5 Things You Didn’t Know About Basic Internet Security

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Internet security is a very important requirement in today’s technically advanced society and we should have awareness on how to defend our computers and other gadgets like tablets or smart phones from various cyber threats. It’s highly essential to secure our PCs, tablets and laptops in the similar way we secure the door to our homes and offices. Cybercrime costs financial loss worth more than hundred billion dollars every year and due to negligence and lack of awareness amongusers, they are frequently prone to attacks by hackers and cyber terrorists.Here are five important things which people do not know about basic internet security and what they should actually be aware of.

  1. Email is not Always Secure:

Many people are not aware that e-mail is not always secure and can contain harmful links. Also emails are used by hackers for phishing attempts, and try to steal confidential information by sending e-mails to users masquerading themselves as trusted organizations. Without using proper encryption and trusted mail clients, e-mails can be easily intercepted by middle-men using insidious data capture techniques and you could lose all confidential data. People tend to open e-mails from unknown sources, which could be spam or contain malicious links that can launch virus or Trojan horse to their machine. You should never open attachments like pictures, PDFs, excel or word documents present in emails from unknown sources as there is a very high probability that they may contain viruses. If you are doubtful of the sender, you should avoid opening any links in the e-mail and move it to spam folder. Always do thorough virus scans of your e-mails using powerful antivirus software.

  1. Social Media is Favorite target for Hackers and Cyber Criminals:

When it comes to internet security, many people are not aware that whatever personal information they share through social media can be accessed by hackers and cyber criminals who can use it against them. Based on the latest statisticsit’s known that social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. are used by more than 1.6 billion users who spend most of their time linking and viewing the posts of their friends. This is also used as a medium to spread harmful viruses and Trojans by hackers. These hackers launch their cyber-attacks by making users click such malicious links containing harmful viruses, adware or spyware.

  1. Most of the software applications installed in your devicesare vulnerable to cyber-attacks:

Most of the software applications you install in your desktop/laptop can be vulnerable to attacks by viruses. Applications like Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Oracle Java etc. and especially computer games can be used to launch harmful viruses into your network. Hence, you should enable auto-updates to keep your operating system and software applications updated with the latest security patches to avoid such attacks.

  1. Most people fail to use strong passwords which leads to unauthorized access:

In some versions of Windows there will be default admin accounts without any password configured, which is an easy way for a hacker to gain unauthorized access to your system. Most people fail to set strong passwords for their important accounts. They use passwords which can be easily guessed by people who know them and this can result in theft of private data. So you always set a unique and strong password with combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Use of weak passwords can also result in identity theft since hackers can easily steal all your personal data by gaining unauthorized access to your accounts.

  1. Installing a Powerful Firewall and Antivirus is Absolutely Necessary to protect your machine from Cyber-threats:

Many people ignore internet security and do not install any antivirus or firewall in their devices, which can make them vulnerable to variety of cyber-threats including viruses, worms, adware, malware, spyware, phishing attacks, identity theft etc. In order to protect yourself from such attacks you should always install the best antivirus to protect yourself from such attacks. You should make sure your antivirus is updated periodically with the latest virus signatures to detect all the recent viruses. Firewall is also an important security tool that prevents any unauthorized traffic from reaching your network by continuously monitoring all incoming/outgoing traffic to your network. You should install a strong firewall to prevent malicious traffic from entering your network.

+Kerry Tiwana is a full time tech savvy blogger, author and founder of TechMafia, you can follow him on Facebook.

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