“Cyber war is the battlefield of now!”
It is widely known that there are thousands of people in the world who are incredibly skilled when it comes to information technology. However, this prevalence also means that cyber security has become more of an issue for companies, and consumers. Not only are traditional systems more at risk, but also the move towards cloud computing puts valuable data within closer reach of those who know how to access it. Believe it or not – out of all the funds lost as a result of cyber-attacks globally, 68% is declared unrecoverable – there’s no trace of it.
While companies have the resources and the money to safeguard itself from this threat, we individuals, are less capable. However, these small steps will do the work of protecting your digital data just fine..
Secure your wireless router:
Going wireless (or using Wi-Fi) is a convenient way to allow multiple devices to connect to the Internet from different areas of your home. However, unless you secure your router, you’re vulnerable to people accessing information on your computer, using your Internet service for free and potentially using your network to commit cybercrimes. Simple ways to secure it are: change the default name and password of your router immediately (when creating a new password, make sure it is long and strong, using a mix of numbers, letters and symbols), create a guest password: if you have many visitors to your home, it’s a good idea to set up a guest network.
Use a ‘firewall’:
Firewalls help keep hackers from using your computer to send out your personal information without your permission. While anti-virus software scans incoming email and files, a firewall is like a guard, watching for attempts to access your system and blocking communications with sources you don’t permit. Your operating system and/or security software likely comes with a pre-installed firewall, but make sure you turn on these features.
Keep your security software current:
Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defence against viruses, malware and other online threats.
Plug, scan then use:
USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them first, before accessing any files or folders.
Back it up regularly:
Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely – do this regularly so that in case of data loss, or corruption, your data is still secure with you – on another device.
Be smart when using instant messaging (IM) programs:
If you use an IM program to communicate with friends and family, be careful about sending any personal information through online communications. Protect yourself by using a nickname for your IM screen name, so your name isn’t identified through IM. Never accept strangers into your IM groups. Be smart about how you use IM at work because your employer has the right to monitor and view your messages.
Set a transaction and daily limit for your debit and credit cards:
Most banks and credit card companies have real time notification services that allow them to contact you in the event of a purchase attempt deemed “unusual.” Go to your bank account or credit card home page and set a purchase limit on your debit/credit card. When a purchase attempt is made over that set amount, you can choose to receive a text message notification, an email and/or a phone call to validate the purchase.
Be careful while gaming online:
Make sure you are careful when playing online games, especially when communicating with other players. Be sure that your security software still functions when you are in gaming mode.
Never click on links in emails:
If you do think the email is legitimate, whether from a third party retailer or primary retailer, go to the site and log on directly. Whatever notification or service offering was referenced in the email, if valid, will be available via regular log on.
Security is a requirement for every person who uses the internet, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. By adding a few basic capabilities, the security of any device can be significantly increased. Follow these steps to secure your digital data in a world surrounded by cyber attacks.
Also read: Here’s how you can use technology wisely to make daily life easier:
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