Cybersecurity Awareness: Protecting Your Profile from Online Threats

Cybersecurity Awareness: Protecting Your Profile from Online Threats

Have you ever considered how vulnerable your online profile might be to cyber threats? 

A study by the University of Maryland showed that hackers attack at least every 39 seconds. From the moment you log into your social media accounts to the instant you make an online purchase, you're constantly at risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.

The big question is: is there a way to prevent this from happening?

Fortunately, there is. This blog will explore the most practical strategies for protecting your online profiles.

As you read, you will learn:

  • What cybersecurity is
  • Why cybersecurity is important
  • The common types of cyber attacks
  • And how to prevent your profile from the various types of cyber attacks

Let’s begin.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity protects data, devices, and networks from unauthorized access, prevents viruses and malware from taking over your computer, and ensures that your personal information stays private.

Think of it as the digital bodyguard for your electronic data. Without proper cybersecurity, everyone would be hacked - information would cease to be private, bank accounts would be wiped clean by hackers, and chaos would ensue.

Let’s take a quick look at why cybersecurity is important.

Why is cybersecurity important?

Here’s a simple analogy:

You receive an email from Google informing you that someone is attempting to log into your account. You panic because your account is linked to almost everything you own.

As part of their cybersecurity measures, Google doesn’t just inform you of this attempt, but they require you to verify your identity and report a cyber attack if you didn't attempt it.

Without this verification email, anyone who attempts to log into your account could access sensitive information like your passwords, financial details, or private messages.

However, with cybersecurity, you can use the internet safely without worrying about cyber threats.

Below are a few other reasons why cybersecurity is important:

  • It prevents identity theft: Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to impersonate you or commit fraud. 
  • It safeguards your finances: With so many people utilizing online banking and shopping, cybersecurity helps keep financial transactions secure.
  • It preserves your reputation: Without cyber security, a cyber breach can easily give the wrong person access to certain information, thus tarnishing your reputation. 
  • It protects critical infrastructure: Cyberattackers don’t just focus on stealing data; they can also target essential services like power grids, hospitals, and transportation systems, which can cause millions of deaths. Strong cybersecurity measures can prevent these disruptions.

To understand the measures needed to protect yourself from cyber attacks and online threats, you must first understand the various techniques used by hackers and cyber attackers.

The common types of online threats

Below is a list of the most common online threats you might encounter.


If you’ve ever received an email or message asking for your login credentials or specific personal information, chances are it's from scammers.

These emails or texts usually look legit. They may even carry the name of your bank or a familiar company. But they’re designed to trick you into revealing personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or even your social security number. 

When you encounter such texts or emails, the best action is to contact the organization's official customer support immediately.

Remember that your bank or other official organizations never ask for login credentials.

Social engineering 

This is one of the most commonly used techniques used by cybercriminals. It often involves using psychological tricks to deceive people into sharing passwords, bank details, or other confidential data.

These scammers spend months sweet-talking or manipulating you into giving away your personal information or making payments for imaginary products.

Ultimately, the romantic or friendly encounter is staged, and the scammer is not who they claim to be.

Malware and viruses

Malware or a virus is software that can infect your devices when you click on suspicious links or download sketchy files. 

Once clicked or downloaded, they begin to spread rapidly on your computer. In minor cases, these viruses can slow down your computer or cause its malfunction. In severe cases, however, the viruses are used to steal your information.

Always verify the website's URL before entering personal information to avoid this. Be cautious of links in emails or messages, especially if they seem suspicious or come from unknown sources.

Some common examples of malware attack include:

  • Trojan virus: It became popular in 2014 because it can steal financial data. Although it seems like a harmless file, it is an extremely dangerous virus.
  • CovidLock: It surfaced during the lockdown in 2020 as a COVID-19 tracking app. However, once downloaded, it locks the user’s device and demands a ransom.
  • Colonial pipeline: In 2021, this virus attacked one of the biggest fuel pipelines in the United States, the Colonial Pipeline Company. This attack led to fuel shortages and an increase in gas prices. 


This online threat involves a scammer pretending to be someone else, probably a government official or an employee in an organization such as a bank.

A common example of impersonation is when cybercriminals create fake social media accounts using a real individual's name, photos, and other personal information. They use these fake accounts to deceive others into believing they are interacting with someone they know or trust.

These impersonated accounts are used to send messages, make friend requests, or engage in activities that trick people into taking actions that compromise their security or privacy.

Now that you know the common types of online threats, let’s examine how to protect your profile.

How to protect your profile from online threats

There are various ways to protect your profile from online threats. The best part is that these methods are optional technical skills.

Below are some of the easiest methods and practices you should use:

Set strong passwords 

Setting a strong password is the first step to securing your online profile. These passwords act as locks to your online accounts. 

When setting passwords, do not use the same one for all your accounts. Also, ensure that they are strong and unique for each account.

Avoid using easy-to-guess passwords like "123456" or "password." Instead, choose a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. 

Additionally, remember to change them regularly.

Activate multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring more than just a password to access your accounts. 

An MFA might include receiving a code on your phone or using biometric verification like fingerprint or facial recognition. 

Some examples of brands that require their users to activate multi-factor authentication include Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Twitter.

Keep software updated 

Regardless of how annoying those notifications reminding you to update your software are, they're really important.

A software update contains repairs for security vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. So, to be safe, ensure you update your devices, social media apps, and operating systems as often as possible.

Be mindful of personal information 

Data is a gold mine today, and your personal information is valuable to cybercriminals, so be careful about what you share online. 

Avoid posting sensitive details like your full name, address, phone number, financial information, or family information on social media or other public platforms. 

Source: Unsplash

The trick is that the less you share, the less vulnerable you are to cyber-attack.

Utilize secure link management tools

Link management is the shortening, organization, and customization of your brand/business links.

If you operate an online business, it means you certainly share your business links on your social media profiles. These links are susceptible to cyber-attacks.

However, you can prevent this by using secure link management tools like Flodesk, a Linktree alternative that adds more protection to your profile. 

These link management tools allow you to create a single, secure link that redirects users to multiple destinations, such as your website, blog, or social media accounts. By consolidating your links into one secure location, you reduce the risk of users clicking on malicious links or falling victim to phishing scams.

Practice safe browsing 

Avoid clicking suspicious links or downloading files from unreliable websites. Stick to reputable websites.

Furthermore, monitor your online accounts for any signs of suspicious activity, such as unrecognized logins or changes to your profile settings.

Secure your internet connection 

When you connect to the internet, your data travels through various networks that cybercriminals can intercept. 

Here are some best practices to secure your internet connection.

  • Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Change your Default Router Settings.
  • Enable Network Encryption protocols like WPA2 or WPA3 on your router.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection.

Remember that the key to protecting yourself is prevention. Let’s quickly wrap up this piece.

Congratulations on making it to the end

Protecting your online profile is a continuous process. By following the tips in this article, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to online threats and protect your online profile from cyber attacks.