Don’t Get Caught In The Web

Information technology

Security breaches and cyber-attacks are growing and have become an everyday affair; we keep on reading this in daily news and still believe it will not happen to us.

According to a research all businesses – small and medium – could be the victim eventually. Another study determined that around 29% of computer users encountered an online malware attack at least once over the period of a year. Thanks to a growing criminal ecosystem, the explosive increase in ransomware attacks over the last couple of years is only to continue. The number of new malware is increasing again unlike the last-year trend.

These data points indicate a need to intensify our defense mechanism both personally and professionally. In view of growing incidents of cyber frauds, regulators, policymakers, government agencies, IT and Security professionals are working towards enhancing the security to step up protection against cyber risks. We, in the individual capacity, believe cybersecurity to be their job and responsibility; however, what is required is to take charge – take active interest and responsibility. Each of us has to take interest and initiative in protecting our information. We need to be aware of the concerns, the malpractices, and oversights, understand the consequences and be vigilant in using computer systems and the internet. We need to pay due attention towards the good control, code of conduct and configuration of the devices. We all are usually hooked to smart gadgets, devices and internet applications without recognizing the associated risks and threats.

Typically, our knowledge on simple computer defenses is so weak and inappropriate that we fail to protect our information from going into the wrong hands. Following are a few best practices you can adopt to make cyber security a responsibility. They’ll help you to protect yourself from online theft and fraud.

  • Cultivate a habit of using right practices, stop choosing easy and convenient ways of functioning over security. Security is paramount.
  • With the amount of information stored and shared online, social media security is more important than ever. While it is not possible to cancel all accounts of social media as it provides the ability to stay connected, it is equally important to remain cautious about sharing personal information. Make sure you are not leaving behind critical information, which can easily be used against you. Anyone can potentially become a victim of identity fraud. Beware that the status update posted on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites can be used by criminals.
  • Make use of strong passwords as a majority of the cases of a data breach is on account of weak user credentials. Develop a habit of changing them regularly.
  • Consider unique user names and passwords for each application profile.
  • Don’t give out your username and password to third parties.
  • Minimize the use of personal information on your profiles that may be used for password verification or phishing attacks.
  • Avoid listing personal information like date of birth, hometown, home address, name or year of high school or college graduation publicly.
  • Do not pay a ransom, instead keep a practice of data backup.
  • Emails are being increasingly used by hackers as an attack vector. Do not open mails from unknown or suspicious senders.
  • Install and always maintain up-to-date anti-malware solution.
  • Disable GPS when not required; GPS-enabled phones share your location and can reveal sensitive information like your home address, work address and the places you visit.
  • Install applications after verification and through authorized medium, as many applications are not reviewed and are used for malicious activity.

 

With the emerging threat landscape, where organized cybercrime and cyber warfare are gaining prominence, let us agree to put in collective efforts; not leaving the responsibility to experts only. Let us initiate the process of developing a cybersecurity culture that works towards ensuring continuous protection.

Security breaches and cyber-attacks are growing and have become an everyday affair; we keep on reading this in daily news and still believe it will not happen to me.

According to a research all businesses – enterprise, midsized and small could be the victim eventually. In another study, it is identified that around 29% of user computers encountered an online malware attack at least once over the period of a year. Thanks to a growing criminal ecosystem, the explosive increase in ransomware attacks over the last couple of years are only to continue. The number of new malware is increasing again unlike the last year trend.

These data points indicate a need to intensify our defense mechanism both personally and professionally.  In view of growing incidents of cyber frauds regulators, policymakers, government agencies, the team of IT and Security professionals are working towards enhancing the security to step up to the levels of protection against cyber risks. We, in the individual capacity, believe cybersecurity to be their job and responsibility; however, what is required is to take charge – take active interest and responsibility. Each of us has to take interest and initiative in protecting our own information.  We need to be aware of the concerns, the malpractices, and oversights, understand the consequence and be vigilant in using computer systems and the Internet. We need to pay due attention towards the good control, code of conduct and configuration of the devices.  We all are the hook to smart gadgets, devices, and internet applications without recognizing the associated risk and threats.

Most of the time our knowledge of the simple technique of computer defenses are so weak and inappropriate that we fail to protect our information going in wrong hands. Following are few best practices, as an attempt to make cybersecurity a responsibility within each of us, which should help to protect oneself from online theft and fraud

  • Cultivate a habit of using the right practice, stop choosing an easy and convenient way of functioning over security
  • With the amount of information stored and shared online, social media security is more important than ever. While it is not possible to cancel all accounts of social media as it provides the ability to stay connected, however, it is equally important to remain cautious towards sharing the personal information. Make sure you are not leaving behind the critical information, which can easily be used against you, victimized of identity fraud is an example of the same. Beware that the status update posted on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites can be used by criminals
  • Make use of strong passwords as majority cases of the data breach is on account of weak user credentials and importantly develop a habit of changing them regularly
  • Consider unique usernames and passwords for each application profile
  • Don’t give out your username and password to third parties
  • Minimize the use of personal information on your profiles that may be used for password verification or phishing attacks
  • Avoid listing the personal information – date of birth, hometown, home address, name or year of high school or college graduation publicly
  • Do not pay a ransom, instead keep a practice of data backup
  • Emails are being increasingly used by hackers as an attack vector, pl. do not open emails from unknown or suspicious sender
  • Install and always maintain the up-to-date antimalware solution
  • Disable GPS when not required, GPS enabled phones to share your location and can reveal sensitive information like your home address, work address and the places you visit
  • Install applications after verification and through the authorized medium, as many applications are not reviewed and are used for malicious activity

 

With the emerging threat landscape, where organized cybercrime and cyber warfare are gaining prominence, let us agree to put in collective efforts; not leaving the responsibility to experts only.

Let us initiate the process of developing a cybersecurity culture that is working towards ensuring continuous protection.

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