CYBER SECURITY: PROTECT YOURSELF
Tips on How you can protect yourself against cyber attacks
Today, there are 18 billion IoT (Internet of Things) devices that connect to the internet in 2022.
With each device that connects to the internet, the risks of personal information theft increases drastically. We will examine the different ways in which cyber attacks occur at a later time, however, here is a list of the most common cybersecurity attacks:
Malware. The term “malware” encompasses various types of attacks including spyware, viruses, and worms.
Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks.
Denial-of-Service (DOS) Attack.
Now that we’ve introduced ways these attacks occur, lets move on to ways these attacks can be become more difficult to achieve or prevented. Prevention to cyber attacks begins with you. Here are a few ways in which you can protect yourself against cyber attacks.
Tip #1 - Never click on suspicious emails or links
One of the easiest ways in which criminals prey on their victims is through emotions. They use this strategy by generating emails or messages that state you may win a large sum of money or even a coupon to your favorite online store. Don't click it! Only accept emails from senders you know and always ensure that the email address is credible. Also, always keep in mind that your banking institution will not ask you for sensitive information via this gateway.
Format each tip's title to H2 to keep your post neat.
Tip #2 - Use Complicated Passwords
Passwords should not be easy to guess. We can create strong passwords that outsmart each attack (though the way to outsmart a phishing scam is simply not to fall for it). Your password is on its way to being uncrackable if it follows these basics.
Make it long. This is the most critical factor. Choose nothing shorter than 15 characters, more if possible.
Use a mix of characters. The more you mix up letters (upper-case and lower-case), numbers, and symbols, the more potent your password is, and the harder it is for a brute force attack to crack it.
Avoid common substitutions. Password crackers are hip to the usual substitutions. Whether you use DOORBELL or D00R8377, the brute force attacker will crack it with equal ease. These days, random character placement is much more effective than common leetspeak* substitutions. (*leetspeak definition: an informal language or code used on the Internet, in which standard letters are often replaced by numerals or special characters.)
Don’t use memorable keyboard paths. Much like the advice above not to use sequential letters and numbers, do not use sequential keyboard paths either (like qwerty). These are among the first to be guessed.
"Passwords are like underwear: you don't let people see it, you should change it very often, and you shouldn't share it with strangers." – Chris Pirillo
Tip #3 - Use Multi-Step Authentication
In a multi-step authentication, there are multiple (two or more) steps involved with logging into your account online or a social media profile. For example, using two steps in which you provide two different passwords to get authenticated to a device, or using two biometric forms of authentication, such as retina scan and fingerprint to get authenticated to a system.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) refers to using multiple forms of authentication, such as a password and retina scan. There are two distinct factors that are used for authentication. If the hacker steals your password, a totally different form of authentication (retina scan) is still required to gain access. If only two factors are used then we refer to it as two-factor authentication (2FA). However, technically multi-factor means two or more factors so people often use the terms multi-factor authentication and two-factor authentication interchangeably.
Tip #4 - Back up your devices
Loss of data is a common occurrence in the world today. Whether it’s from a cyber-attack or an accident, data loss can cripple your device and even companies for days, weeks, and even longer. Having a good backup strategy in place is essential for data security since there is no guaranteed method of prevention for a data breach. Data backups are your only guarantee against data loss and having to pay a ransom in the event of a ransomware attack.
Data loss can occur from:
Accidental damage, deletion, or modification of data
Local disasters such as fire, flood, or a spilled drink on a computer
Lost or stolen devices
Modification, deletion, or corruption of files by virus or malicious code
Ransomeware attack requiring a large payment before files are unlocked
Peace of Mind Regular data backups lead to peace of mind. In the event, a cybercrime, system crashes or disasters occur, there is a backup ready to go. It is never too late to start saving important data. A way you can do this is by utilizing a Cloud Service like Google Drive, or iCloud (examples). In the end, data backup is very necessary.
Tip #5 - Keep Software & Systems Up-To-Date
You’re probably no stranger to those little pop-up windows. They tell you software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. You might be tempted to click on that “Remind me later” button. Don’t do it. Or, at least don’t put off updating your software for long.
Software updates are important to your digital safety and cyber security. The sooner you update, the sooner you’ll feel confident your device is more secure — until the next update reminder.
Why are software updates so important? There are a lot of reasons. Here are 5 that show why it’s important to update software regularly.
Software updates do a lot of things Software updates offer plenty of benefits. It’s all about revisions. These might include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing computer bugs. Updates can add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones. While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to make sure your operating system is running the latest version.
Updates help patch security flaws Hackers love security flaws, also known as software vulnerabilities. A software vulnerability is a security hole or weakness found in a software program or operating system. Hackers can take advantage of the weakness by writing code to target the vulnerability. The code is packaged into malware — short for malicious software. An exploit sometimes can infect your computer with no action on your part other than viewing a rogue website, opening a compromised message, or playing infected media. What happens next? The malware can steal data saved on your device or allow the attacker to gain control over your computer and encrypt your files. Software updates often include software patches. They cover the security holes to keep hackers out.
Software updates help protect your data You probably keep a lot of documents and personal information on your devices. Your personally identifiable information — from emails to bank account information — is valuable to cybercriminals. They can use it to commit crimes in your name or sell it on the dark web to enable others to commit crimes. If it’s a ransomware attack, they might encrypt your data. You might have to pay a ransom for an encryption key to get it back. Or, worse, you might pay a ransom and not get it back. Updating your software and operating systems helps keep hackers out.
It’s not all about you OK, cyber security is mostly about you, but you’ve got other people to think about, too. If your device gets a virus, you could pass it on to your friends, family, and business associates. That’s why you want to keep your software and systems updated. A trusted security program such as Norton 360TM can help keep your devices secure. And that can potentially help all those people you interact with online. But it’s also important to know anti-virus protection isn’t enough to protect your devices against all cyberthreats
You deserve the latest and greatest Updates not only patch security holes, they can also add new features and improve existing ones. You don’t want to fall behind the times, right? In that way, software updates really are all about you. Your software program may get a new shot of stability — no more crashing. Or an update might boost program performance — more speed. You deserve no less. You could ignore those reminders to update your software, but you might be missing out on a lot, starting with your cyber security. Another option? If you’re still not keen on clicking “Update now,” you may be able to configure your devices to update automatically. If so, your problem is solved.
Awareness of threats is the key to preventing cyber attacks. Always remember that prevention begins with you!