How to protect yourself from cybercrime

Cybercrime is an increasing problem in an ever more connected world. Read on for tips on how to protect yourself.

Is your password safe? ©Vitalii Vodolazskyi/AdobeStock
Is your password safe? ©Vitalii Vodolazskyi/AdobeStock

The digital transformation of the economy and society is creating opportunities and challenges, which is why cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important on a societal and personal level.

Cybercriminals use phishing, malware and other malicious practices to steal data and access devices, allowing them to do anything from accessing bank accounts to organisations’ databases and worse.

Read more about the main and emerging cybersecurity threats

How can I protect myself online?

The EU is working on increasing cybersecurity, but following the tips below can help you stay safe while using the internet and working remotely:

  • Be cautious with unsolicited emails, text messages and phone calls, especially if they use a crisis to pressure you into bypassing the usual security procedures. The attackers know that it is often easier to trick humans than to hack into a complex system. Remember banks and other legal groups will never ask you to reveal passwords.

  • Secure your home network. Change the default password for your Wi-Fi network to a strong one. Limit the number of devices connected to your Wi-Fi network and only allow trusted ones.

  • Strengthen your passwords. Remember to use long and complex passwords that include numbers, letters and special characters.

  • Protect your equipment. Make sure you update all your systems and applications and that you install an antivirus software and keep it up to date.

  • Family and guests. Your children and other family members can accidentally erase or modify information, or even worse, accidentally infect your device, so don’t let them use the devices you use for work.

European cybersafety measures

EU institutions, such as the European Commission, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, Cert-EU, and Europol track malicious activities, raising awareness and protecting citizens and businesses.

The European Parliament has long supported EU measures to ensure internet safety, as the reliability and security of network and information systems and services play a vital role in society. Parliament and Council negotiators reached a deal on comprehensive rules to strengthen EU-wide resilience to hostile cyber operations in May 2022.

Read more about why cybersecurity is important for the EU and what the new rules are.

Check out more on how the EU shapes the digital world

European Cybersecurity Month