If anyone spends time online scouring through tutorials and forums, it is graphic designers and developers. Digital space is a rich resource for many specialists, especially those looking for inspiration or new techniques. While the web makes your job so much easier, you should not forget about the dangers of spending your time online. After all, you might be so consumed by a new idea that you might not care where you end up working. Sometimes, you might quickly open your laptop at a coffee shop, connect to free Wi-Fi, and start working. Sadly, your safety online depends on a number of factors.
If you are unaware of the prevalent threats, you are potentially a perfect victim of cybercriminals and those alike. Read our short guide to safe work and leisure online, discover what makes digital space unsafe, and learn how to protect yourself.
Malware is one of the top cybersecurity concerns nowadays. It refers to a malicious code built with one intent – to steal data or wreak havoc. Malware encompasses different threats such as viruses, trojans, worms, and so on. How can you get it on your device?
If you visit unsecured websites, install pirated software, or use an infected USB thumb drive, you expose yourself to this specific threat. Malware can do all sorts of things. One of the most devastating malware attacks is called ransomware. It will encrypt data on your drive and ask you to pay ransom to get it back.
The other common types of malware include:
– Spyware – designed to gather data on you and send it to a third party
– Rootkit – provides hackers complete control over your device
– Adware – disrupts your online experience and forcefully redirects you to online ads
– Cryptojacking – uses your computer’s processing power to covertly mine cryptocurrencies
Phishing falls into the category of online scams. A hacker can pretend to be a trustworthy company or an individual and trick you into clicking a link in an email or message on social media platforms. Clicking on a link can result in several different things.
You may get a virus, be tricked into making a payment, or disclose some sensitive data. Phishing attacks are highly dangerous as you won’t discover that you are a victim before it’s too late to react.
Data leaks are very common nowadays. As a graphic designer, you might always have a laptop or a tablet up your sleeve to draw a quick sketch for a new idea. Whether you use it to get some work done, communicate with clients, or spend some quality time online, you should be aware that your data is not safe.
It especially applies to people who regularly use public Wi-Fi networks in restaurants, cafes, airports, and shopping malls. Hackers can exploit the flaws in routers and hijack the connections. It enables them to see what you are doing and extract your data. Luckily, by using a VPN for browsing, you can quickly defend against such malicious monitoring. This tool takes the responsibility of encrypting web traffic and rendering it useless to snoopers. It will prevent hackers from stealing your data in transit.
The Repercussions of Falling Victim to a Cyberattack
Some of the repercussions are quite obvious. If a hacker gets hold of your payment information, they can use it to drain your account. They can also use your contact information and target your clients, which can ruin your reputation and make it hard to get projects in the future.
Some of the threats are not as malicious, but they can be annoying. Forceful redirects will ruin your online experience, not to mention that some malware can slow down your device. Getting your devices clean takes time. That’s why you have to do all in your power to improve your online safety. Here are a few tips.
Improving Security Further
You don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert to protect yourself from online threats. For starters, pay attention to the emails and messages you receive. Keep in mind that companies won’t ask you to submit any sensitive information via email.
Make use of antivirus software, VPNs, and firewalls. There are even completely free solutions on the market average users can benefit from. Pay special attention to your devices. Make sure to use the latest version of the OS.
Update your apps regularly and use strong passwords on your accounts. Keep your smartphone locked when you are not using it. If you lose it or someone steals it, they won’t be able to use it and get access to your private data.
While cybersecurity threats seem more cunning than ever, you have the power to protect yourself. Consider everything we’ve shared with you and implement the best practices to enjoy safe work and leisure online. It will help you protect yourself and your clients and avoid unnecessary downtimes.