The use of the internet has skyrocketed in the last decade. Smartphones and low-cost, high-performance processors have made this possible. Another factor is the dedicated developer community, which has made software development and use easier and easier as the level of technical skill has decreased.

Software program capabilities have also increased dramatically. Businesses are increasing their online presence due to the requirement for dispersed computing and global connection in order to keep current on current trends. Some of these companies operate entirely online, with no physical locations or products.

With all of the focus on usability, one issue has been largely overlooked since it is a usability barrier. Until the last four years, the security of internet assets received far less attention than it deserved. Before 2013, cybercrime was not as common. The increased use of the internet has led in an increase in cybercrime. As a result of the surge in cybercrime, people are becoming more conscious of the need of cybersecurity. However, a single successful attack can result in a multibillion-dollar loss. Companies are aware of this and are attempting to make their products safer.

Cybercrime is all-too-common and inescapable! Viruses are all over the place! So, how can you protect yourself from malware, ransomware, and other forms of cybercrime? As we all know, cyber fraud is on the rise in India, and it’s spreading like wildfire, especially in light of the current worldwide pandemic’s remote working conditions. It is vital at this time to build our organization in the market while also safeguarding your personal information from cyber-criminals.

However, as an end-user, you can’t put your complete trust in the security precautions implemented by the companies that sell you the items you use. There are numerous ways to make mistakes and render all security measures ineffective. However, there are some practices that, when adopted, can greatly improve an average user’s online security.

These are simple methods that can be easily adapted. How to Protect Yourself?

1. Usage of Internet Security Suite: If you know anything about computers or the internet, there’s a good chance you’re already using an antivirus (And if you’re not, don’t risk it unless you’re a seasoned cybersecurity expert with data backups in place.)An antivirus application combined with an internet security program set can help you avoid:

• Inadvertent malicious downloads.

• Inadvertent malicious installs.

• Avoiding being a victim of a Man in the Middle Attack (MITM)

• Phishing protection

Protection against the potential for trojan horses to inflict harm. Some Trojan Horses are designed so that the majority of the code is used for helpful and seemingly benign tasks, while a small percentage is used for malicious purposes such as functioning as a backdoor or escalation privileges.

2. Usage of Strong Passwords: This cannot be overstated. If your bank’s password is “qwerty123” and you have a lot of money in your account, you should expect a surprise transaction. You should not put your complete trust in the rate-limiting mechanisms employed by websites you visit. Your password should be so strong that it can’t be broken. A strong password is one that is at least 12 characters long and uses a variety of alphabets (both upper and lower case), numerals, and symbols (and spaces). Setting a really unbreakable password should not be difficult, especially with tools like random password generators at your disposal.

3. Ensure that your software is up to date: Despite the developer’s best efforts to produce secure software and extensive security team evaluations, many zero-day vulnerabilities are exposed once the software is utilized by a wide user population. Companies are well aware of this, which is why they offer frequent patches to address these flaws. This is why those upgrades, however inconvenient they may be, are necessary. They aid in the prevention of threats that can easily slip past the antivirus software on your computer’s radar.

4.Avoid Identity Theft: Identity theft occurs when someone else utilizes your personal information to earn benefits in your name while your bills are addressed for you on any platform. It’s just an example, but identity theft can result in far more significant consequences than monetary losses.

Improper management of sensitive personal data is the most common cause of identity theft. When dealing with personally identifiable information, there are a few things to avoid:

  • Never share your Aadhar/PAN number (In India) or Social security number in the US or any personal identity information of the particular country od reside with anyone whom you do not know/trust.
  • Never give out your Social Security number (SSN) to someone you don’t know or trust.
  • Do not post personal information on social media platforms.
  • Don’t make all of your personal information available to the public on your social media sites.
  • Never share an Aadhar OTP received on your phone with another person over the phone.
  • Do not provide personal information on a website that purports to deliver rewards in exchange.
  • Make sure you don’t get any unnecessary identity related banking OTP SMS (if you do, your SSN number is already in the wrong hands)

5.Change your passwords on a regular basis and make them strong.

It is critical to creating strong passwords. Passwords that are obvious, such as your birthdate or initials, do not pass muster. According to studies, more than half of all Internet users use weak passwords. If you use your address, birthday, or Social Security number to establish passwords, and this information is stolen through cybercrime, all of your personal information is at risk. Use a random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that have no relation to you or your family to create strong passwords.

6.Make a weekly appointment to review your credit card bills.

One recommendation that may seem self-evident is to go over your credit card statements thoroughly as soon as you receive them. However, if you only check once a month, it could take you 29 days to spot fraudulent activity. Once a week, set aside time to examine your statement. When reviewing your bill, if anything strikes out as being suspicious or doubtful, look into it right away to see if it was one of your permitted transactions.

7.Keep your personal data secret.

Unfortunately, whether you are on the road (mobile phone, wallet, laptop) or at home, your personal data is always at risk (PC, home phone). When handing information to uninvited calls, be especially cautious. They will learn more if you communicate with them frequently. Many scam artists make unsuspecting consumers believe they are speaking with an authorised provider by making phone calls to them.Unsolicited callers should not be given your passwords or sensitive information, according to a simple rule. To assure the security of new websites, look for a closed lock icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. Secure web addresses begin with “https,” and clicking on the lock symbol in the bottom right will display the same “https” address.

8. Sign up for real-time notifications.

Most banks and credit card firms have real-time notification services that allow them to notify you if you make a “strange” transaction. Set a purchase limit on your debit/credit card by going to the home page of your bank account or credit card. You can select to receive a text message notification, an email, or a phone call to authenticate a purchase attempt over a certain monetary amount. When a cardholder understands that their hard-earned money is being watched over by their financial institution, the embarrassment of having a purchase refused is quickly forgotten.

9.Unknown programmes should not be installed or run.

In addition to being a popular communication tool, email is a popular method for delivering malicious software. Phishing scams, in which a user is tricked into handing over personal information to identity thieves, are particularly common via email. Every email you receive should be scanned by your internet security software. Furthermore, you should never open or click on any links in an email attachment from an unknown source. Even if the sender looks to be trustworthy, you should run a virus scan on all attachments before opening them. If you have been a victim, take the following steps:

As soon as you notice you’ve been hacked, you should take the following steps:

• File a formal complaint with the police and notify any other authorities that may be involved.

• Try using secondary contacts to recover access to your compromised accounts.

•Change the passwords for any other accounts or websites that used the same password as the hacked account.

Perform a factory reset and correct formatting on any impacted devices (assuming you have your data backed up already). Stay informed on current data breaches and other cyber incidents to prevent them from happening again and to stay safe online.

Last but not least, a cyber-attack on your computer does not require you to be actively exploring the Internet. Even if you leave your computer on and linked to the Internet, it is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. As a result, once you’ve finished using your computer, you must switch it off completely. Furthermore, you should disconnect it from the Internet to ensure that a cyber-criminal cannot gain access to it.

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