If you use the Internet, you need to give a damn about cyber security. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you are not immune to cyber threats. It’s a myth that cyber attacks only happen to the Googles and the Walmarts of the world. But the truth is that common people suffer equally from cyber attacks on a daily basis. Yes, big organizations with a lot of money have a lot more to offer to hackers, but even you with your computer and your data make up enough motivation for a hacker to attack you. Why else would there be thousands of malicious websites offering the so-called ‘free’ and ‘genuine’ stuff to the general public? Did you know that your computer could be used as a bot by a hacker to spread malware? Did you also know that your computer could be hacked to be used to mine cryptocurrency without your knowledge? If you didn’t know all these things, now you know and that’s why it’s high time for you to get serious about cyber security.
Here’s what you can do to stay cyber secure in your daily life.
- We don’t usually pay much attention to our passwords and most of the time, we take them for granted. Each one of us has tens of passwords that we use every single day for the endless services that we consume from the Internet. From the net banking password of our bank accounts to our Facebook and Gmail passwords, all our digital keys are exposed to theft unless we follow adequate password practices. Any certified ethical hacker or CEH will tell you that it takes a blink of an eye for a hacker to crack a simple lowercase password. There are automated tools that hackers can use to run combinations of passwords to breach into accounts. That’s why people are encouraged to follow best password practices like using special characters, numerals, uppercase and lowercase letters and keeping the password strength at least eight to ten characters long.
- This is a longshot but you can enroll for a basic cyber security course online to make yourself cyber safe as an individual. Most of us are heavy internet users and our life is integrated with many digital devices that we use on a daily basis. Just knowing and being aware of the threats that you are exposed to every day can help you prevent dangerous cyber attacks. Who knows, if you’re more interested in the field, you could also end up learning ethical hacking online one day and be saving the world from the death grip of criminal hackers!
- Emails are one of the most potent ways of delivering malware. Hackers disguise themselves as legitimate businesses, for example banks, subscription services and telecom companies. You should know how to tell a fake mail from a real one by verifying the sender’s email address and proofreading the mail content for any informal tone or grammatical errors. If it looks suspicious to you, then you should never download or open the attachments, no matter how important or urgent it seems. Chances are that if it is a phishing mail, then it will definitely contain a sense of urgency in its content.
If you don’t take cyber security seriously, then one day you will come to regret it. The world is suffering from cyber crimes at a mind boggling rate and it’s important that you do your best to not contribute to the statistics. Therefore, put it in your task list to clean your digital space, be more aware of risks and follow the best security practices. Cheers!