The 6 Keys to Personal Cybersecurity


We often take our personal cybersecurity for granted believing our individual data to be of little interest to cyber criminals in comparison to big company data. Unfortunately, that is a bit of a human hubris that makes us easy prey.

With cyber-attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated by the day and mankind becoming more reliant on technological assistance nobody’s data is safe. Proactive steps must be taken by all involved to provide a united front against cybercrime.

Let’s take a look at 6 key ways that you as an individual can boost your personal cyber security.

Passwords: Your First Defense

The importance of strong passwords is often disregarded. Especially when you are keen to get through a rigorous account activation but it is your prime point of future access and therefore your first defense.

Complexity Requirements

Using personal information to guard personal information is a crazy idea. So forget memorable dates such as birthdays or names belonging to friends, family, pets, or street locations.

A strong, unique password relies on a good mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters and includes both numbers and special characters.

Never Use the Same Password for Every Account

Shockingly, almost 60% of us use the same password for everything, meaning that once one online account is compromised, all of your accounts are. The only solution is to create a unique password for every site platform or app you enter and access.

Don’t forget, a password manager can help to generate complex passwords, store them for you safely, and autofill them for you as and when they are needed.

Consider Two-Factor Authentication

When you access accounts with sensitive information you should think about using a multiple-factor authentication method. Pretty much all reputable services have 2FA available as a security option which you can install easily on your devices.

How does 2FA Work?

2FA prompts the user for a second piece of information via an alternative measure during the moment of access to ensure you are the person authorized.


This means if someone has hacked a password, they fall at the first hurdle.

Update Your Software Regularly

Operating systems, browsers, and apps need to be kept up to date. It’s easy to overlook the importance of outdated software without educating yourself on its associated risks, but it is the most common way for hackers to obtain access to your data.

Outdated Software Risks

Outdated software runs with significant security gaps; cybersecurity requires constant monitoring and adjustments. When you don’t download current software patches, you provide an easy back door for hackers to walk through.

Updates ensure you’re protected from previously detected weaknesses, updates can be automatically scheduled for most device systems so there is no excuse not to keep on top of this one.

Educate Yourself to Recognize Scams

Educating yourself is a key aspect of protecting your personal data. When you understand the risks and are able to recognize hacking attempts, you are less likely to be susceptible to the tricks that cyberthieves use.

Phishing Attempts

Phishing is the most common form of attack on personal security; they replicate trustworthy sites and services, swindling users into parting with confidential information.

Over 37% of global phishing attacks come via social media platforms, many more by email, and others via direct text messages. They can appear very convincing on the surface, masquerading as the real deal but laced with dangerous links.

Preventative Steps

With phishing, keeping your wits about you and paying attention to detail is good practice. You have to stay both alert and skeptical to be able to spot indications of suspicious content.

The best advice is not to click links directly visiting the official site instead, avoid downloads from third parties that may be a suspicious source don’t accept friend requests on social media from strangers.

Installing anti-phishing devices to filter your emails and check the sources and content for you is another smart move.

Ensure Secure Connections

Online data becomes a very easy target when it is mid-transmission. A secure connection means you have no one eavesdropping or waiting to snatch your details in transit.

Secure URLs

When you see “https://” in the URL address rather than “http://” you know that the site is secure, this is also usually indicated with a small padlock icon. Information exchanged between your device and this site is less likely to be intercepted.


Adding a browser VPN guarantees your internet traffic is encrypted, away from prying eyes, and secure.

Limit What You Share

Names, addresses, phone numbers, and birthdates are all desirable to hackers for committing identity theft and fraud.

You should always limit the sharing of this type of data and have a good read of privacy settings in social media accounts you hold to make sure this information isn’t freely available to other users.

Parting Personal Cybersecurity Thoughts

The six suggestions we have discussed come together to serve as a really good guide to the protective measures you can take to keep your personal data out of harm’s way and maintain privacy.

Scrutiny is the only real way to stay vigilantly on top of your personal data but with strong unique passwords supported by secondary authentication protocols, you have foundational security. From there you can fortify things with security software and encryption to defend on all fronts.


Skip to content