Last year global internet usage surpassed the 3.5billion user barrier for the very first time, owing in large part to the proliferation of the IOT as well as the growing demand for nations to develop reliable infrastructure that will deliver connectivity to the masses.
From social media to online shopping, everyday internet users are being encouraged to disclose information online. Whilst there’s no doubt society has benefitted from this cultural shift, equally the way we now use the web has opened-up numerous opportunities for nefarious cybercriminals to exploit users like never before- and that threat is only set to increase.
From Malware to DOS attacks, hackers are developing unique and ever more sophisticated ways to target companies and individuals alike. In recent months, firms like UBER have suffered significant data breaches and across Europe, many organizations including the NHS fell victim to the notorious Wanncry attack.
But what steps can you take to help keep your data and information safe and secure? Here are the best Internet security tips in 2018.
With ransomware attacks becoming increasingly popular (and easier to execute), it’s essential that you back up all your files and sensitive documents to avoid the inevitable heartache and disruption should the worst happen.
The best advice would be to store a copy of all your files on an external hard drive; it’s also as worth utilizing secure online file storage services like Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive or Dropbox.
It should go without saying but anti-virus software should form the first line of defense again web attacks. However, with a plethora of options on the market to choose from it can sometimes become confusing for customers to decide what’s right for them.
Good anti-virus solutions offer protection against things like trojans, spyware and browser exploits but you should assess your distinct vulnerabilities before deciding on the best offering that meets your requirements.
For example, recognizable brands like Norton, although offering an array of benefits, may not be ideal if you’re looking to protect older hardware because it can potentially slow down system performance.
Conversely, software like TotalAV offers simple-to-use detection and removal tools, but less of the bells and whistles (such as anti-phishing tools). Be sure to weigh the pros and cons and read an in-depth review to make sure it’s the right product for you.
Social engineering and brute force attacks mean that weak passwords are more vulnerable than ever before. Research also suggests that most of us use the same password for multiple accounts, increasing the risk even further. For all accounts, it’s important to use strong and varied combinations of letters/numbers/characters and you should change your passwords at regular intervals throughout the year or if you have any suspicions your data may have been compromised.
If you’re considering where to store all of your passwords, the best advice would be use a reputable password manager and details about the best ones can be found online or via mobile app stores- just be sure to read the reviews!
Our mobile devices are essentially handheld computers and they can be just as vulnerable to threats as desktop machines. Dangerous apps and malicious text messages pose new threats so be warned not to click strange looking links and take extreme caution when connecting your mobile device to public wi-fi networks.