Cyber Security: Four Common Cyber Security Mistakes You Should Avoid

Given the times we live in, the internet has become an all-consuming part of our life. From socialising to shopping to paying bills, we do everything online. Thanks to our smartphones, we are permanently logged in to our email and social media accounts.

As much as we like being connected 24×7 to the digital world, we also end up exposing ourselves to a number of cyber security threats, the consequences of which can be catastrophic. Siphoning off funds, identity theft – anything can happen if we’re not careful. In order to make sure that you have a safe online experience every single time, here are four common cyber security mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

#1 Keeping weak passwords or not changing passwords often

Weak and vulnerable passwords are said to be one of the leading reasons for cyber crimes. It’s therefore advisable to avoid having passwords that are just a string of letters or numbers. This is why a lot of sites prompt you enter alphanumeric passwords and also insist on inclusion of special characters. The more complex a password, the stronger it is.

It’s also a good practice to keep changing all your passwords from time to time. As far as remembering multiple passwords is concerned, there are apps that help you do that. So avoid writing down your passwords in a diary or book.

We expose ourselves to a number of threats online.
We expose ourselves to a number of threats online.
Source: iStock

#2 Replying to unsolicited mails

For all the smart and intelligent online practices we follow, there are times when we fall prey to unsolicited mails. Such mails are crafted in a way that they tempt you into replying to them with your sensitive personal details like passwords and card numbers. They are disguised as mails from your bank or from tax authorities or those that promise you great returns on investment. The ground rule while replying to any mail should be that if you find it to be suspicious, DO NOT REPLY to it. Do a double check or verify its authenticity before taking any action.

#3 Downloading unverified attachments or apps

If you come across any unsolicited mail that insists on you downloading an attachment or a message asking you install an app you know nothing about, a good idea would be to delete that message or mail altogether. There’s a good chance it could be malware aimed at gaining unauthorised access to your laptop or phone.

Your cyber security is in your hands.
Your cyber security is in your hands.
Source: iStock

#4 Using an unknown internet connection or wi-fi

While traveling or when at a public place, we often use whatever internet or wi-fi connection is available to us. There are times we also make online payments using such a connection. By doing this, we end up prioritising our convenience over security. This is because public wi-fi is more vulnerable to online breaches than a trusted connection.

By avoiding these mistakes, you safeguard your online experience from cyber attacks to a large extent. However, sometimes, in spite of all the measures you take, your online security gets compromised. This is where HDFC ERGO’s E@Secure Insurance Policy plays a crucial role. It is designed in such a way so as to protect you from damages arising out of online breaches. It covers financial losses due to phishing, unauthorised online transactions, damage to your e-reputation, identity theft and more.

HDFC ERGO has launched ‘Cyber Security Awareness Week’ from Oct 21 to 27, as part of #HackSeLado, an initiative aimed at making people aware about cyber security and how it impacts their lives.

Ultimately, your security is in your hands and should you need any help, here’s a handy guide to staying cyber safe by HDFC ERGO.

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This content was originally published here.