Cybercriminals are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. Their primary targets include computers, phones, tablets, and databases storing sensitive information. Rapid advances in new technologies open new paths for cybercriminals to steal personal and financial information.

While the internet has many benefits, it can also be a dangerous place. There are malicious hackers and phishers lurking around every corner trying to steal your information. While there is no way to completely eliminate your risk of becoming a victim, there are steps that you can take to drastically reduce the chances.

Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication.

Strong passwords. Many people use the same password for all their accounts, but this is a huge mistake. Your password should be different for every account, and whenever you log into a new account, your password should be new. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters in your password. Don’t use the same password on multiple websites or applications, even if they don’t share the same security protocols.

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that gives you more protection against hackers when logging in to your accounts with a phone or another type of device. When you log into an account, there will be an additional step that asks you to enter a code sent to your mobile phone via text message or email.

Check your privacy settings.

Check the privacy settings on your social media accounts. Make sure that your profiles aren’t visible to everyone. Remember that even if you have the most secure settings possible, a friend could share content that makes you visible to other people.

Be careful what you share on social media.

Anyone could potentially have access to the content you’re posting on your social media page. Never share personal information through social media. An example of this would be your birthday, phone number, or home address. You never know who may be looking at your profile and what they will do with that information.

Don’t sign into public wifi without a VPN.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) use encryption to protect the data traveling between your machine and a server somewhere else in the world. By encrypting information that would otherwise be transmitted in plain text, it becomes much more difficult for hackers to intercept your data. In addition, a VPN allows you to disguise your IP address and appear to be accessing the internet from another location, which can help with privacy

Stay up to date on security patches for your operating system and browsers.

Outdated software is one of the most common ways hackers can gain access to your personal information, as well as infect your computer with malware. If a website or email has led you to download a file, click on links in the email or visit unfamiliar sites, make sure to check for any new updates before launching them. It’s also important to have anti-virus software installed that will scan your computer for known threats, and remove them if found.

In closing, it is important for every Internet user to learn about cybercriminals as well as their tactics. By taking proactive measures, you can reduce your risk of getting hacked or having your private information exposed to the public. Just remember to be vigilant, and know that the best way to fight a cybercriminal is by knowing what they are capable of.