In this World, we are completely surrounded with some great examples of technology. Computer, Laptops, Mobiles PDAs, etc are probably the most common piece of technology used by all of us but, just like other things, they can be compromised by some bad guys with good skills. Ensuring Cyber safety is must for everyone!
Well, the question that arises now is how to prevent these bad people (Black Hat Hackers) from ruining our life. Just like there are different remedies for prevention against different diseases, there are separate solutions against different threats. Some common preventive methods are listed below and they will serve as cyber safety tips.
Comprehensive list of cyber safety tips
Staying Secure on public WiFi
Well, i bet that almost all of you love using free WiFi. Obviously, who could resist himself from surfing trending Movies at neighbors expenses. But, using open WiFi is like swimming in a pool with crocodiles. There are some instances when hackers even create a free WiFi hotspot to make their victims connect to it. Victims, without knowledge think that this is the best chance to save money (and data) and grab this thrilling offer by both hands. Hackers have several tools that can intercept and sniff data between your device and internet if they are on the same wireless network. So how to prevent this?
The best Answer is ‘NO! DON’T USE PUBLIC/FREE WiFI“ , Or if you are using it, make sure to do your homework before. For example, if you’re in a coffee shop or public library, make sure to verify the name of the network with their staff.
You can add a VPN software in your device to encrypt all the data coming out from it, so that even if someone captures your data packets, he could do nothing from it because it is encrypted.
Make sure you stick to sites using HTTPS because it uses an encrypted connection between the website and the user. (Denoted by a green padlock in your browser’s address bars).
If you have your own WiFi, make sure you secure it well. Don’t use WEP, Use WPA2-PSK, use good and strong passwords.
Don’t reveal password to anyone to prevent unauthorized access to your wireless network.
Webcams are great piece of technology. Webcams can be hacked and used for unintended purposes. Sure, they are great for keeping in touch with long-distance relationships, for performing online interviews, for chatting with friends, etc. But a hacked webcam becomes a spy tool that hackers can exploit for their own gain. This implies that your cyber safety is no longer guaranteed.
They can be hacked in several ways, the general method is to find a security vulnerability whether in the software that controls a webcam or the hardware itself.
All you can do is place a tape or a piece of paper over your webcam when you aren’t using it. An alternative would be to unplug it whenever you aren’t using it.
USB DRIVE INFECTION
Malicious attacks can happen quickly if a harmful USB is plugged into your computer by you or someone else. The best way of staying safe is, just be careful about what you plug in.
You should have an antivirus package installed in your computer. These anti virus packages usually have at least some kind of protection available, but make sure it is properly configured. You can disable ‘autorun’ removable feature in your computer for preventing this to some extent.
However, USB attacks can sometimes be very sophisticated, and can be extremely difficult to stop.
Preventing Key Loggers
Key Loggers are applications that records the physical keystrokes of a computer user, then it sends gathered keystrokes to creator or any spyware server on the Internet. Some businesses use key loggers, to monitor employee activity, but the majority key loggers installed without user’s permission.
Fortunately, there are a number of specialized anti spyware packages on the market designed to prevent these. Most of the time they comes along with your anti virus packages. Make sure you always keep your antivirus updated.
On the other hand, don’t download anything from unknown and unauthentic sources. Avoid using Pirated softwares. Be sure about what you plug in (Cd,Usb etc) are from reliable sources.
A backdoor is one of the tactical ways that jeopardizes one’s cyber safety. It’s a method of gaining access to program or a computer/mobile/PDAs by using another installed program or rootkit that bypasses normal security mechanism of a device.
These applications can allow an attacker to illegally access your devices without you having a clue about it. They are often used for targeted attacks. In these types of breaches, hackers installs backdoor programs to access the victim’s network.
The benefit of this attack vector is that the backdoor itself can help cyber criminals break into the system without being discovered. So, how can you be infected through them? Unsuspecting people can accidentally install typical backdoors on their decives. They can be attached to the e-mail messages or file-sharing programs. <- Avoiding these careless habits is the best way for prevention.
However, this is probably one of the most sophisticated attacks and can be extremely difficult to detect and remove.
It’s a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system by locking or encrypting files until a sum of money (Ransom) is paid. It’s different from other malwares as it doesn’t steal victim’s information—instead it makes it impossible to access his information.
Just like other viruses it can become part of your system through careless usage of suspicious removal media, it can come through email messages or through downloading unreliable applications. <- Avoid This for prevention.
Always keep backup of your valuable data. The Dropbox/Google Drive/OneDrive/etc.
Don’t Panic if you’re infected. There are hundreds of types of ransomware out there, but cyber security researchers are working hard to break the encryption that most of them use.
Unfortunately, the many notorious families are yet to be broke so far.
Golden Rules For Cyber safety
- Don’t Download anything unnecessarily or anything from unreliable sources.
- Don’t install programs that are pirated.
- Keep Your Anti Virus Updated.
- Regularly Scan Your Whole Computer
- Keep Backups of your data.
- Don’t plug in suspicious USB Drives or turn off ‘AUTORUN’ feature for all removable media.
- Don’t use Public Wifi/ Free Wifi. Keep your networks secure.
- Enable TWO STEP AUTHENTICATION in all your social media accounts and in your Email accounts too.
The most important, start taking Cyber Security seriously.
I hope you have found this article helpful. Cyber Security is not a thing to be taken lightly. Don’t forget to Share it among friends. If you have any questions/queries/suggestions feel free to tell me through comments.