The internet nowadays has become a dangerous place to be on with malicious links, Trojans, and Viruses. Data breaches are now more frequent and common. Users are more vulnerable than ever before. When one click can cost lakhs and crores, you need a watchful eye and a to-do list that can help you stay alert and safe online.
Here we will discuss our top 51 cybersecurity tips, which can improve your online safety and they are all FREE to use and apply.
The list is a bit long but very much important for your safety, so read it careful and don’t skip any point.
01 - Clicking Without Thinking
Just because you are using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop it doesn't mean that you must click on every link you receive. Remember, it can cost you a really huge amount of your hard-earned money. Malicious links can harm you in several different ways. Be sure to inspect each link and ensure they are from a trusted source before clicking. Always check the website authenticity before visiting. Always use HTTPS links.
02 - Online Shopping Security
Never do online shopping from a device that is not yours or from a network you don’t own.
Your data could be breached and used by cybercriminals.
03 - Use Two-Factor Authentication
You must have a strong password, but it’s even more important to have two-factor authentication. 2FA provides you two layers of security so that if a cyber-criminal hacks your password then there is still an additional security measure available to ensure that your account is safe.
Want to know more about Two Factor Authentication? Check This Post -
04 - Stay safe from Phishing Scams
More than 2 billion fake emails are sent daily, phishing mail attacks are one
of the greatest cyber-security threats. In a phishing attack, a hacker will
impersonate someone that you may be familiar with to trick you into opening a
malicious link, asking for important credentials, or opening software that
infects your system with a virus. The best way to be safe from phishing scams
is by avoiding emails from unknown senders, look for grammatical errors in
mail content and mail id, don't give your personal details to any unknown
05 - Track Your Digital Footprint
Monitor your online accounts and ensure all the activities are done by you. Have a list of all the digital accounts you have and keep a track on them regularly, including social media, and delete accounts you are not using and ensure to set strong passwords (change them regularly).
06 - Banking Safety
Check your bank statements on a regular basis (you can do it with online banking easily).
Look for any suspicious activity and if you found any then alert your bank, change all passwords related to that account and activate every security setting available.
07 - Keep all Apps and OS Updated
Software patches and updates are issued when security flaws are discovered. These software update notifications are annoying, but you can consider them as a guard against malware and other types of online threats. Updating your apps and devices can prevent 85% of targeted attacks?
08 - Check your WIFI Connection
Many times you might be tempted to connect your device to an unsecured free WIFI connection, but when knowing its consequences, it’s not worth it. Only connect to private WIFI network when possible, especially when handling sensitive information like banking and financial services.
09 - Secure Your Mobile Device
Cyber Security doesn’t mean the security of your desktop or laptop only. It’s important to get your mobile device security as well. Always use strong passwords and biometric security features, ensure to turn off Bluetooth when not in use, switch off automatically connect to any public Wi-Fi, and download with secure connections and secure sites. To know more in detail check this post:
10 - Need of Antivirus
Get protection for all your devices. Research for the best available security software and choose an antivirus you trust. Or you can check our post "Best Antivirus Security Software for Laptops & Desktops" for the list of top Antivirus available. Paid is always better than free. Antivirus is very necessary, so never skip it.
11 – Removable Storage Devices
Be careful about what you plug into your device, never use a USB storage device, whose source you don’t know. It can be infected with viruses that can even resist formatting. And for your USB devices, always scan them with an Antivirus software before use.
12 - Social Engineering (Beware!!!)
When hackers can’t find a security flaw in your system then they will attack you in other ways. Here comes the role of social engineering. This type of attack is on your mind, rather than on your device, to gain access to your systems and private information. Due to this social media, a huge amount of your personal information is available online and which helps these cybercriminals to come up with many creative ways to dupe you. Beware of them.
13 - Lock-It
Always create an unlocking password for all your devices and never leave them unlocked while you are away. Don’t make it so easy for someone to get into your system so easily. Set up a password for your device. (it takes only 2-3 minutes).
