The Internet is an amazing thing, that’s for sure. It makes our life and business easier; it entertains us and teaches us almost everything we want to know. Still, there are a couple of things that every user needs to learn in order to protect their personal information and money, or their private business.
Cyber-attacks are getting more and more aggressive and smart, so you have to be one step ahead. You need to be informed and prepared for any kind of cyber scam, theft or security breach. As an individual user, every person can play its part in enabling security. Also, companies have to enhance their security on a higher level.
With cyber-attacks becoming a common thing in the modern world, protecting your online security and ensuring your safety should be a priority. There is no need for panic, but you should use caution. Here are some of the methods used to ensure your safety, hopefully, these can help you understand how to protect yourself better in the online world.
What You Can Do as a User
- Be aware of phishing scams – Phishing scams are actually emails or websites created to steal money from you. Generally, malicious software will be installed on your PC if you click the website or a link in the email you received. What’s dangerous about them is that they look like a usual email, so you won’t get instantly suspicious. They usually ask you for your personal information. Still, if you pay attention to its spelling errors and bad grammar, you’ll be able to recognise a phishing scam.
- Passwords and authentication – One of the most common mistakes people make is having simple or too obvious passwords for their emails or social network accounts. Your password has to be hard to guess. You can use a random sentence that pops into your mind, and not the name of your pet, for example. Also, don’t use the same password for different accounts. You can make small changes in the password for each of the accounts. If two-factor authentication is available to you, use it. When you enter your username and password, you will also be sent a code to your smartphone, so you can verify your identity. Maybe logging in takes a bit longer, but it’s much safer this way.
- Keep your information private at all times. Whether you’re home, in a workplace or on a go, you are always exposed to some kind of scam. Professional scam artists can easily get all the information from you over the phone. Unsolicited calls can mean your buddy had to buy a new phone once again, but they can mean that you’re being targeted. Never give out your personal information to the unknown callers or online. Monitor the websites you’re visiting and make sure they begin with “https”. These sites are usually more secure, though – not impenetrable.
- Update your software – don’t ignore the warnings and notifications your operating system sends you. If there is an update for the software, allow it to make any changes necessary because the update usually includes security bug fixes. And don’t forget to check your web browsers and firewalls for updates. It will make your PC more secure, without unnecessary cracks in the system.
Company’s Role in the Protection
- Inform your employees – making your employees aware of possible dangers for your data security is a cost-effective method that pays out greatly. Training employees to watch out for the cyber dangers isn’t really often in companies, which makes hacker’s job a piece of cake. Your employees have to understand that it is possible to significantly damage the company’s finances and assets if the hacker gets access to only one of the company’s laptops. The awareness should be raised on the individual level in companies.
- Avoid vishing – vishing is a phenomenon similar to phishing, but the employees are not aware of it much. It is a scam over the telephone, where an employee is asked to give personal information that will be later used for identity theft. Your workers need to know that they have the right to end the conversation if anything looks suspicious to them. Important information, such as PIN number, credit card details or account passwords should not be given over the phone.
- Install protective software programs – malware, spyware and firewall software are obligatory for every laptop in the company. Every Internet user is under a cyber-attack on daily basis, so you should remove the threats before they become a big issue. Professional WebDel WordPress developer state that nothing can be completely secure, of course, but company’s network and applications should have their own security system, and this type of communication protocol will encrypt company’s confidential data.
- Make sure you have a backup and make sure that you back up your data regularly. Some attacks don’t want to get your information, they are just destructive. Such attacks can leave your business in a terrible condition once they pass, and without proper backup, you will lose hours, possibly months of work. Don’t store your backup on the same server your system uses. Save it on external HDD drives, in cloud storage or otherwise off-site. Make sure you make backups as soon as you update your data, and in the worst case scenario, once the worst has passed, you can restore your work with ease.
- Hire professionals – Security consultants may sound like an expensive service, but they are an invaluable asset to every company. You simply can’t be aware of all the holes in your security system or things that you’ve missed to do. Security consultants think several steps ahead and are up to date with new ways of cyber-attacks. They may cost you a bit more than you are willing to pay, but they are a wise move in the long run.
Today, every household and every company is under some kind of a cyber-attack. New ways of scamming people and stealing data are being made every day. Awareness of the dangers on the Internet should be raised in every PC user and company because sometimes you can be just one click away from malicious software or losing your money.