1. Threats of Cyberattacks Rising

Identity theft, stolen data, phishing, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and malware attacks are some prominent cyberattacks that have seen significant increases in recent years. The threat landscape looks quite alarming, according to this report by Cybersecurity Ventures.

As a decade ends with the shocking news of data hacking, password-stealing, and frequent cyberattacks on business organizations, social media platforms, and financial companies from all over the world, we need to handle the internet in a more responsible, cautious manner to stay safe.

Technology is all geared up for a new leap. With the advent of 5G, IoT, VR, AR, the security challenge would grow parallelly. As more criminals are joining the cyberattack brigade, the users too need to be better prepared with their arsenal. Here is how.

    1. Smart tips to outsmart hackers when at home

Hackers enter through weak points. So, first, you need to identify the weak points. It could be those 'smart' IoT devices that you are NOT using smartly. Security experts have observed that many of our "connected" IoT devices act as hacking entry points. Consumers use weak passwords, default settings, link the same e-mail address and credit card with multiple apps and devices. Experts say anything, that is connected to the internet is vulnerable and hackable. So if you have bought any smart device:

  1. Secure your router and network by assigning it an unusual name, and using WPA-2 encryption.

  2. Password protect each device. Use strong passwords combining alphabets, digits, special characters, and space. Frequently alter passwords.

  3. Change the default setting. Do not disclose serial numbers.

  4. Turn off all unused features.

  5. The moment you receive a patch update for device software and apps, install.

    1. Train your children tackle internet and smart devices

As active household members, you need to train the young ones in cyber safety. If you have children and young adults, involve them in the combat against cyber attack. If your children access the internet for educational purposes and enjoyment, discuss security issues and cyber threats with them. Make them understand that the virtual world is a parallel of the real world, and all real-life dangers have their virtual counterpart as well. So if you discourage them from having a conversation with a stranger in real life, the same rule is applicable in the virtual life as well. Kids are curious by nature, and their curiosity could lead them to danger both online and offline. You can strengthen the security of online the system by setting up a personal private cloud. We suggest setting up devices with passcodes that only the parents should know and blocking inappropriate sites. Parents can use GPS trackers to monitor their children while they are away.

    1. Smart tips to outsmart hackers when online

We read, work, entertain, and play online. We are always 'connected'. And we consume and emit a huge amount of data all the time. Data thieves try to steal these data and sell them for a profit. A Norton study reveals a staggering "+54% increase in the number of reported data breaches vs. first six months of 2018." The number, it is feared, would rise in 2020. So, how can you protect your data and stay safe?

  1. Buy a strong anti-virus and update it regularly.

  2. Don't use the same user id and password.

  3. Clear device cache.

  4. Create multiple email ids for different purposes.

  5. Do not keep sensitive information in clouds.

  6. Never share your social security number.

  7. Utilize multi-factor authentication wherever possible.

  8. Use social media judiciously.

  9. Do not open/click every mail you receive.

  10. Use only HTTPs websites while purchasing anything online.

  11. Use a VPN if you are accessing the internet while traveling.

  12. Use private browsing modes while using a public computer.

This guide is just a primer for maintaining cyber hygiene. As technology evolves, new attacking methods would be deployed by cybercriminals. Cyber awareness is the first step to cyber protection.

Topic revision: r1 - 27 Dec 2019, AnnaBern
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