New Year’s Resolution

New Year’s Resolution: Take Care of Yourself & Stay Secure

Wow, this year was quite something!!! Guess, there is no way to argue with that. 2020 was certainly different from all the years we ever experienced before, and it made us all bolder, wiser, and certainly more caring & kind! May your new 2021 be filled with joy, creative energy, success, and positive events!

The brand new 2021 year is drawing near, and what it will bring us? It’s always wise to hope for the best while being prepared for possible obstacles. It is also always better to do something than just hope. For example, you can invent some rules for your own keeping, and follow them the next year…

Right! This is the tradition called “New Year’s resolutions”, the promises you give to yourself and most likely forget very soon))) It may seem that 2020 was “special” enough to invent the additional restrictions. But listen…

During the lockdowns, the world in 2020 became totally digitized for the very first time in history. It is the entry point of the new Earth, fully online and connected. Almost 4 billion people used social networks in 2020 and the internet’s overall use increased by +70% in a single year. We are now living in a world that changed forever!

Most popular New Year resolutions are the ones about one’s physical body, like maintaining good health, taking fitness courses, or kicking some vice. We also suggest you think about your digital body, your mind, your alter ego in the web, the citizen of the future.

These seven simple pieces of advice are actually seven wonders that will make your life more secure, your web surfing — more comfortable, and your nerves more intact.

I will use a separate card for online transactions

Do not keep all your eggs in one basket. For example, if you are sending the payment to your landlord via online banking and shopping on Aliexpress while using the same credit card, this is not really safe. Carders (people who are stealing and selling the financial data online) are not the exception, it is a big industry that is preying upon your finances. Be wise, have several cards, and don’t have a lot of money on the account which you are frequently using for online shopping.

I will not trust the public Wi-Fi without my VPN

This should be the universal rule: never use Wi-Fi in public places while sending any kind of personal or financial data (especially credit card credentials). It is really almost everyone who can intercept these things, there is a hacker software which allows targeting specific sensitive kinds of data via public wi-fi, for example, from all people in a single building (like a mall).

There are many reasons to use VPN (from accessing blocked content to maintaining privacy), but protecting and encrypting your mobile phone or laptop is probably the most important one. Switcherry VPN is good for it, and it works both for Android and iOS.

I will use only the strong passwords

Yes, passwords in the plural, not the same single password that is used everywhere, from Amazon to Facebook to Paypal to Gmail, even if it’s long and hard to crack. Once somebody obtains this password (for example by secretly installing a keylogger on your gadget), they will have all your life on their palm.

Probably the most secure solution today is to use a password manager that will automatically generate the longest and safest passwords possible and then substitute them into the input fields. You will still need to remember the “master password”, the password from passwords, though. If this still sounds too complex for you, at least turn on the two-factor authentication wherever it’s possible.

I promise myself to think before I share

First, this is about your personal information. Is it really important for everyone to know where you are right now? If you are far away from home on vacation, while previously proudly demonstrating the photo of your new game console, or smart TV, or other expensive presents, you are basically playing with fire. The burglar is always ready. So why not postpone the publication of this photo set from vacation? The moment will be with you forever anyway. After all, life is more important than its representation on Facebook or Instagram.

Second, reposts. You know. There are not many things that really need to be reposted on any given day. Especially if it’s something that just adds another buzzing sound into the white noise of social media. Keep inner peace, breath deeply, and be proud of yourself for not reposting some stupid thing.

I promise myself to think before I click

2million new phishing websites since January, a 400% increase in fake emails in the US and EU in November alone. They want you to believe that they are actually FedEx, or Amazon, or (most often) DHL, which have special gifts or messages for you. Or they want to pretend to be an online shop with especially mesmerizing prices or sales. Or that government’s landing page which promises you some additional compensation for a small bureaucratic fee and a snippet of personal data.

Whatever their game is, they want you to click. And you should not. It’s simple, just remember that there are phishers out there, and avoid becoming their fish. Don’t click that link.

I will update everything to protect everything

Updating software is crucially important, because every gadget today is connected to the web, and the web is a living, constantly changing ocean, endlessly producing new cyber threats that need a new means to protect from.

You have an OS on your laptop. Update it.

You have an OS on your mobile phone. Update it.

You have antivirus software on both your computer and mobile phone…you don’t? Well, you should install one. And then regularly update it from verified, legitimate sources.

Rinse and repeat. Simple. Like hygiene.

I will not be a friend of HTTP without S

It’s just social contract rules today that a decent, respectable website (especially store) should use HTTPS. It is just as natural as not allowing raccoons to wander into a shopping room. You should never trust your time, data, and money to a website that doesn’t use HTTPS to protect the connection. Google Chrome made this rule simple enough to follow, by marking the websites as “Secure/Not Secure” right in the URL bar. It gives hope for the best that every day there are fewer HTTP websites.

Happy New Year and stay safe!

Author: Nicolas Cuts

Product Managers at SwitcherryVPN. Have 5 years background in management and marketing. I never stop learning!

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