The internet has become crucial to modern living. A great number of the things we do are now conducted online. People educate themselves, shop, entertain and date online with few concerns about their actions. While the internet can be a wondrous place, there’s also a dark side to the internet. Viruses and malware are present and hoping to strike at a defenseless computer system and compromise it. Ransomware attacks have become a constant threat and often strike at vulnerable businesses. Scammers everywhere are hoping to take advantage of people who are not as computer literate and may not understand what’s happening to them. Thankfully, there are cyber security options. Cyber security can come in the form of software, but it also comes in the form of actions and decisions by users. With the right cyber security, both homes and businesses can be safe from online predators and scams.
Cyber Security at Home
Cyber security at home is not as difficult as many people may think it is. A lot of it boils down to preparation and skepticism. Some simple tips for cyber security at home include:
Use Antivirus Programs – Antivirus software may not catch everything, but they are very strong at protecting a computer from potential attacks. This should be a baseline option.
Keep Everything Up to Date – One of the main reasons you consistently see updates to operating systems and programs is they are continuously updating their security settings to account for newly discovered threats. Not updating your software is simply asking for vulnerabilities to be exploited.
Keep Your Network Secure – If you’re running a wifi network, make sure it’s as secured with a strong password as is possible. In some instances, less secure items connected to your network could be targeted.
Practice Password Safety – It should go without saying, but you need strong passwords for your online life. Don’t repeat passwords to ensure that a cascade of broken passwords can occur. Length is crucial and long pass-codes/passphrases are safer than shorter passwords which use special characters. Consider a password manager program which can create and store ultra complex passwords, allowing you to only remember one complicated password to access your list.
Be Careful on Social Media – Many people accidentally give away hints to passwords or other important information on social media. It may be tempted to tell a story about your first pet, but if you’ve ever used that information as a security question, you’re giving potential scammers an answer.
Generally, you want to be skeptical of information you get. Don’t click on links from emails unless you’re 100% sure it’s from a verified sender. Don’t trust and if things seem weird, then it probably is. Don’t be afraid of using a phone to verify information. Especially if someone calls claiming to be your bank, IRS or the government. You can always call the official numbers are reach someone to question the information you’ve been given.
Cyber Security for Businesses
The basis of strong cyber security for businesses is pretty similar to that of individuals. You want to make sure that all of the tips earlier are also applied. The difference is that the scale is going to be much bigger, as mistakes will be more expensive. Instead of just using an anti-virus, ensure that programs are also using encrypted end to end connections. Especially for files and file sharing. Use of a VPN will also provide far more safety and can ensure that only registered users are logging into the business servers. Ideally, employees should use their work supplied equipment for work and for nothing else. They should also be unable to access business resources should they ever be on public networks.
One important thing is to keep training employees to use proper cyber security actions. The mistakes of a single person can end up infecting an entire company and costing millions or billions. Obviously, having a dedicated person or team of cyber security specialists can help as well.