Best Security Tips for Your Devices
Long gone are the days of simple cybersecurity threats—threats such as worms, trojans, and viruses. Modern cybercriminals have access to a plethora of tools that allow them to attack from every possible angle, meaning that you’ll need to use more than an antivirus to protect you and your devices from a less-than-ideal fate.
Today, I want to go over the risk we face on a daily basis and what software you can use to protect yourself.
3 Cyber Risks People Face in 2020
Malware exists in many different forms. Keyloggers allow hackers to record the keystrokes of a device through a program. Spyware allows hackers to see what their victim is doing at all times, whenever they want. And ransomware? Well, it allows hackers to take users hostage.
Ransomware encrypts a user’s files and hard drive, locking access behind a paywall. If the user pays, they may get access back. Ransomware attacks have been on the rise lately, and the number of attacks is expected to rise significantly throughout 2020.
2. Phishing Scams
Scams have been around since the dawn of man! There’s always that one person willing to take advantage of someone else in order to gain money, power, or vice versa. Scams extend to the digital world as well, these scams known by many as phishing scams.
Phishing scams rely on the practice of social engineering and manipulation in order to trick a user into handing out certain personal information. For example, a site asking you to fill out a survey for a free $500 gift card to Target is a phishing scam.
Hackers sometimes decide to take a long-term approach to financial gain. Instead of relying on ransomware to earn some money or using social engineering to trick people, they hack into other people’s computers, set them up into one giant botnet, and use them all to mine for cryptocurrency.
This is a process known as cryptojacking, and this process has grown in popularity since the crypto craze of the late 2010’s. Your computer can become a bot in a crypto-mining network simply by clicking on an innocent-looking ad!
5 Security Tools To Protect Yourself
Now that we’ve discussed a few of the threats that haunt the Internet, it’s time to talk about software you need to use alongside anti-viruses. After all, an anti-virus can’t protect you from everything.
1. Vulnerability Scanners
Let’s start with software that allows you to pinpoint the weak areas in your network or device—software that goes by “vulnerability scanners”.
Vulnerability scanners scan your entire network, evaluating each segment and deciding whether or not there are any inherent weaknesses present. If so, the program will tell you what and how it can be fixed.
These are useful for understanding what needs improving before you go in and start making changes to your network.
2. Email Scanners
The majority of modern phishing scams take place through email conversations. These scammers mass-send a certain email to millions of people, and they only need 5 out of the million to respond for the email to be considered a success.
To make sure you don’t fall victim to a phishing scam, you can install an email scanner on your browser, which will alert you to any email that’s considered threatening or suspicious. They’re definitely not required, but they’re nice to have.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a good piece of software for keeping criminals at bay, especially if you use public networks often. But what is a VPN?
VPNs encrypt your data, making sure that no one else but you can see what you’re doing online—not the government, not your ISP, and not the random hacker using the same public network as you.
4. Password Managers
Passwords act as the first line of defense for our accounts, and—for those without 2-factor authentication—passwords act as our only defense against hackers gaining access to our accounts.
However, creating strong, unique passwords for every account you have and keeping track of all of them can be demoralizing, which is why many people reuse the same password. To solve this, think about using a password manager.
A password manager allows you to easily store all of your passwords in one secure place, making the managing of passwords easy.
Speaking of defenses, think about investing in a proper firewall setup. For most, however, Windows Firewall will work just fine.
Firewalls act as the first line of defense for our network(s). Viruses, trojans, worms, certain types of malware: all of these will fall to any properly-set-up firewall, saving you from a future filled with headaches and danger.
Firewalls are an essential part to network security, so I highly recommend investing in one.
Don’t walk away from this article believing anti-viruses are useless-that’s not my intention. Anti-virus programs offer tons of uses and security for the average user; but you can’t count on anti-virus programs alone.
Take a look at the recommendations I made in this article, try some of them out, and work on your cybersecurity. It only helps you if you broaden your cybersecurity toolkit!
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