We dedicate the month of October to cybersecurity awareness and being cyber-smart is this week’s theme. Enjoy reading this post about taking some time to focus on your cyber cleverness. It was originally published by Sucuri, a recognized leader in cybersecurity.
It’s not easy to always be safe – this is especially true if you are new to cybersecurity. A well-formed safety plan requires at least conscious effort and at most constant vigilance. Even the top experts have room for improvement, because cybersecurity is a constantly changing goal.
Unfortunately, most internet users don’t use best practices.
The top two [passwords] have remained unchanged for the fifth year in a row. They are insanely “123456” and “Password”. – Melanie Ehrenkranz, Gizmodo.
Understand the risks
Would your answers to these questions change if you knew you were a target for hackers?
When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s best to say the Risk is never zero. While certain online habits are riskier, cautious users are also targeted – often more than they think.
Over a third of the internet uses WordPress. From the moment it is installed, it becomes the target of malicious login attempts. Brute force attacks do not discriminate. Automated hacker robots search the internet for WordPress login pages and try different combinations to crack passwords.
Data breaches are widespread and phishing attempts are becoming increasingly difficult to detect. Without cybersecurity literacy and a plan to improve, the number of victims will continue to rise.
Identity theft affects nearly 60 million Americans. – The Harris poll
Why do we brush our teeth? It’s not anyone’s favorite pastime, but we brush several times a day to keep our teeth clean, strong, and disease free. Ideally, we also use dental floss. Users can only protect themselves if they use the Possible effects of doing nothing.
Now that we realize that there is more than a small risk out there, let’s take a closer look at the implications.
Understand the implications
A common thread in cybersecurity is the triad of confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability.
Imagine all of your personal information, files, devices, or websites. What would happen if they were exposed, changed, or destroyed?
Here’s what attackers could do:
- Steal your banking or shopping information.
- Impersonate credit fraud.
- Lock them out from online accounts like email and social media.
- Spy or record using your camera and microphone.
- Access accounts related to your workplace, website, or brand.
- Abuse your network or CPU resources to attack others.
- Destroy your online photo galleries.
Improving your security status helps prevent the loss of integrity, availability and confidentiality. While the process is time consuming, a better understanding of your risks and implications can help you decide whether to tip the balance and sacrifice a little comfort for better overall safety.
Owners of your security process
Who is responsible for backing up your hardware, software, and online accounts? Hint: It’s you.
This doesn’t mean you have to do it on your own. You can use trusted software and service providers for better security. The most important thing is not to assume that someone else will take care of it for you.
While technology providers invest in security, they are in the market to sell products. Selling is easier when there are fewer points of friction in the user experience. Security prompts, training courses or notifications are a nuisance for the average user. The scales are likely not in our favor, and many security settings will go unnoticed to the average user.
The rules, the process, and maintaining your safety are yours. At some point, the initial exertion becomes a habit and becomes easier the more you do it. If you are already familiar with your safety practices, it may be a good time to reconsider your plans and discover new ways to reduce your overall risk.
Personal security planning
A personal security plan will help you improve your security situation by taking stock and determining how ready you are to protect your online assets. When it gets overwhelming, remember to prioritize and improve a little at a time.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a pretty great article on how to approach your security plan by assessing the level of risk you are willing to accept.
Here is one method you could try:
- First, take stock of all of your connected devices, accounts, and technologies. If you have a website, list the software, plugins, and scripts.
- Second, make sure everyone Software is up to date with the latest security patches. Remember that updates often contain patches for code vulnerabilities.
- Third, make logging in more difficult all of your devices and accounts. Use a password manager, generate long passwords and use 2FA. You can even restrict access to your device’s SSH keys or MAC addresses if available.
- Next I will familiar with the security settings of each. For example, your phone has security settings, but each app also has permissions that can be restricted.
- Secure everything They are interested in at least a few different places.
- In the end, Enable trusted security tools for monitoring and protection.
This is just one approach. You can always look for more ideas to change or expand this approach according to your needs.
Tech-savvy people are best placed to educate people about safer Internet practices. Who else is going to tell your friends and family about 2FA and encryption? Are you really aware of the risks and implications? Find articles and videos that you want to share and chat with your family and friends.
For those who want to help others with basic internet safety, the EFF also offers the minimally practical teaching method:
- Activate encryption
- Create long and complex passwords
- Do not reuse your passwords
- Activate two-factor authentication
- Avoid clicking on weird links and attachments
- Use end-to-end encrypted messages like Signal or WhatsApp
It will take patience, time, and effort to encourage better safety habits and raise the bar. As more people learn and use better security strategies, encryption and 2FA may become another element of good hygiene – as common as brushing your teeth.