Many people don’t realize just how much of their personal information is stored online. However, a lot of our lives take place on the digital plane, from communication and entertainment to online shopping or even medical appointments. Without the right approach to cybersecurity, you run the risk of having your private information stolen and used fraudulently. Thankfully, improving your digital safety can be a simple process if you take the right steps. To start you off on the right foot, here’s what you need to know about cybersecurity. 

Understanding Cybersecurity Threats

It’s difficult to protect yourself against unknown threats, which is why it’s important to be aware of the most common cybersecurity risks. Understanding the most common ways that hackers gain access to private information will give you a starting point when it comes to digital protection. The biggest cybersecurity threats to be aware of are:

  • Malware: Also known as malicious code, malware is the most common way that hackers can gain access to your information. Some malicious code will require you to perform an action, such as clicking a link, so it can infect your device. Other types may spread without action over shared networks or emails. Malware is capable of opening or damaging files, transmitting personal information, or causing your computer to stop responding. 
  • Ransomware: Ransomware is a specific type of malware that encrypts personal files on infected devices. It can spread between connected devices, even reaching backup files, making it impossible for victims to access their own information. The goal of ransomware is to force victims into paying a ransom in order to regain access to their files. However, paying the ransom does not guarantee that victims will regain access, which is why the FBI does not support paying ransomware hackers and recommends having a ransomware plan instead.
  • Vulnerable equipment: Programming errors can lead to vulnerabilities in your software, hardware, or firmware. Hackers can take advantage of these flaws to directly access your information or infect your devices with malware. 

Ways to Improve Your Digital Security

Knowing about the main cybersecurity risks is just the first step in improving your digital security. To reduce your risk of experiencing a cyberattack, you will want to implement these crucial cybersecurity practices:

  • Ensure your software is always up to date
  • Use reputable antivirus software
  • Change default usernames and use strong passwords
  • Implement multi-factor authentication
  • Consider installing a firewall
  • Be suspicious of strange emails or messages
  • Don’t browse on public Wi-Fi networks

How to Protect Your Online Banking Information

If hackers gain access to your online banking information, they could cause serious damage to your finances by making unauthorized purchases on your account or transferring money without your knowledge. Problems like credit card fraud can be stressful and challenging to recover from, which is why it’s important to safeguard your information in the first place. To protect your online financial information, try following these tips:

  • Only shop with reputable online retailers
  • Never save your credit card information to your device
  • Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi networks
  • Use strong, unique passwords on your accounts
  • Implement multi-factor authentication
  • Only use trusted and secure online banking systems

How to Improve Your Cybersecurity in Vancouver WA

5 Local Branches Serving Greater Vancouver WA:

Vancouver Waterfront | Fishers Landing | Hazel Dell | Battle Ground | Ridgefield | Salmon Creek | Orchards | Minnehaha | Walnut Grove | Hockinson | Baker | Sara | Felida | Cascade Park East