Cyber crime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.
While most cyber crimes are carried out to garner profit for the cyber criminals, some cyber crimes are carried out against computers or devices directly to damage or disable them. Others use computers or networks to spread malware, i.e. malicious software, illegal information, images, etc. Some cyber crimes do both – target computers to infect them with a virus, which is then spread to other machines and sometimes, entire networks. The primary effect of cyber crime is financial!
Why Is cybersecurity important?
Cyber security is important because it encompasses everything that involves protecting our data from cyber criminals who want to steal this information and use it to cause harm.
This can be sensitive data, governmental and industrial information, personal information, intellectual property and protected health information.Having advanced cyber defense programs in place to protect this data is crucial.
At an individual level, cyber security attacks can lead to identity theft and extortion attempts, which can cause serious damage.
This Cyber Security Month, we have put together some tips to ensure our readers are more capable of keeping themselves secure.
Keep your software up to date
Ransomware attacks were a major issue in 2017. One of the most important cyber security tips to mitigate ransomware is patching outdated software, both operating systems and applications. This helps remove critical vulnerabilities that hackers use to access devices.
Use Anti-Virus(AV) protection and Firewall
AV Protection software has been the most prevalent solution to fight malicious attacks. AV software blocks malware and other viruses from entering into one’s device and compromising their data. A firewall helps screen out hackers, viruses and other wrong activity that occurs over the Internet and decides what traffic should be allowed to enter the device. The router should also have an inbuilt firewall to prevent any network attacks.
Use strong passwords
Passwords are pivotal in keeping hackers out of one’s data. According to the NIST’s (National Institute of Standards and Technology) 2017 new password policy framework, an individual should:
- Opt for something more user friendly but with at least eight characters.
- It should contain at least one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number and four symbols, but not the following : &#@%
- Never leave a password out in the open for hackers to see and reset it periodically
Don’t use public WiFi
Never use a public WiFi without using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). By using a VPN, the traffic between one’s device and the VPN server is encrypted. Hence, it will make it more difficult for a cyber attacker to gain access to data on someone else’s device.
Review online accounts and credit reports regularly
One of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies, Equifax, recently announced a massive security breach that will impact approximately 143 million U.S consumers. Hence, it is more important than ever for consumers to safeguard their online accounts and monitor their credit reports. A credit freeze is the most effective way to protect personal credit card information.
Backup data regularly
Top IT and security managers follow a simple rule called the 3-2-1 backup rule. This means keeping three copies of one’s data on two different types of media (local and external hard drive), and one copy in an off site location (cloud storage). If one becomes a victim of ransomware or malware, the only way to restore data is to erase all systems and restore with a recently performed backup!
Use mobile devices securely
- Create a difficult mobile passcode.
- Install apps from trusted sources.
- Keep the device updated.
- Avoid sending sensitive or personal information over text message or email.
- Perform regular mobile backups.
Globe Detective Agency is one of India’s leading security firms. If you would like to know more about our work in cyber crime, get in touch!