Achieving Cyber Security Resolutions for 2024
With the new year just around the corner, it’s crucial to take a moment and reflect on our Cyber Security. As technology continues to evolve, so do the threats that lurk in the digital landscape. To ensure your online safety and privacy, we have compiled a comprehensive list of cybersecurity resolutions for 2024. By following these guidelines, you can fortify your defenses and stay one step ahead of potential cyber threats.
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1. Embrace Anonymity: Cover Your Face
In an era where face masks have become a norm, it’s interesting to note that they inadvertently pose a challenge to facial recognition technology used by CCTV cameras. By covering your face, you can add an additional layer of privacy and make it more challenging for surveillance systems to identify you. Additionally, consider exploring other anti-surveillance accessories that further enhance your anonymity.
2. Choose Privacy-Oriented Browsers: Brave or Firefox
Web browsers play a significant role in our daily lives, but some browsers compromise our privacy by allowing advertisers to track our every move online. To counter this, opt for privacy-oriented browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox or Brave. These browsers block ads and web trackers by default, allowing you to browse the internet with enhanced privacy. Make sure to review our guide on how to compartmentalize your web browser for even better privacy protection.
3. Prioritize Privacy-Friendly Search Engines
While using privacy-oriented web browsers is essential, it’s equally important to consider the search engine you use. Popular search engines like Google collect vast amounts of personal data, which can compromise your privacy. Instead, opt for logless search engines like DuckDuckGo, Qwant, or StartPage. These search engines prioritize user privacy and limit the collection of personal data. France, for instance, has even replaced Google with Qwant as its default search engine.
4. Secure Messaging: Choose Encrypted Apps
Messaging apps have revolutionized communication, but without encryption, your messages are vulnerable to prying eyes. Opt for messaging apps that utilize end-to-end encryption, ensuring that only you and the intended recipient can access the message contents. Signal, with its secure messaging protocol, is highly recommended for its advanced security features and open-source nature. It even supports encrypted group video chats for up to five participants.
5. Navigate with Open-Source Map Apps
When it comes to mapping applications, OpenStreetMap (OSM) stands out as a comprehensive open-source alternative to Google Maps. OsmAnd, a mobile-only navigation tool built upon OpenStreetMap, offers features like traffic information, public transport details, and cycling routes. Additionally, it allows you to create and store personalized routes, making it a reliable companion for both commuters and travelers.
6. Secure Email Communication
While Gmail may be widely used, it’s important to consider alternative email providers that prioritize security. CounterMail, ProtonMail, and Mailfence are reputable options that offer both free and paid versions of their services. These providers offer enhanced security features and encryption, ensuring your emails remain private and protected. Be sure to review our guide on how to improve your email security for further insights.
7. Strengthen Passwords and Use a Password Manager
One of the most fundamental yet often overlooked aspects of cybersecurity is password strength. Avoid using easily guessable passwords and instead utilize random password generators for stronger credentials. To manage these complex passwords effectively, employ a password manager. By using a password manager, you only need to remember one master password while ensuring the security of all your other credentials. Don’t forget to enable two-factor authentication for added protection.
8. Keep Devices Updated
Regularly updating your devices is crucial for safeguarding against malware, software bugs, and zero-day exploits. These updates not only enhance the performance of your devices but also patch security vulnerabilities. After updating, review your device and app privacy permissions to ensure they align with your preferences. Remember, maintaining up-to-date software is an essential part of your overall cybersecurity strategy.
9. Delete Unused Apps
Over time, we accumulate numerous apps that we no longer use. It’s important to regularly review your installed apps and delete those that are no longer necessary. Not only does this declutter your device, but it also reduces the potential attack surface for malicious actors. Websites like Just Delete Me can assist in identifying accounts associated with unused apps and services, simplifying the account deletion process.
10. Securely Dispose of Old Hardware
When replacing old hardware, it’s crucial to ensure that no sensitive data remains on the devices. Hard disk drives (HDDs) store data magnetically and require proper disposal to prevent unauthorized access. A reliable method involves combining digital and physical tools to wipe the HDDs completely. For absolute certainty, physically rendering the drive unusable, such as by physically destroying it, ensures no trace of data remains.
11. Prioritize HTTPS Connections
When browsing the web, ensure that websites use HTTPS encryption (indicated by the green lock symbol in the browser bar). This encryption secures the data exchanged between your browser and the website’s server, protecting it from eavesdropping and tampering. Most websites today offer HTTPS by default, but it’s essential to remain vigilant and verify the presence of HTTPS before submitting sensitive information.
12. Exercise Caution on Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient for accessing the internet on the go. However, connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots can expose your online activities to potential threats. Whenever possible, use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet traffic and protect your data from prying eyes. If a VPN isn’t available, consider relying on your cellular data connection or refrain from submitting sensitive information while connected to public Wi-Fi networks.
13. Limit Online Oversharing
Social media platforms have become a part of our daily lives, but oversharing personal information can compromise your privacy and security. Be mindful of the information you share online, including your whereabouts, activities, and personal details. Review your privacy settings on social media platforms and consider making your posts private or deleting them altogether if they reveal too much information. Understanding the principles of phishing and social engineering can also help protect yourself from potential threats.
14. Cybersecurity Resolutions: Think Before You Click
Phishing attacks remain a common method employed by cybercriminals to steal sensitive information. Educate yourself on how to identify phishing attempts and question requests for passwords or credit card information. By practicing caution and critically evaluating the legitimacy of emails and messages, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to these scams.
2024 presents a new opportunity to enhance your cybersecurity posture. By adopting these resolutions and implementing robust security practices, you can navigate the digital landscape with confidence. Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing process that requires constant vigilance and adaptation. Stay informed, stay secure, and have a safe digital journey in the year ahead!
What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2024?