14 June, 2021

4 essential ways to keep yourself safe online

By: Lana Bawaneh

cybersecurity - internet security
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of technology and the Internet has become even more essential. Almost everyone is now using the Internet and digital technologies. A lot of people, regardless of their age group and occupation, use the Internet to study, interact, work, shop, and perform almost all of their everyday duties and responsibilities. Technology and Internet coverage are developing very rapidly to fulfill people needs and this huge demand. And while it has a lot of advantages, it also has some risks and disadvantages. Technology, for example, can create dependencies, disconnect people socially, reduce human physical activities, and may expose the privacy and security of data.

In the technology and information technology industries, people are always looking for security tips. Online users are worried about cybersecurity now more than ever and rightfully so. One should be very careful when going online and using today’s Internet technologies. In this article, we are going to look at some basic yet essential tips and recommendations that people should implement and follow to prevent or at least reduce the risk of losing data in a cyber-security online attack.

1. Use Powerful Passwords

Let’s start with Passwords. Today, with every software system, tool, account, platform, passwords are becoming mandatory. Passwords are very important because they help in protecting the accounts and information linked to them. They also act as the first line of defense for preventing unauthorized access to one’s account.

When creating passwords, people have to make sure not to share their passwords with others, and also, they should create strong passwords that cannot be predicted easily. People should not, for example, use their dates of birth, names, or mobile numbers as their passwords. These types of passwords can be cracked very quickly by password cracking software.

As general guidelines, the following tips help in creating hard-to-crack passwords:
  • Make it long, at least 8 characters long, the longer the better.
  • Use a mix of characters (upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers, and special symbols).
  • Use different passwords for different applications and websites, don’t use the same password everywhere.
  • Don’t include any personal information in your password that can be easily obtained by others.

So, the more characters you use in a password that includes a mix of characters, the harder it gets for attackers to guess your password. According to experts, a 10-character password using a mixture of numbers, lower and uppercase letters, and symbols can take up to 5 years to crack, while an 11-character password using a similar mix can take up to 400 years to crack. Refer to the Hive Systems chart below for further details.

Source: Hive Systems

2. Apply Multi-factor authentication

Another tip is to use multi-factor authentication wherever possible. This is another method of account verification to allow you to access your account after entering your password. In the general scenario, users will be required to provide two, or more, verification factors to gain access to a resource such as a software application or an online account. This approach adds an extra layer of protection.

Multi-factor authentication can use different types of methods to double-check user identity. Below are some of the most popular ones:

SMS Token authentication

A text message that contains a secret pin is sent to the user’s previously listed phone number. This pin is used as a one-time password (OTP) that is to be entered by the user within a certain time frame, usually in minutes or seconds, to prove that they are who they claim they are.

Email Token authentication

This type is similar to the SMS, but the pin is sent via email instead of an SMS text message.

Security questions

Security questions are an alternative way to identify users and confirm their identity to allow them access to the intended system. Security questions are also used to confirm a user’s identity in the case of forgetting their passwords.

Phone call

Using this method, users receive a phone call that contains a one-time password (OTP) to be entered by the user into the intended system to verify their ownership of the account in question.

 Biometric verification

With this method, people with smart devices can use biometric verification such as fingerprints or face recognition, usually via a mobile app, to confirm their identity.


3. Avoid unknown and suspicious websites

You should always pay attention to what websites you are visiting and what links you click on. Avoid visiting unknown websites and downloading software or media from untrusted sources. Anything you download to your device can be used to give access to unauthorized users. So, never download anything unless you know what it is and where you are getting from (i.e. you know/trust the source).

Moreover, when shopping online, make sure you use reputable websites. And, in general, when visiting any website, do not enter any sensitive or personal information if they are not using data encryption. You can easily see that in the website URL (web address) where SSL encrypted websites start with https:// rather than just http://. The extra ‘s’ at the end indicates that the website is implementing SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption protocol.

4. Back-up your data regularly 

This may be the last resort you utilize if for some reason you lose your data or access to your data; such as when you are not able to recover a forgotten password. To safeguard your data against data loss, do regular back-ups, store another copy of your data in a secure location. This way, you can access and restore them easily in case original data are compromised or lost. In some cases, you may need to destroy your data store if it, or its access, is compromised. For this and other reasons, it is always a good idea to keep a secure updated copy of your data elsewhere.

Data losses can occur in different forms and for different reasons such as hardware or software failure, cyber-attacks, or human errors.

There are many data back-up methods and tools out there, some of the most commonly used devices are:

  • Removable media: refers to any small storage devices that can be removed such as DVDs or USB thumb drives.
  • Tape backup: this type of media has been a very common method for backing up large amounts of data. Tape drives can be attached to your computer hardware internally or portable devices connected to it externally such as via USB ports.
  • Cloud backup: allows users to store their data in remote locations, where they can access and manage their data via the Internet from anywhere in the world.

To recap, while there are many ways and practices you can, and should, use to protect your data, the above tips were a few of the basic guidelines you should follow when going online. Using the Internet or accessing remote systems may seem like a hassle and a big risk, but utilizing services from trustworthy providers can make your online experience more safe and secure. Moreover, protecting your identity and data is in large part your own responsibility. So, even if you are accessing a system from a reputable service provider, you still need to, for example, make sure you use secure hard-to-crack passwords. It is also up to you to keep your device secure by not visiting suspicious websites, download material from unknown sources, or install programs from untrusted providers. And remember, it is always a good idea to back up your data regularly to a reliable and secure location.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About ESKADENIA Software

ESKADENIA® Software is a three-time MENA Award Winner & CMMI® level 3 certified company that is active in the design, development and deployment of a range of software products in the Telecom, Insurance, Enterprise, Education, Healthcare, and Internet application areas. The company is based in Jordan and has sales activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; more than 85% of its sales are exported to the global market. For more information, visit, or contact us at