Cyber attacks are a menace for businesses and end users alike. Most organisations have the fire and money power to secure themselves from cyber bullying. The same cannot be said for individual computer owners. In the past few years, we’ve witnessed some of the largest cyber attacks and the threats continue.
Computers have made their way into most homes and are a prominent part of every workspace. The fact that you are reading this on a computing device is the proof that we are surrounded by computers, big and small. In this age, we live dual lives, one in real time and the other in a virtual space on the vast web of the internet.
You are you, whether in real life or in a virtual space. Protecting yourself is the most basic instinct, wherever you are. Here are the basic steps one should adhere to be safe against malware, ransomware and other cyber attacks.
Control your urge and be smart
Humans are born curious. If you are a millennial, you have at least once received an SMS, call, e-mail or notification that you have a won a prize or a lottery. Be smart, and do not open such e-mails. Even if you do, laugh at it and report it as spam. Do not click on any links, no matter how curious it may sound.
Nothing in this world comes to you without you doing something initially to try and get it. Stay smart and stop being click-happy on everything that urges your curiosity. Also, let’s address the elephant in the room. Everyone watches porn and there is nothing wrong in doing so. After all, it is a major part of the internet and is easily accessible.
These are also some of the best places where your thinking abilities are challenged by other raging hormones. Surf trusted websites and sway away from unknown ones. If you are lonely and prefer a membership on a porn site versus real dating, use pseudo identities. These include name, addresses and e-mail ids. Also, nothing can increase your size, get over it. Invest the same time to master your inventory.
Secure your computing device and browse safely
With a number of devices computing our moves on the internet, it is necessary to ensure protection on each one of them. Some devices are inherently safer than others. For example, virus attacks made for Windows computers will have no effect on Android or Mac operating systems. But cyber attacks have their varieties.
If you are using computers and laptops, ensure that you have an updated anti-virus installed on them. The debate between free and paid services of any anti-virus software will always haunt your mind. Yes, many paid anti-virus software provide better support and services but it does not end there. Paid or free, it is your responsibility to update your protection software on a regular basis.
Also, check the web address before you fill any details. Most modern browsers will notify you with safety indicators. Even the slightest of intuitions or skepticism about the web address needs attention! As in real world, you would not give your details to a stranger, treat your internet interactions the same way. Phishing attacks occur when entire webpages are duplicated by nefarious people to bait unsuspecting people.
You may use the browser of your choice with added extensions to safeguard your browsing even further. Install pop-up blockers and extensions that check the website for authenticity. Have fun but be safe while doing it.
Avoid giving your details to anyone
A friend might want to use your debit or credit card for a purchase or your email id for a new account on some website or something else. Do not give your details to anyone. Even if they are your friends and family. You may trust a person but not their activities on the internet. The internet is a sea of vulnerability and one small mistake could land you in deep waters.
Make your passwords unpredictable
If you’ve seen Mr. Robot, a television series primarily focused on hacking, you may know that passwords are predictable. Most of us have passwords that are related to our lives. Thus passwords are predictable and a hacker can predict combinations based on your virtual life.
I understand and totally relate to managing complicated passwords as we tend to forget. In such a case, safeguard your passwords with virtual vaults. Also, keep changing your passwords at regular intervals. This is especially important on social media and transaction accounts.
Update your operating system
An operating system is what we use to browse any content on any device. Device manufacturers and operating system providers patch security updates at regular intervals. Make sure, you install the security updates and keep your operating system updated at all times.
This is applicable to every device, big or small. Computers run Windows, Mac OS or some version of Linux. Ensuring that your computer is updated and the internal firewall is activated will aid your protection even further.
The same applies to Android and iOS, or even Windows Phone OS (if they still exist). Ensure that you install the latest updates for your apps and operating system. Most of these updates are security patches and will help safeguard you against potential threats.
Is this enough?
It may sound weird but these steps are most of what is required from you. If you want added protection, you may opt for specialized firewall packages provided by many service providers. These come at a cost but ensure a higher level of protection while you access the internet. Unless you are a celebrity, you can follow the basic steps mentioned above, you are sorted at least for now.
What if you have been attacked already?
In this case, there is little to nothing that you can do about it. Grab all the data you can, change all your account passwords (via a secure device) and format your device. This may sound brutal but is the safest way to ensure that it does not affect you any more than it already has. Oh, and once you do format your device, the 5 steps mentioned above are mandatory in your case.
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