CYBERSECURITY But do you feel secure?

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 15 seconds

Cybersecurity and the concerns

In a world with fast-growing advancements in technology (at an exponential rate) we find ourselves delving deep into the cavern of the cyber world. But are you truly safe there? Just as we have to tackle crime in the real world, there is crime to tackle in the cyber world. Hence the need for Cybersecurity. From Cyber attacks and Phishing Websites to Malware, your online presence could be in jeopardy and you may not feel safe. Without extra precautions you are vulnerable.

Just last week a cyber attack on the Cumbrian council and a few others have caused devastating effects, resulting in an estimated “£2 million cost to put right the damages”. Copeland, Islington and Salisbury councils were also subject to an attack, where hackers demanded a Bitcoin ransom. I am not going to outline the top 20 most malicious and notorious attacks of the century, but these attacks have been occurring since the 20th century. The fact that these attacks still occur in the 21st century, highlights the growing concern for cybersecurity.

Most common concerns

In addition, phishing websites target your sensitive information by masquerading as a legitimate corporation, such as Apple or HSBC, and trick you to disclose your important and sensitive information. Hundreds, thousands, potentially millions created each month, an outstanding number that puts your internet surfing presence at risk.

A major concern is how companies that store your information are protecting it. The new GDPR (general data protection regulation) aims to impose strict new rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information. Firewalls and security programs establish an extra layer of protection. Yet still, this doesn’t make it impossible to access by hackers.

As technology develops, so do the skills of hackers to intercept information or break through firewalls, etc. Consequently, we must develop cybersecurity protocols and programs further, to reduce the risk of being affected by an attempted attack.

What is being done to eradicate this?

Companies like Netcraft, who deal with removing phishing websites off the web; anti-malware programs like Kaspersky and McAfee and company precautions are all going on. When you sign up to websites there is now the ability to use 2-step authentication and strict password rules. Companies themselves also ensure that they monitor employees to ensure they are not leaking information.

It is no surprise that we are targeted by hackers in a variety of ways, and this is inevitable due to the ease for people to hide behind a computer and the corrupt nature of our world. But we can avoid being vulnerable. Cybersecurity is developing as more firms invest in it and as technology grows; we can make it harder for hackers to penetrate the system and take advantage of people. However, we can’t put full reliance on cybersecurity software, we need to take measures ourselves too.

Some Top Tips to stay safe in the Cyber universe.

1)         Create a password that no one is going to know. This may seem obvious but people don’t really seem to know what a safe password is. You have probably seen rapper and music producer Kanye West unlock his IPhone with a password; “000000”. If you think that is a safe password then you clearly shouldn’t be using technology.

2)         Use a variety of Symbols, Capitals and Numbers. Lots of companies are beginning to have stricter rules when creating a password, so stick to them.

3)         Don’t use the same one everywhere! It may be easy to remember but if someone finds it, you have essentially created a pot of gold for them, giving access to every website you signed up with that password.

4)         Avoid Suspicious email/calls. We have all got those promotional emails or phone calls that say “your computer has been infected with a virus…blah blah…”  These are all scams targeting you. Avoid them unless you are sure that its true.

5)         If you feel unsafe, use Anti-Malware software. These programs can help identify unsafe websites, detect viruses and remove viruses.

6)         2-step authentication? Want to take that extra precaution, just do it. Having a code that changes in intervals that Must be used before logging in, just makes it that little bit harder to access your account.

Roundup

The cyber world is massive and you are at risk through social media, emails, surfing the web. It is essential that you take precautions where you can. Cybersecurity is a growing concern and personally, I think it is important that you ensure you are trying to stay safe. Hopefully, as a result, protection against hackers and attackers will become better and we would be able to see a decrease in the threat level. The protection of your information is a two-way objective. Companies will try to ensure that your information is kept secure, but in turn, you must protect your information too. Don’t make it obvious, and don’t tell people your passwords, because you never know who is watching and how they can take advantage of your information. It is sensitive and so keep it secure

You are in charge of your online security. Don’t take risks.

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