Cyber security threats have become more real now than ever with them not being confined to just computers but also on smartphones, tablets and basically anything in the digital world. Cyber criminals are becoming more creative and hackers more skillful in breaking down security walls and defeating cyber security software.
Check yourself as you may fall into the habit of being lax about how you interact digitally and easily fall prey to these digital crimes.
Here are some to-do checklist to get your defenses up from any password breach or internet-wide attacks and keep your computer security intact.
Check your password’s vulnerability
Make sure your passwords are unique and would be difficult to guess, don’t use it for multiple accounts and when offered, use two-factor authentication.
Say yes to software updates
Big guns such as Microsoft, Apple, Google and the like usually include security bug fixes and patches to their software updates. These update prompts may be annoying but ignoring them may prove catastrophic later.
Exercise caution before installing apps
Apps are great and nowadays there’s an app for almost every service you could think of, making life a little easier and more fun. If you didn’t know yet, those fun quizzes on social media are apps and if you noticed, they ask for permisiion to access your personal information. The same can be said for the apps on Apple Store, Microsoft Store, and Google Play Store. They don’t necessarily mean to use it for ill intentions but it is critical that you know the type of information these apps are asking to get access of. Don’t stop there and be sure to also know the publisher or the developer of the app you want to install to make sure they’re legit. There was an instance back in 2012 where an illegitimate developer posted as a popular app in hopes to get the personal information of users.
Ensure security of hard drives or thumb drives before plugging in
Chances of you finding a random USB stiuck may be low but in the event that you do, do not plug it in your computer however tempting it may be. It may contain malware or virus that could destroy data on your computer. If you don’t know the source, don’t risk it and leave it be.
Is the website secure?
There are a million websites out there – both secure and not. You go to one and they can lead you to another and then another in many different ways such as advertising and affiliate links. Pretty soon you may find yourself at a website you’re not familiar with and they may ask you to trade in your personal information for a subscription, a coupon code, or a how-to guide. How can you tell if it’s secure? Look for the padlock symbol in front of the web address in the URL bar and check to see if the web address starts with https://. If they lack these two, do not give out your information and just leave the site.
Do not send personal info over email
Emails are obviously sent over the internet so sending personal data like banking and credit card information through email put them at risk of being intercepted by hackers.
Always be wary of phishing scams
Phishing scams are design to steal from users and they are usually emails or websites that would install malicious software or virus onto the computer. They are designed creatively for people to think they’re real and be okay with giving out their personal information. Make sure you know what they look like so you can easily spot them and avoid risk.
Do not log into your accounts on public networks
There may be times where you’d have to log in to your accounts on public networks like the library or use the free WiFi of public places. Make sure you don’t do this often and every time you do, remember to wipe the browser’s history when you’re done. And needless to say, do not save your account information (username and password) in computers other than your own, and even then still be cautious yours do not get stolen or jeopardized.
Back up important files
Backing up your files to an external hard drive or to the cloud is definitely a must in this day and age. As great as technology is, there are still pitfalls, and one of which is easily losing important data, either through natural disaster or human error. So many external hard drive manufacturers and cloud service providers have emerged to fill this need, that recovery could be easy as long as back up’s been set up right. The convenience of important files being accessible in any device through the cloud is also a plus.
You can talk to us about the security of your infrastructure network. We can give you a free network and security assessment and tell you how vulnerable it is, and provide you with recommended and best practice solutions.