A chain is only as strong as its weakest link…”

Nowhere is this phrase more relevant than when we talk about personal cybersecurity.

Spend as much as you like on commercial cybersecurity products, but a single hole in your armor is all a hacker needs to breach your data.

Luckily, the hard work has been done for you. Below, we’ve compiled the top 5 neglected facets of personal cybersecurity.

Keep reading to see if you missed anything…

#1. Installing firmware updates

By now, almost every internet user has been warned that updating their software regularly will keep the cybercriminals at bay. However, being completely up to date isn’t as simple as it sounds.

The part that most people tend to overlook is updating their firmware, too. To maintain data security, you require regular firmware updates on:

  • Smart printers;
  • Wi-Fi routers;
  • Operating Systems (OS);
  • Any IoT device. 

It may sound pedantic until you’re the one getting hacked from your IoT fish tank. Every device is updated differently but most likely requires a download from the device manufacturer’s website. 

#2. Connecting to public WiFi with a VPN

Are you still frequenting the password-free Wi-Fi of your favorite local cafe? This connection is unencrypted, which means it’s much easier for hackers to manipulate. If you’re not careful, you could fall victim to a Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attack.

This attack occurs on unprotected internet connections when a hacker situates themselves between the router and the user. Every bit of data that passes from your device to the router is shared with the MITM.

Ensure you use a premium VPN like Surfshark on all public connections, especially those without password protection. After a while, you won’t be able to connect to free WiFi without panicking that your VPN isn’t turned on.

#3. Noticing phishing attempts

A BIG part that’s often missing from social engineering training is how to react to a phishing email or message. Some will naturally report the email address and delete the email entirely, but some can’t help but poke the bear.

It may seem harmless to respond to a phishing email, but that’s not the case. These cybercriminals are often quite talented at persuading their victims to hand over private data, even if by mistake.

So whether you’re aware that the sender is a cybercriminal or not, the worst thing you can do is respond. At the very least, your email will become verified and put on the mailing lists of scammers.

#4. Enabling MFA and biometric security

Account security has come so far in recent years, yet users aren’t enabling the advanced security features on offer. These days, almost every online account comes with the option for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

This security measure asks for two or more forms of identification before allowing access to the account and data. Ideally, this should guarantee that only you can access your accounts and all the data inside.

Taking it one step further, various companies are beginning to offer biometric security options (face recognition, fingerprint, etc.). Better yet, for ultimate account protection, combine:

  • MFA;
  • Biometrics;
  • Secure passwords;
  • A password vault.

#5. Using DNS filtering to block access to malicious sites

Every domain on the internet is part of the Domain Name System (DNS). For those on corporate networks or with children, DNS filtering offers a way to stop data breaches that originate from malicious sites.

You might remember being blocked from accessing specific websites at school. That was your internet administrator “blocklisting” known malicious and inappropriate websites via DNS filtering.

Blocklists can be installed from many reputable sources all over the internet. They mainly focus on blocking phishing, malware, and adult material.

Wrapping up…

Even self-proclaimed cybersecurity aficionados can overlook a small portion of their cybersecurity. But for cybercriminals, a small oversight is all that’s needed.

Mitigate data breaches by ensuring you don’t neglect any part of your cybersecurity protections.