Also known as information security, cybersecurity refers to the practice of ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of information. Cybersecurity is the application of technologies, processes, and controls to protect systems, networks, programs, devices, and data from cyber-attacks.
It aims to reduce the risk of cyberattacks and protect against the unauthorised exploitation of systems, networks, and technologies.
The world relies on technology more than ever before. As a result, digital data creation has surged. Today, businesses and governments store a great deal of that data on computers and transmit it across networks to other computers. Devices and their underlying systems have vulnerabilities that, when exploited, undermine the health and objectives of an organisation.
A data breach can have a range of devastating consequences for any business. It can unravel a company’s reputation through the loss of consumer and partner trust.
The loss of critical data, such as source files or intellectual property, can cost a company its competitive advantage. Furthermore, a data breach can impact corporate revenues due to non-compliance with data protection regulations.
TEN PERSONAL CYBER SECURITY TIPS
Keep your software up to date
One of the most critical cybersecurity tips to mitigate ransomware is patching outdated software, both the operating system and applications. It helps remove essential vulnerabilities that hackers use to access their devices.
Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
Turn on automatic system updates for your device
Make sure to turn-on automatic security updates
Keep your web browser plugins like Flash, Java, etc. updated
Use Strong Passwords
You’ve probably heard that strong passwords are critical to online security. The truth is passwords are essential in keeping hackers out of your data! According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) password policy framework, you should consider:
Dropping the crazy, complex mixture of upper case letters, symbols, and numbers. Instead, opt for something more user-friendly but with at least eight characters and a maximum length of 64 characters.
Don’t use the same password twice.
The password should contain at least one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number, and four symbols but not the following &%#@_.
Choose something easy to remember and never leave a password hint out in the open or make it publicly available for hackers to see.
Use Anti-Virus Protection & Firewall
Anti-virus (AV) protection software has been the most prevalent solution to fight malicious attacks. It blocks malware and other malicious viruses from entering your device and compromising your data. Use anti-virus software from trusted vendors and only run one AV tool on your device.
Using a firewall is also essential when defending your data against malicious attacks. A firewall helps screen out hackers, viruses, and other malicious activity that occurs over the Internet and determines what traffic is allowed to enter your device. Windows and Mac OS X comes with their firewalls, aptly named Windows Firewall and Mac Firewall. Your router should also have a firewall built in to prevent attacks on your network
Use Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication is a service that adds additional layers of security to the standard password method of online identification. Without two-factor authentication, you would typically enter a username and password. But, with two-factor, you would be prompted to enter one additional authentication method such as a Personal Identification Code, another password or even fingerprint. With multi-factor authentication, you need to enter more than two other authentication methods after entering your username and password.
According to NIST, an SMS delivery should not be used during two-factor authentication because malware can be used to attack mobile phone networks and can compromise data during the process.
Learn about Phishing Scams
Be very suspicious of emails, phone calls, and flyers. In a phishing scheme attempt, the attacker poses as someone or something the sender is not to trick the recipient into divulging credentials, clicking a malicious link, or opening an attachment that infects the user’s system with malware, trojan, or zero-day vulnerability exploit. It often leads to a ransomware attack. And 90% of ransomware attacks originate from phishing attempts.
A few crucial cybersecurity tips to remember about phishing schemes include:
Bottom line – Don’t open an email from a sender that you don’t know.
Know which links are safe and which are not – hover over a link to discover where it directs to.
Be suspicious of the emails sent to you in general – look and see where it came from and if there are grammatical errors.
Malicious links can come from friends who get infected earlier too. So, be extra careful!
Backup Your Data Regularly
Regularly backing up your data is an overlooked step in personal online security. The top IT and security managers follow a simple rule called the 3-2-1 backup rule. Mainly, you will keep three copies of your data on two different types of media (local and external hard drive) and one copy in an off-site location (cloud storage).
If you become a victim of ransomware or malware, the only way to restore your data is to erase your systems and restore with a recently performed backup.
Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi
Don’t use public Wi-Fi without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). By using a VPN, the traffic between your device and the VPN server is encrypted. It means it’s much more difficult for a cybercriminal to obtain access to your data on your device. Use your cell network if you don’t have a VPN when security is vital.
Protect Your Personal Data & Information
Personal Data & Information is any information that can be used by a cybercriminal to identify or locate an individual. It includes information such as name, address, phone numbers, date of birth, NRIC, IP address, location details, or any other physical or digital identity data.
In the new “always-on” world of social media, you should be very cautious about the information you include online. I recommend that you only show the very minimum about yourself on social media. Consider reviewing your privacy settings across all your social media accounts, particularly Facebook. Adding your home address, birth date, or any other personal information will dramatically increase your risk of a security breach. Hackers use this information to their advantage!
Use Secured Mobile Devices
Your mobile device is a target of more than 1.5 million new incidents of mobile malware. Here are some quick tips for mobile device security:
Create a difficult mobile passcode – not your birthdate or bank PIN
Install apps from Trusted Sources.
Keep Your Device Updated – hackers use vulnerabilities in unpatched older operating systems.
Avoid sending personal or sensitive information over text message or email.
Leverage “Find my iPhone” or the “Android Device Manager” to prevent loss or theft.
Perform regular mobile backups using iCloud or enabling Backup & Sync from Android.
Review Your Online Accounts Regularly
With the recent trending online breach, it’s more important than ever for consumers to safeguard their online accounts. By reviewing regularly, it will help you to identify any mysterious changes and irregularities timely.