7 crucial habitual mistakes compromising your cyber security
In 2020, our livelihoods were rocked by hacking scandals and data breaches. With constantly hiking numbers, it was hardly surprising to see a 33% increase in cyber breaches between July 1 to September 30 from the previous quarter, according to a report by CERT NZ. With the fourth-quarter report yet to be realised, we can only sit and wait to see just what damage has been done in the typically monumental holiday season, especially when we consider a recovering country in the post-COVID world.
However, before those potentially devastating stats have been released, it is important to consider how we can mitigate the impact in the future. Because of this, we have compiled a list of the most common mistakes that allow for your data to be compromised.
Not checking your network security
The first mistake is not checking your network security. You don't take any chances when it comes to your home right? You make sure you have all the right preventives in place such as unique security codes, special keys, contents insurance and all the rest so you can feel safe both inside and outside your home, so why not do the same with your network security? Experts from NetCraftsmen state that your network should be as safe as the front door of your home. All your devices should have confirmation logins such as MFA. Your WiFi should have a reliable, unique password to prevent hackers from tracking your online activity and following your trail of breadcrumbs.
Furthermore, if your network is poorly protected, then you risk other people outside your home gaining access, and this can flood your broadband traffic, hemorrhaging your internet speed and making you vulnerable to DDoS attacks or other similar occurrences,
This may seem obvious, but in reality, it is very common for an individual to only get basic forms of anti-virus, not a comprehensive one. This can be for several reasons such as a full-noise software can slow down your PC or cost more than what a person perceives as worth it, especially if they have not been a victim of a cyber attack. However, it is worth noting that in the same report mentioned earlier, the estimated financial loss from one quarter was $3.6 million. In comparison, the investment in your security means no risk of successful data exposure, malware, phishing attacks, security issues and other related situations where your private data becomes known by a third party. Comprehensive anti-virus software can also have better preventive measures for email filtering, especially if you are someone who receives hundreds of emails daily.
Don't let your guard down with data activities
According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, we can easily get blackmailed online if we are not careful with our data. Illegal data can be accessed from a range of different sources such as photos or other sensitive data published online can end badly for your reputation, business, or domestic matters. Usage of the same password for multiple sites, open Wi-Fi money transfers, and ATM usage outside bank branches, can lead to a compromise of your security and even allow cybercriminals to intervene and snatch your data.
Backups have become essential. The world is now more connected than ever with the rise of remote working, IoT, BYOD and numerous other activities. Therefore having a safety net is no longer a want, it's a need. Windows already comes with a sturdy security system that filters out malware, however in some cases people still opt out of having Windows Defender running any time they use their device. This should be something that should be on the whole time as it is completely free and is the first line of safety between security and vulnerability. Data should also be backed up in a secondary location. This ensures the worst-case scenario permanent data loss.
Updates are one of the essential ways to protect your device and there are many reasons these should be done. They not only ensure that your system runs smoothly but also decrease vulnerabilities. Every update is designed to patch potential leak enablers and keep pace with modern threats plaguing the internet. Security measures such as firewalls are a firm barrier against the internet however if this is not updated then potential security threats won't be detected and will simply bypass preventative measures.
Some More Helpful Ideas to Keep you Protected
There is another option to avoid your data compromising. Naturally, you may not travel as often as you used to before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you still use a lot of public Wi-Fi outside or in public places. Cafes, airports, shops, and other open hotspots are some of the few places where your data can be intercepted.
Thus, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the best possible option in this case. VPN does not only hide your activity from the prying eyes but also encrypts the data that you send. You can check client-based and network-based VPN types here and also read about how you can install them in your gadget. As we perform the majority of our online transactions through our phones, the idea of keeping it safe is the best possible option for travelers, businesses, and privacy-concerned people.