Gone are the days when we simply used to install a firewall to avoid downloading suspicious content from the net. But just as the technology advances, it becomes easier to gain illegal access to your personal computers and laptops. Furthermore, there is not one device that you don’t need to take care of.
It can be your laptop, tablet, cell phone and what not. According to Michael Kaiser who is the executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, each family needs a proper security official, one who thinks about the devices in use and how to secure them, since they are also attached to their personal lives.
Your wireless router can be a point of your weakness. It can open way for bad guys to have a sneak peek into your personal data.
There are a few measures that you can take to protect your connection and later on your devices.
Secure your WIFI:
If you haven’t changed your default log-in name and password for your WIFI router, now is the time to do that, in addition to turning on the WPA or WPA2 encryption. Furthermore, do keep a check on whether your firmware is up to date or not. For your information, any minor hole in the router can create a security breech for all the devices connected to the router.
Registering your router once you’ve bought it, is also supposed to be your top priority. This will keep you posted for all the future updates.
Anti-virus software is mandatory
Yes, I know it is obvious that you have to have good anti-virus software. However, do you know that it is also quite necessary to keep it up to date? Not having up to date antivirus software makes it 6 times more vulnerable to hacking as compared to otherwise. And yes, most of us are pretty careless about having anti-virus’s installed in our phones and tablets.
Although, the scope of tablets and phones getting hacked is relatively less, but in the coming few years, each one of us will be ardently looking for good anti-virus software for our handy devices. If you want to download one now, it’ll be helpful for you to know that a few top iPhone security apps are made by Trend Micro, McAfee and Lookout mobile. Top mobile apps for android –based phones are Avast and Avira.
Updating operating systems:
Leaving holes in your operating systems by not keeping them up to date can actually create a haven for the attackers. What is the easiest way to do that? Simply ask your operating system to automatically download the updates and install them as they appear. This will probably reboot your system, so you might want to save the data which you have been working on. In OS X, you have to go to the App Store app and confirm that it is set to automatically install security updates.
Mend your software:
We have all encountered such instances where our software persistently reminds us to update. However, we conveniently choose to ignore e it and continue with our work. Well, news flash! There might be a possibility of you leaving a loophole in that software for attackers to party in through.
For that you would have to update it. Secunia, in one of its latest researches says that one in nine software programs is left unpatched. Moreover, Oracle and Java are two of those programs which we ignore to update most of the times, are most prone to attacks.
Updating software can be a bit handful to be honest. For window users however, Secunia’s free Personal Software Inspector (PSI), is a facility which can be used to scan all your soft wares, and automatically present to you all the updates which are required as well as installing them. However, for Mac users, they would have to do it manually as there’s no such software available.
Let go of outdated applications:
Well, isn’t that obvious, yet most of the times we choose to do otherwise. We have to let go of the software which has no back to support it. That goes for operating systems as well. Leave no room for attacker to exploit your privacy from.
Even though, there has been an evolution in this system of protection called “passwords” advancing towards swipe codes, patterns, finger prints. However, they are still not as strong as a password. Quite recently, we have been through the news of these people getting there accounts hacked, so it’s time to pull up your socks and go for a stronger password, which is lengthier and more complicated. You can always use encrypted password manager to generate complicated passwords and also remember them for you.
Two-factor authentication? Yes please!
There’s always a chance of complicated passwords getting hacked as well. Tools for dirty work are readily available these days and that too in less money. Anyone can use them and get in to your account. By using a PIN which is being sent to you via SMS, which you have to enter along with your own password, will minimise your chances of getting hacked. Let’s say if someone tries to get to your account from an unknown device, you will be prompted in time directly via an sms sent to your mobile phone.
Cleaning your old hardware:
It’s better to wipe off any old USB sticks, back-up disks, and old hard drives before re-selling them. Most of them are filled with personal data as well as old passwords, or even the log-on credentials. Even better is to just physically destroy them, if not in use.
Beware of the social media:
Well I am not suggesting that you go all underground and quiet on your twitter or Facebook account. But know this that not everything is to be shared on Facebook or twitter. People who are totally strange to you also view that information, and in what way? Well, that is something you don’t know. Sharing too much of personal information, which can actually be related to your secret questions to passwords, will do nothing but cause problems for you later on.
This was the sort of information which helped hackers break in to the iCloud accounts of celebrities like Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence and many more. You are already aware of the “Fappening” series, aren’t you? 😉
Try to follow these instructions, both for yourself and your family. It is always better to be safe than sorry.