With increasing dependence on technology and the Internet advancements, nearly everyone spends time online. However, what is often overlooked is how vulnerable one is to viruses, spyware, hackers and fishing. Internet Security is a big topic given all the data that moves online. Below are five things you need to know about online security.
1. Use strong passwords
Using complex passwords that cannot easily be guessed by a hacker is one of the simplest security practice out there. Also, remember to change them more often. Most attacks on corporate networks are due to weak passwords. The usual suggestion for strong passwords as you see on most websites is;
- Must include both uppercase and lowercase letters.
- Must be at least eight characters long.
- Must have at least one numeric character
You might think it is annoying, but those websites are concerned about your safety and security.
2. Practice safe surfing
Genuine sites are sometimes affected by advertising networks that serve malware-infected ads. This can be referred to as malvertising. Cyber attackers can gain access to the ad network and embed malicious code into those ads. You should not always click on any link you see on websites promising something superb. It is imperative that you have an antivirus installed on your machine to protect you from these malicious ads.
3. Be wary of phishing sites
A common phishing attack comes in the form of an email. It appears to come from your bank, for example, or another financial institution you might have registered with. These fake emails are so sophisticated and look legitimate, except for a small thing; they require you to enter passwords, account numbers and other personal information that a real financial institution would never ask.
If you happen to enter your details, and maybe you usually use one password for all your online accounts, a hacker will have all your accounts, (in the security world, it is referred to as being pwned). Be cautious of any email or site asking for personal information. Do not open attachments, unless you have a strong and updated antivirus. Attachments sent to emails usually have exploits which install malware onto your machine and steal more information.
4. Aging infrastructure
As the technology world grows, so are new hardware and software developed. It is likely to find computers in organizations running operating systems that are already obsolete. Since new operating systems and hardware are designed to counter the imminent online security threats, security infrastructure of these organizations might not be up to date. It is also possible for most internet devices to be running known vulnerabilities as the vendors probably stopped supporting or maintaining them. Ensure that you are using modern hardware and software to be on the safe side.
5. Availability of Internet Security packages
Most broadband providers include free security software as part of their packages. With broadband security software, you can be sure of your online safety and protect your computer while surfing the internet or downloading stuff. So check with your provider for this package. Alternatively, you can purchase from specialist developers such as Norton, Bitdefender, AVD, and McAfee.