14 - Clean out your devices
Remove all your unused old apps. If you haven’t used any apps in the past 4-5 months, delete them.
This will help you to get rid of old vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.
15 – Professional Impersonates
A recruiter or an attacker? Many cybercriminals often create fake Linkedin profiles to gain access to your professional details that they can use to dope you. They collect all the data about your professional life.
Check out the profile of the person before accepting their connection request.
Signs to look for in their profile: Too little or generic information, Profile Picture that looks like stock photography, Very few connections.
16 – Email Security
Email is the first online account you must create to use as a login to other online accounts. We store everything from conversations to financial documents and personal info. Email is invaluable.
You must create high-level security for your email account. Use the following:
- Add recovery information
- Monitor recent activity
- Check account permissions
- Check app passwords
- Enable 2-step verification.
17 – Back-Up Your Important Data
Storage doesn’t cost too much so there is no excuse not to have a backup of your important data.
Back it up on a physical storage device or on the cloud services. Malicious threats don’t always want to hack your data, but sometimes they want to encrypt or erase your data. Back it up to use as a recovery tool.
18 – It won’t happen to me
“It won’t happen to me,” or “I don’t visit malicious websites” these will be your greatest mistakes. Cyber-Criminals don’t discriminate in targeting any user. Be proactive. There is no “Undo” button for all mistakes. Simple cybersecurity tips like these can help you to prevent a major scam or data breach.
19 – Got a new friend request?
Online Friends or fraudsters? Be careful of the friend requests you accept in any online social media account. Cybercriminals often create fake profiles to get your confidential data. Trust no online friend unless you know them in real life.
20 – Prioritize the Security
Prioritize your most sensitive online accounts.
For example, a quick list:
• Online banking / Financial Apps
• Amazon / Flipkart /any other e-commerce website you use
• Any account where you’ve put in your debit/credit card details
• Any account that has sensitive info (Name, address, phone no., etc.).
Secure all of them with strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
21 – Using Someone Else Device?
Required to use someone else’s device for mail or any transaction?
You will never know that someone else’s device is infected with malware, has a keylogger, or is unsafe.
Use your own device only.
22 – Don’t Trust Everything You See Online
Simple rules to live by online:
• If it looks too good to be true, it may not be true.
• If it looks suspicious, better stay away from it.
• If someone asks for your personal data, never give it to them.
22 – Make Strong Passwords
“password123” and “qwer12345” never use such easy passwords. Make a very strong complex password for all your online accounts. If you find it difficult to remember such strong passwords, use a trusted password manager software.
23 – Ransomware
Ransomware is now becoming one of the biggest cyber threats in the cyber world. In this attack, the cybercriminals encrypt all your data and locks you out. It will ask you for some monetary ransom for the decryption key.
Protect yourself from ransomware by:
- Doing frequent data backups at multiple locations for your important data
- Don’t keep highly important data only on your computer
- Never open any .zip attachments received on e-mails from unknowns
- Don’t open any links in e-mails from unknown senders
- Keep your OS and apps up to date
- Use a good antivirus
- Use VPN for any financial transactions
24 – Use HTTPS
How you will know that a website is secured or not? It is handling your data securely or not?
Check the website URL (link) is starting with HTTPS or not.
One “S” can make a lot of difference. Websites with HTTPS encrypts your data so that no one can breach into your personal information.
So, check for that “S” next time you visit any website.
25 – Uninstall any PUA/PUP
PUA / PUP (potentially unwanted application / potentially unwanted program) are software that you may not have installed willingly, as sometimes it installs automatically when you install any free app. Nothing comes free in this world. If it is free, then you are paying some hidden charges in the form of data breaches.
This type of software is malicious and cybercriminals can use them to hack your data. So, uninstall all such types of applications.
26 – Spamming
Is your inbox full of spams?
