These days, when it comes to cyber security risks, threats, and the best ways to prepare and respond to them, the sky’s the limit.
The number and type of cyber attacks have greatly increased over the last decade or so. As technology evolves, there are new things to worry about. There are new preparations to make and tools to utilize.
However, if you aren’t savvy about cyber security it is best to start with the basics. Below is your beginner’s guide to cyber security.
Protecting Your Passwords, Data, & Personal Information with Encryption
One of the most basic cyber security tools that everyone who owns a computer should be using is encryption. Encryption is the intentional scrambling of content and data so that other people cannot read it. This tool can be used in many ways.
You can have used a password scrambler to create unique and difficult passwords that are saved in an encrypted app.
There are encrypted web browsers you can use to keep the websites you are visiting and the information you input into them secret.
You should also use encrypted messaging platforms and encrypted email. While encryption doesn’t mean that you are completely insulated from threats, it is a base layer of security everyone should use.
Using Firewall & Antivirus to Stop Viruses
Viruses are another extremely common cyber threat that can be quite damaging. You can get a virus in many ways, including just clicking on a link you don’t know. You can download the virus in an email or be fooled to think that what you are clicking on is something familiar to you.
Perhaps even more basic than encryption is the firewall. Installing a firewall on your computer is a great way to prevent viruses from causing damage to your device and network.
Furthermore, a firewall that comes with additional antivirus protection can stop a virus from getting onto your computer and causing real problems for you. If you aren’t using firewalls and antivirus, it’s time to start protecting yourself.
Installing Anti-Malware & Anti-Ransomware
Viruses aren’t the only risk. Malware is the term used for any software that is malicious. It can cause all kinds of issues by disseminating just about any harmful agent you can think of. Of course, malware can include viruses, but it can also release a worm onto your device.
Worms might show you that they are on your computer at all, or if they do it will be a subtle tell. Worms work to find information that might be useful to the hacker or another malevolent entity. In addition to the viruses and worms that malware can have, it can also download ransomware.
Ransomware is just what it sounds like. It is software that is downloaded to take control of your device before moving onto your network and the other devices on it. Ransomware prohibits you from accessing the device at all until you pay a ransom.
Like any other ransom, it is difficult to trust criminals who are extorting you. You might never gain back control of your devices. Anti-ransomware can come with anti-malware services. These tools can help you stop these attacks from happening.
Finally, all the attacks that you can encounter can come from a person or a familiar-looking entity. The ability of human hackers to trick people to click on something, providing sensitive information, or trusting a site that looks like a reputable business has grown exponentially. More info on operational risk can be found here.
These days, they can fake emails to make it look like PayPal or another large company is contacting you. If it is even a little bit suspect, you should avoid clicking on anything or giving any information. You don’t have to have a virus to get your identity stolen and your life ruined.
This basic guide to cyber security isn’t everything we should all know about online threats and responses, but it’s a great start.
Once you begin your path to cyber security literacy and make an effort to protect yourself, your information, your family, your network, and your business from online attackers, it gets easier and easier.
Start with these essential tools and be aware of these common attacks. You are already on your way to securing yourself and your information online.