The world has changed drastically over the last decade, most notably in the realm of technology and the way it impacts our daily lives. With the prevalence of smartphones, streaming services, online commerce, social media and countless other elements of digital life, it is almost hard to imagine how we lived 10 years ago.
However, the past is the past, and we are well into the Digital Age. As we progress into the 2020s, advances in technology – and our dependence upon them – are going to increase in relevance and frequency. This will mean a new world of communication, convenience and technological wonders, but it will also mean new risks.
With our lives becoming increasingly digital, the nature of crime is following suit. The modern criminal no longer seeks to snatch a purse or pick a pocket – he is seeking to crack a password or hack a network. Criminals will only grow in sophistication in the new decade, and those who wish to protect their information, finances and privacy will need to take more advanced steps to do so.
With that being said, this list is designed to provide a few critical cybersecurity tips that everyone should know for the present and future. By understanding and utilizing the following information, you can help protect your most valuable possessions moving forward.
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1. Be Smart with Passwords
Any list of practical cybersecurity tips must still begin with password usage. Your passwords are quite literally the keys to your finances, privacy and security, and the importance of proper password management will only increase in the future.
Even with everything we know about modern cybersecurity, many people still use the same password across a number of sites and services. This is essentially the equivalent of having the same key for your front door, back door, car, and office. And without proper password management, you might as well be leaving a spare key under the doormat.
Creating complex and randomized passwords can be critical to your security. And since no one can remember fifty different sequences of random characters, a password manager can be one of the more helpful tools in your security toolbox. This Nordpass review goes over the highlights of one of the most popular and effective password managers available.
2. Properly Utilize 2FA
Two-factor authentication (2FA) provides an added layer of security to your passwords, and it is available for many sites and services. This means that even if a crafty criminal gains access to your password, he or she would still be unable to access your information without additional steps.
The SMS-based 2FA is the most common and most popular type of authentication, and it does provide some additional protection. However, even this method has its weaknesses, as a criminal with access to your phone can get past it. Authenticator apps can be the most helpful tool for avoiding this.
3. Be Safe On-the-Go
Even if you take the most effective precautions to protect your information at home, you can still put everything at risk if you are not smart on-the-go. Many businesses offer free WiFi, but these are usually unsecured networks through which sophisticated thieves can access everything you do and see while connected.
However, this does not necessarily mean you can never use Starbucks WiFi or connect to the Internet in a hotel ever again. Of all your cybersecurity tools, a good VPN service may be the most helpful in keeping you safe online. It essentially creates an encrypted tunnel through which your information can safely and invisibly travel at home and out and about.
4. Stay on Your Game
While none of the above-mentioned cybersecurity tips will ensure your safety, they should all be standard procedure for digital safety going forward. Criminals will only become more creative and threats more sophisticated in the 2020s. If you stay on top of changing security trends and get to know the common threats, you can have a more secure future.