. Use services like VirusTotal, NoVirusThanks, to scan the file online. Read reviews about the app before installing. Always download from trusted sources and never download from shady websites. Ask the online community, ask your friends over the social network about the app before installing anything that looks suspicious.
5. Use strong passwords for all your accounts
Never use a weak password. Never repeat your passwords for different accounts. Use a cross-platform password manager like KeePass (supports Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iPhone/iPad, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and more) to keep all your passwords secure while making them easily accessible for you.
6. Use VPN when accessing a public WiFi network
Public WiFi networks are really very sweet spot for script-kiddies, malicious users and hackers. So, if you have to use a public WiFi, always try to secure your access and keep your data safe by using a VPN.
7. Switch off services that are not in use
If you’re not using Bluetooth/WiFi, switch it off. It will protect you and will also extend the battery life of your device.
8. Always keep everything updated
Whenever an update is released for the operating system or any app which you’re using, install it. The updates usually fixes security issues, bugs and sometimes also improves performances. So, never put updates for the next day, install them whenever they are made available. And always keep your antivirus/anti-malware/anti-spyware/anti-(anything) definitions up-to-date.
9. Regularly scan for threats
Regularly, scan for threats on all your devices. Since, even though your Mac may not get infected by viruses made for the Windows platform, but it can infect your Windows PC present in your network.
10. Be cautious, be alert!
Yes, that’s my last tip. Always be careful to whatever you do when you’re online or using your network. Regularly, go through the system logs, keep your family members informed about threats, and surf safely. It’s rightly said, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Those were some basic tips for protecting yourself. If you’re using multiple devices like me, and have a smartphone, tablet, laptop and a desktop. What is your best tip for keeping all of your devices protected?
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