Aura is an all-in-one digital security solution that helps protect you and your family’s identity, finances, devices, and personal info.
“Protect your devices”. We’ve all heard it, but how many of us actually do it? While it may seem like an inconsequential move, taking the precautions to keep your devices safe, keeps your data protected.
Malware, ransomware, hackers – all pose security threats to your personal information. And unfortunately attacks by cybercriminals can truly happen to anyone, even to someone who works in the digital world.
DJ1, a digital architect at an IT service management company, one day clicked on a seemingly innocent link that was supposed to be (ironically) an informational report about “Preventing Ransomware”. Instead, it redirected him to a compromised ad-server and allowed malware to completely take over his computer. DJ had been infected with ransomware, a type of malware that locked him out of his own files! He tried everything, but quickly discovered that all his files had been encrypted (not by him) and the only way to access them was with a decryption key which he obviously didn’t have. So, he went searching online and luckily was able to find a solution to recover his data, as well as having physical backups, meaning he avoided having to pay the ransom to get his files back (hence the name ransomware).
Moral of the story? Yes, DJ was unlucky. But, he also had taken some very smart preventative measures to ensure that if this DID happen to him, he wouldn’t be left out in the cold with none of his files.
That’s why we’ve made a list of ways you can be proactive in your digital security2:
1. Use strong passwords and passphrases (and don’t repeat them on different accounts!). Avoid using anything like a birthday, a family member or pet’s name, or anything really that would be easy to guess. Instead of only passwords, you could try passphrases, for example 4EverY@UNG (Forever Young). And don’t worry about remembering all of them! Use a password manager that’s built into a comprehensive security software, like Aura, to keep track of all your different logins.
2. Keep your apps and software updated and invest in a comprehensive security software (that also checks for malware). Set up automatic updates on all your tech (web browser, apps, operating systems, and other software), as companies will periodically check for vulnerabilities within them and release updates to “patch” fix them. Also within many of these cyber security suites, you have the option to use a virtual private network (VPN) to hide your location from those trying to track you. And really, ones like Aura are pretty self-explanatory!
As Hari Ravichadran (CEO and founder of Aura) says, “A (cybersecurity) platform should be simple and easy-to-use, because not everyone should have to be a tech expert to avoid identity theft and financial loss online.”
3. Stay vigilant and use your spidey senses! Yes, software can help protect you. But, you also have to be wary of emails and links sent by scammers trying to get all your personal and financial information, usually leading to your identity being stolen. Put simply, don’t open or click on any unknown emails or links, text messages, or pop-up messages, even if it looks legit. And don’t give out any information to someone who calls YOU! Instead, go to their company website and login for yourself or get in contact with them through their webpage.
4. Only shop online through a secure connection and payment method. How to spot it? Look for a little locked padlock in the corner of a browser or a website that starts with “https” not “http” (the “s” means “secure”). Either of these mean that the website is using a technology called SSL (Secure Socket Layer) that encrypts data during transmission.
Also, try to avoid shopping while using free public Wi-Fi as it could easily put your credit card info and passwords in danger. And only shop on sites that take secure payment methods (credit cards or PayPal), so you’re protected in case of no-delivery or fraudulent charges. You can also use the store’s app instead of a browser (it’s usually more secure), or a gift card so there is no financial information attached.
5. Backup, backup, backup! Whether it’s in the cloud, an external hard drive, a solid state drive (SSD), or a USB flash drive – always save all your information somewhere other than your device. As we saw with DJ, cyber attacks can happen to anyone and it’s a real life-saver, and you won’t be worried about losing all your data if it does unfortunately happen to you!
Protecting your devices is an absolute must if you want to avoid your data getting into the wrong hands. And getting comprehensive security software, like Aura, can help you in that feat and help make your life that much easier.