Online safety practices must protect your data and network’s confidentiality, availability, and integrity. But they must also ensure the usability of your devices.
People often focus on the ease of using their digital devices over online security. But, security and usability do not have to be mutually exclusive. Online safety measures can make your device secure and usable at the same time.
How to Balance Online Safety and Usability?
The unwritten rule of cybersecurity is to address at least the following:
1. Basic Network Controls
Network security is essential for both professional and personal networks. Most homes with high-speed Internet have at least one wireless router. This router can be susceptible to cybersecurity attacks without adequate security measures.
With a strong network security system, you can reduce the risk of data loss and theft. Basic network controls protect your devices from dangerous spyware. They can encrypt your data and thwart man-in-the-middle (MiM) attacks.
Ensure basic network controls through the following:
Putting Up a Firewall
Use a firewall to filter incoming and outgoing network traffic. Your firewall controls which traffic to allow or deny based on security rules. It provides a wall between trusted networks and malicious external networks.
Using a Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network (VPN) is an encrypted connection between your device and the Internet. The encrypted connection keeps your sensitive data secure. It makes it difficult for cybercriminals to spy on your online activities.
Keeping Your Operating Systems Up-to-Date
Keeping your operating system up-to-date is crucial to your online security. OS updates provide patches to exploitable vulnerabilities. They can also add novel features to your devices. It enhances computers and mobile phones for watching movies or playing online games.
Vendors often release OS updates before an outsider discovers the vulnerability. Vulnerability patches fix loopholes that hackers could abuse.
Using an Anti-Virus Software
Antivirus software detects, blocks, and removes malicious software from your devices. It runs in the background and guards your device against computer viruses. It scans data such as web pages, software, and files to get rid of malware fast.
Many activities, like downloading files and playing MMORPGs, expose you to security threats. So, it’s more important than ever to install antivirus software. Perform routine antivirus scans on your computer to ensure device safety and usability.
2. Data Backup
There are technological advances today that weren’t accessible two decades ago, like the cloud. It allows remote data storage and enables you to access information whenever and wherever you want. The cloud also allows you to go without hardware since storage has no limits to the amount of data it can store.
But what’s more noteworthy is that the cloud provides added security. In case of a computer shutdown, your cloud backup can help you recover lost data faster.
3. Secure Remote Access
Secure Remote Access combines the power of various security processes or solutions. It deters unauthorized access to your system. It is crucial to your security if you tend to access your device or system from a remote location.
Secure remote access includes these tools:
Downloading unverified software can expose you to a password attack. And so does clicking on links in emails from unknown senders.
But the most common cause of many data thefts is weak passwords. Cybercriminals can infiltrate your network through compromised passwords. The primary reason of that is the use of simple passwords and reusing the old ones.
Secure passwords are complex and unique for each account. But the length and complexity make them hard to remember. Therefore, people often reuse their login credentials to avoid memorizing many usernames and passwords. Some jot passwords down and attach the post-it note to their computer.
These unsafe practices raise security concerns. And you can’t take that risk, as the number of phishing attacks and data breaches is soaring.
A password manager helps you create strong passwords for every site you use and stores them securely. This tool eliminates password reuse and encourages you to use unbreakable passwords.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) prevents criminals from accessing an account with nothing but a stolen password. It is a standard remote security procedure. MFA requires several verification methods before letting a user access an account.
You can use MFA to heighten the security of an online account. MFA provides extra protection by asking for more information apart from the password. To gain access, you must also provide a code or biometrics.
Observing online safety best practices has never been more crucial, as the threat landscape is changing fast. Remote working is becoming a trend; we’re also sharing our sensitive data over the Internet way too easily.
But being successful and stress-free today demands a balance between online safety and usability. So, observe cybersecurity best practices and choose the ones most suitable for you, to not go overboard. Online security must not keep you from accessing your favorite sites or apps.
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.