Following on from last time when we looked at:-
1. Public WiFi, and
2. Recognize Phishing and Related Scams.
Today we look at the final 3 tips for this article on Cyber Security.
Here are some of the other elements that need to be looked at.
3. Update Devices & Use Security software.
I have no doubt that we all get those “updates” on Microsoft or on our phones and often on our websites as well. These updates are in fact “patches” and they are there to keep you and your information safe. They are created specifically for this reason.
What usually happens is that there is a breach or the system is hacked or some sort of loophole is found by the hackers, or cybercriminals, if you will. The Service Providers become aware of this and they create a “patch” or an upgrade that will resolve the problem.
As soon as you are alerted to these, it is in your own best interest to download it and get it done.
Failure to download these will probably result in your system being hacked or worse, held to ransom. So please act immediately when you receive the request to download an “upgrade”.
4. Monitor Social Media
Social media is the first place that hackers go to try and get into your information. We’ve all see the “don’t accept friendship requests from me, I have been hacked” on FaceBook, in particular.
Scamster’s “pose” as a friend and then as soon as you “accept” them as a friend, they clone your information and then go back onto social media “pretending” to be you, all the while gathering not only your information but also the information of friends, family and followers.
Be careful how you set up your profile and be sure to make use of the strict privacy rules that are available.
5. Learn to recognize Phishing
Watch out for poor spelling and grammar. Don’t click on links in adverts. Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know. Don’t click on links from people you don’t know.
Another huge hint is when an email that you receive, sounds like it is written specifically for you but is sent to “recipients” or the mail address that is sent from when you hover the cursor on it, looks foreign – that one is a big no-no. Delete it immediately.
We’ve all heard this advice before. Actually, if the truth be told, I am sure that we have all given out this particular advice from time to time. Right . . . ?
So why is it that we don’t take out own advice?
It’s probably the natural curiosity that most of us have – but please . . . resist it at all costs.
The cost to you, in the end, will be more, much, much more than you bargained for.
Just remember, when in doubt . . . STOP! Think! Think again and for luck, just think again before your act!
Oh, and a bonus point that many of us don’t think about nearly enough:-
6. Use Better Passwords
Here’s the thing, we all want to make remembering our passwords as easy as possible. Correct? So, many of us use the same password for pretty much everything! Please stop doing that!
Cybercriminals will crack your password first and the easier you make it the faster they will gain access to your life. If you have the same password for everything, all that means is that they now have access to everything. Not so clever now, I’m sure you will agree!
Oh, and while I am on the subject of “easy”, please don’t save your passwords into a folder called “passwords” on your computer. That’s just like giving them a detailed map of the Holy Grail.
Make sure that your passwords are no less than 8 digits. Make sure that your password is a mixture of both capital letters and lower case letters as well as a number or two and of course a symbol or two. Be sure to mix them all up. The more random the password, the more difficult it is for anyone to crack it.
In terms of storing your passwords, most experts suggest a “password vault” of some sort. The “password vault” would then store both the user name and password for each account. This, of course, would mean that the vault password has to be especially strong, so not the usual 8 digits but rather 16 digits would be best. This then means that you only need to remember one password and that one, of course, is for the vault.
Most importantly be aware of what it is that you are doing because in this instance if it “feels” wrong it probably is.
Next time we will tackle a new subject.