For many people, new year resolutions are an important opportunity for self-improvement. 38% of us promise to exercise more, 33% aim to lose weight and 32% want to eat more healthily. Almost all of the resolutions are health-related – but cybersecurity and IT health don’t make the list.

Here are four cybersecurity new year resolutions everyone should be making in 2020.

1. Be more aware

Most cyberattacks succeed because their targets let their defences down. Malware-infected email attachments work because the recipient isn’t paying attention for instance.

Most scam emails can be detected quite easily – you just need to spend an extra second looking for the tell-tale signs of a forgery. You can learn more about what to look for in the article 10 Tips to Prevent Phishing Attacks.

It’s not just email you need to be aware of though. You should also pay attention to SMS text messages, social media and smartphone apps.

2. Be more informed

In order to be more aware, you also need to be better informed – otherwise you don’t know what to look for.

The Panda Security blog is a great resource for learning about the cybersecurity issues that affect you. Take a look once a week to discover what’s really happening – and how to better protect yourself against malware and cybercriminals.

3. Be more private

Smartphone apps are incredibly useful, but some are collecting a lot more sensitive personal data than you realise. Does a notepad app really need your location to operate? Do you really have to share your entire contacts list with a photography app? And what is happening to that data after it is collected?

Wherever possible you should limit the amount of data you share with apps. Use your phone’s built in privacy controls to restrict data access as much as possible – this will prevent your personal information being exposed or misused.

4. Be less cheap

Because they are free, some apps need to find other ways to make money. Often this is done by selling location data (see above) or sharing other personal information with marketing agencies and advertisers. And sometimes scammers will hide malware in ‘free’ apps as a way to trick you into installing it.

Paid-for apps cost money (obviously!), but they are also less likely to steal your information. Consider buying the paid upgrades of your favourite apps. Not only will your phone be slightly more secure, but the developers will also be able to afford to keep improving the service they provide.

5. Be better protected

Finally, you should take steps to ensure your computers are mobile devices are properly protected against cybercriminals. Many people make resolutions to be more spontaneous and carefree in the new year – but that’s never a good idea when it comes to data security.

Start your new year the right way by downloading a free trial of Panda Dome antivirus – and keep the hackers away from your home.

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