There are some remedies for this:
• Be careful where you are submitting your email address
• Unsubscribe from unnecessary newsletters
• Use “mark emails as spam” option to block it more effectively
• Don’t click on links in spam emails
• Don’t download attachments in spam emails
• Create additional email accounts, to keep your most important mail id safe
• Don’t share your mail id on social media
Less spam means less threat.
27 – Is Smartphone Smart Enough?
We neglect smartphone security, but with so much personal data on it, you should secure your smartphone also. Here are some tips:
- Use the screen lock all times.
- Use encryption software to protect important data on your phone.
- Turn your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off when not in use.
- Install an antivirus app for your mobile
- Check all permissions carefully before installing any app.
- Don’t install cracked or pirated apps.
- Back up your data at regular intervals
28 – Increase your privacy
Higher Privacy means higher security
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect your online identity and activity. Highly recommended if you are using public Wi-Fi.
VPN will you for an additional layer of data encryption that can keep you safe from many cyber-attacks.
29 – Ad Blocker
Attackers may use ads to infect your system. This tactic is called malvertising (Malware Advertising). So, how to be safe from it?
- Use adblocker software.
- Use a good antivirus.
30 – Identify Fake Social Media Profiles
There is a simple way to find out whether the profile is fake or not.
Download the profile picture.
Do a Google image search of that profile picture to see whether the profile picture is unique or not? If it’s fake, lots of results will be shown. If it's fake, delete it.
31 – Apps from Untrusted sources
There are millions of apps available on the net for various tasks. But don’t install any app from any untrusted source. Always check the source from where the app is coming. It is recommended to only download apps from the App stores.
32 – Check-ins – A Big NO!!!
Check-Ins on Facebook and other social media sites gives cybercriminals data about you, the more data about you online, the more cybercriminals can gather and use against you.
Sometimes even common criminals use this information to break into your house for theft.
And never check-in while you’re at home! Why would you want any cyber-criminal to know your exact location?
33 – Install HTTPS Everywhere
Chrome, Firefox, Android, Opera, or any other reliable Internet Browser, all these browsers have an extension or addon known as “HTTPS Everywhere” which will ensure that all the websites that you visit should be on HTTPS. Search it and Install that extension.
34 –Check before you click
Check any unknown link for safety before you click, use below sites for checking any suspected links:
If you are using a good antivirus security software, they also detect all the links in a search result and display green tick icons against each safe links.
35 – Your cybersecurity should be like Onion
Create multi-layered security for your data, like an onion.
If one-layer falls, you will always have another one to protect you.
Don’t fall for any impersonates, don’t share passwords and pins, create complex passwords, use two-factor authentications, use good antivirus software and do other important things written in this article and create your multi-layer onion.
36 – Make a Security Risk Assessment Checklist
Create a list of types of data you stored on your device and online. What are the important online accounts that you use frequently?
Take the list and check how valuable the data is in those accounts. What would happen if you suddenly lost access to these accounts? Or someone deletes those account?
What are the current security measures available and what all new measures can be done to make it more secure? What are the backup options?
Do the Risk Assessment!
37 – Don’t Compare Yourself with Others
It is also a general life tip, don’t compare yourself with others, it has same importance in the cyber world also.
Others don’t use two-factor authentications then why I will do?
Others don’t use antivirus security software then why I will do?
Others don’t back up their data then why I will do?
You know better now, Why you should.
Don’t let others influence your mind on data security. You decide, your data is important to you or not?
38 – Keep Your Web Browsers Up to Date
The web browser and all its add-ons and extensions which you have installed should be up to date all the time.
Outdated web browsers have security flaws that the cybercriminals are looking for on the net, if they found out any device browser is out of date, they can penetrate to the system due to those security flaws.
You can take a break and update your browser NOW! Read further points on the updated browser.
39 – Cover your Laptop’s camera
Put a tape and cover your laptop’s webcam. Sounds Crazy?
The FBI and NSA director does it, so you should also.
The reason behind this is that many cases are registered in which cybercriminals have taken over your camera control without your permission and can watch you.
