Increased cyber threats from malware, ransomware, trojans, viruses and other forms of cybercrime have proliferated apprehension among many Internet users. A reason for the uneasiness among cyber users is that cybercriminals are rapidly targeting smartphones which are used for day-to-day activities such as shopping and online banking transactions which involve exchange of sensitive details. Widespread use of smartphones and other technical devices have enhanced the cyber risks and threats faced by consumers. As a result, cybercriminals exploit the lack of cybersecurity awareness among smartphone users.
TechDecoded recommends the following tips for protections against cyber threats:
Actively gain knowledge and awareness on the latest scams – Online scams and malware threats are constantly evolving which means cyber users must actively remain updated and vigilant on latest cyber threats. At present, Ransomware attacks are increasing, where hackers encrypt and lock files for exchange of ransom money from the victims. Keep informed by expanding personal knowledge and awareness on cybersecurity.
Remain cautious – Exert caution when visiting websites. Avoid downloading content from unknown sources particularly software products from untrusted vendors. Remain cautious about how much personal data is shared online.
Shop with trusted vendors following the implementation of the security measures – The importance of shopping with trusted vendors is imperative for all consumers. Look for “https” in the URL and shop with well recognised retailers. Avoid shopping with vendors who only have “http” within URL as this means that data is transmitted over an insecure channel which could allow an adversary to intercept information. Furthermore, always assess the URL of every website before visiting, observe any grammatical or spelling errors. These are usually indicators that the website is a forging a legitimate website.
Practice the same security techniques with your smartphone – Many smartphone users overlook security for their mobile devices. However, smartphone security is equally as important to computer security. Therefore, take appropriate measures to ensure the relevant most up to date and secure protection software is installed from a trusted vendor.
Be selective about personal data sharing – Due to the rise in identity fraud limit the amount of personal information shared. Cybercriminals steal sensitive information for many reasons including impersonation and gaining access to login credentials.
Limit clicking on URL links and email attachments – Recently online threats are predominately based around Phishing Scams and Social Engineering. Therefore, take precaution when clicking URL links or downloading email attachments. Determine whether the email attachment was expected or unexpected. Avoid opening unexpected email attachments as these are usually proficient scams or contain malware. Moreover, be wary of spam emails that contain offers which are crafted by cybercriminals to lure victims into revealing sensitive data.
Use the appropriate security measures – Use trusted security software to monitor cyber threats. In addition, back up data frequently to avoid losing important documents in cyber-attacks.
Complete all necessary updates regularly – Update all software products immediately when required to ensure all the latest software patches are installed. Turn on automatic updating to guarantee software updates are completed. In addition, run security software habitually.
Enhance network security – Ensure a firewall is implemented to protect all devices connecting to the network including IoT devices. A firewall will block unauthorised access to computers and devices. Usually all security providers provide a firewall and most computer systems have a default inbuilt firewall provided by the operating system.
Create complex passwords – Complex passwords complicate the process of hacking for hackers. Hence, create strong and unique passwords for all your accounts. Complex passwords use a minimum 8-10 characters with a range of combinations i.e Letters, numbers and symbols including the use of various Lowercase or Uppercase. Avoid reusing passwords as a compromise of one account will lead to security breaches with all accounts.