We are becoming increasingly connected to the world online through desktops, laptops, tablets, smart phones, e-readers, and even wearables. While this is great for staying in tune with current events and keeping in touch with others, the increased exposure makes us more vulnerable to cyber attacks than ever before. Surprisingly, some people are not as aware of the threat as they should be.
Norton Security’s 2012 Cyber Crime Report revealed that 55% of those surveyed had no idea whether their computer was “clean” or free of viruses. Another major concern today is maintaining mobile security. While two out of three adults access the Internet with their phones, 44% of them are not even aware that mobile security options exist.
Still not convinced that the threat of cyber attacks doesn’t apply to you? Check out the facts below:
Most cyber attacks are launched in an attempt to steal your information. Scammers will send phishing emails, trying to get you to divulge of passwords, bank account details, and other sensitive data. Some will even prompt users to download a file, disguised as legitimate software, that turns out to be malware. In these cases, users might have software on their devices, accessing their information and sending that information to an outside source without the user’s knowledge or consent.
It is much easier to avoid falling victim to cyber attacks than to try and restore lost data or recover your financial assets. To avoid becoming a victim, it helps to become familiar with the different forms of cyber attacks, and the best practices to ensure that your information stays safe. In general, here are some basic rules to follow when it comes to protecting yourself on the Internet.
- Never give in to unauthorized requests to reveal confidential information.
- Don’t use unprotected computers or networks- make sure you have an updated anti-virus program and that your network has a firewall set up.
- Never leave important documents out- lock them away or put them out of sight before leaving your desk.
- Use passwords to protect your devices and important documents- also make sure these passwords are changed often and are long and complex.
- Never click on suspicious links and do not open suspicious emails- Simply opening some can be a threat to your system.
- Do not plug in your personal devices without prior approval- they could have dormant malware on them that could compromise your information once plugged in.
- Never install unauthorized programs- if you have found a program that you think would be useful, consult your IT department first.
- Always stay alert and report anything suspicious as soon as possible.
Whether for personal use, or on the job, follow our Guide to Cyber Security to ensure that your information, and others’ is kept safe and out of the wrong hands.