Think!!! How dangerous that will be?
Did you know that? But Amazon is selling laptop cam covers for many years. Check the below link.
40 – Are You Using Fake Antivirus? Check Now!!!
You might have seen ads on your screen when you visit any website saying “Your device is infected with the virus. Click to install XYZ Virus cleaner”. Never click on such ads.
Any trustworthy and good antivirus company will never advertise in such a manner.
If you click on such ads then it will install the malware in your device, which can further do damage to your device or breach into your data.
So, only install Antivirus and security software from a trustworthy source.
41 – Don’t save your card details online
Don’t save your credit or debit card details in any online shopping or payment app.
It’s an easy access for you, but easy for cybercriminals also to get your card details to take money from your account.
Don’t be lazy. It only takes 1-2 minutes to type the details.
42 – Is your account ever breached?
Thousands of online accounts are breached daily nowadays. So, what about your account?
You can check the data breaches in your account using two famous online portals.
Breach Alarm available at https://breachalarm.com/
have I been pwned? Available at https://haveibeenpwned.com/
These two portals have a database of all the data breaches that happened in the past which you can you to check your account status.
43 – Remote Device Locator
Each mobile operating system has a feature to remotely locate and if required, wipe the data of a lost mobile phone.
Apple iPhone has “Find my iPhone”, Microsoft has “Find my phone”, and Android have “Android Device Manager”.
Always keep this option turned on.
44 – Use multiple email accounts
Create and use separate email accounts for different purposes.
Use your primary (personal and work) email account only for its dedicated use.
For any other non-important work use different email accounts than the primary one
It seems complicated to have multiple email accounts, but it will help you to be safe in this cyber world.
45 – Usage of Unsupported software
Many a time you have heard the news that “X company is discontinuing the support of their Y software or OS”. End of support means the software maker company is stopping all the support towards any failure and any bugs and flaws in the software will not be addressed by the makers now and the whole responsibility of using the software is now on the User. This type of software and OS will have many vulnerabilities in current times.
For example, Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in July 2014, Windows 7 in January 2020, and Apple discontinued support for QuickTime for Windows in April 2016.
Those who continue to use these types of unsupported software and OS, expose their data to a huge range of vulnerabilities.
The only option you have, to be safe, is to use up-to-date software applications and OS.
46 – Nothing comes free in this World
Nothing is free. This is true in the real world and the web world also. If it is free that means, there is some motive behind that. Free software and apps mean you are giving access to your personal data to the app provider.
47 – Mr. Robot
You love binge-watching TV shows. Don’t You?
Have you seen Mr. Robot (Available on Amazon Prime Video)?
No other Web series or Movie has portrayed hacking and cyber-crime so realistically than Mr. Robot. So, if it’s possible, watch it to see how cyber-attacks happens and what are their motives.
48 – Never Reuse Passwords
Think, what happens if your Facebook account got hacked? And you use the same password in your other mail ids. And worst will happen if you use the same password for bank accounts.
One account breach will lead to a breach of all your accounts if you keep the same password everywhere.
Never keep the same passwords to your different online accounts!
49 – Security check-up option in Google account
Have you that all the security settings are correct in your Google account?
If not, then Google provides you an option to do a security check-up, that will guide you through all the steps that you need to check or activate in order to enhance your security.
Complete your account security checkup now.
50 – Factory Data Reset
Buying a new smartphone under an exchange offer?
Don’t forget to do a Factory Data Reset on your old Smart Phone before you give it away.
Back up your data first, then wipe it (I prefer 2-3 times), so the next phone owner can’t log into your accounts or use your data.
51 – Apply what you have read so far
Nothing will work unless you do.
That’s why you will not remain safe unless you apply the information that you got after reading all these Cyber Security Tips. So, your action is required now. Get going.
If you want to understand any point in detail, I will help you out, just ask the same in the comment section below.
Share as much as possible, this information is required by everyone and can help someone to prevent a possible data breach in their account.
Share your views on this post in the comment section below.