15 Things That Can Endanger Your Online Security
The internet has changed a lot since the 90s. It’s much more functional, informative, and interactive. It’s just no longer a collection of web pages. A lot of the work we do is dependent on the internet. However, over the years, the internet has also become a more dangerous place. Here’s a look at the few dangers and how you can protect yourself against it.
Botnets are a security problem that often goes unnoticed. Botnets are used to remotely take control of a computer. Even though Botnets are sometimes used for completely legitimate tasks, they can also be used to initiate computer attacks and steal information or perform other malicious activities. Botnets are often downloaded over the internet as software downloads, or email attachments and are executed by the user unintentionally. To be protected against Botnets, you will need security software and also you will have to install regular updates to your operating system.
Wi-Fi data is often monitored using cybercriminals to steal personal information such as credit card details. To ensure that your Wi-Fi is protected, you can set a Wi-Fi password for your router and make sure you do not connect to an open router.
Pharming is a common online fraud where you are redirected to malicious websites that look like the real one. These are done by taking out the legitimate website, or by hijacking the DNS server. In these cases, make sure you report the incident to your ISP and do not log on to that website unless the issue is fixed.
Malware is short for malicious software. It can be anything that steals your data, slows down your PC or does anything adverse. To avoid malware, install your best anti-spam programs that you keep it up to date, and trust you never pop-ups or emails from software that you have installed yourself: it may be disguised malware.
A Trojan horse is a malicious program that is packaged as or integrated into the legitimate software. It can hack other computers from your pc: steal passwords and sensitive information, log keystrokes, delete files and you spy on from your webcam. Again, the solution is to have an anti-malware software on your PC to prevent these infections in the first place.
Malware that encrypts files and asks for money to have your files decrypted is called Ransomware. The WannaCry-attack struck 300,000 computers worldwide in 2017, including the information technology infrastructure of hospitals, banks and companies. Most anti-malware solutions now come with anti-ransomware modules. However, you should also have a data backup in place.
Too Many Parts
When we buy a new phone or PC, we often keep installing a lot of apps. Online, we create accounts for sites we access once and do not close them ever. In this way, we often increase a lot of digital clutter and we become more and more vulnerable to identity thefts and information thefts.
If your smartphone uses satellite positioning, you can turn it off when you are not using it. A lot of apps, in the background, tracks your whereabouts and collects the data. This is sometimes used to improve the product, but also to make more money by selling data to other parties.
Cookies are an integral part of your internet experience. They help you store information on websites, allows you to log in and customize your web experience. However, cookies are also used to track your online behaviour and provide personalized ads. You can prevent that from happening by blocking tracking cookies and third-party cookies in your browser, as well as cleaning cookies regularly.
Passwords such as “password”, or “12345678” are used very commonly and can be cracked by almost anyone. Most sites do not allow these types of passwords at all. However, if you have such passwords, change them immediately. Also, check https://haveibeenpwned.com to know if any of your account details were leaked in any corporate breaches.
Adding strangers on social media
Strangers on social media can be online bots or even cybercriminals who can steal your identity. Hence, add only people you know on social media.
Online Quizzes exist only to collect your data and preferences and will either be sold or will be used to provide better advertising. In short, it is better not to participate in these at all.
Oversharing often leads to not just cybercrime, but also other criminal activities that can be fatal to the victim. Make sure you share as less as possible and keep yourself as anonymous online as possible. Never share personal information publicly on social media.
Too many IoT devices
When you have too many IoT devices, such as smart bulbs and smart speakers, you should also have a secure home network. Vulnerabilities exist in IoT devices that can often be used by cybercriminals to cause harm.
Finally, make sure that you do not fall victim to online fraud. Always make sure that you connect to secure websites and always verify the authenticity when transferring money.