How to stay away from trouble as Cyber criminals maraud the web?
by Techgineering. . . . . on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 10:03pm
Hardly a day passes without a new cyber security issue.
Sometimes it is a corporation’s security breach exposing large amounts of confidential data (Sony, Nintendo, Fox, PBS etc), or a government agency stuck by DDoS attack (distributed denial of service where the target is saturated by an overload of external access requests thereby rendering it inaccessible for legitimate requests, for instance, CIA, FBI affiliate Infragard), or it is a random user tricked by scammers (Microsoft recently released study on internet phone fraud).
Sometimes it does get funny when one hacker group offers to seek revenge by taking down another hacker group who has breached an organization’s security (LulzSec offering help to Sega). Yet a lot of internet users as well as companies tend to think that they are not prone to cyber-attacks until a cyber-criminal strikes them down sometimes causing damages of disastrous proportions.
Cyber crimes have always been there, but even after back-to-back attacks, the helplessness of law enforcing agencies could give an impression that virtual world crimes aren’t as serious as real world crimes. Since cyber laws are too flexible across countries, it let the attackers sit in one distant corner and go berserk all over the planet, but the extent of damage, financially and otherwise including harm to one’s life, cannot be ruled out.
What most software developers and corporations fear is a zero-day attack, a threat that exploit computer application vulnerabilities that are unknown to others or the software developer, also called zero-day vulnerabilities. So until and unless a system gets breached you are not sure of your soft areas. Another golden rule that works in favor of hackers is that they are always a ‘technical’ step ahead of its victims.
The precautions against a potential hack is always for your good. Stop thinking that you are just another netizen silently going about your life. If you use email, if you shop online, if you do online social networking, or if you just browse random sites, you are potentially at risk.
–> Value your privacy– Sharing information online isn’t bad, but by answering an innocent Facebook quiz might be revealing risky private data to a hacker. Be alert while connecting with strangers and set limits to your personal data available to random profile visitors. Citizens need to start recognizing the value of their own personal data and not put out any data that isn’t necessary,” said U.S. Representative Jim Langevin, a co-founder of the Congressional Cyber Security Caucus.
–> Malware protection– Always keep your anti-malware software up-to-date. Install security updates released by software developers regularly. Be extremely watchful while visiting porn, adult sites. They are loaded with viruses, usually.
–> Password protection– A significant number of internet users think that as long as they keep their passwords secret, having the exact same one for almost all internet logins is not a problem. Having different passwords for each logins and periodically changing them are more than headache. In a lot of cases users lose accounts owing to a forgotten password and inability to answer a security question. But looks like no other go. You have to try and figure out a way to have different passwords that even when one internet account of compromised you can be sure that others are secure.
–> Strong password– Spouses’ names, birthplaces, birthdays, roll models’ names, or anything that anybody can guess should never be kept for password. Always use a strong combination of characters, numerals and symbols.
–> Spam protection– About ninety per cent of internet traffic is spam. Even when service providers try and eliminate spam they are bound to reach your accounts. Never ever click on a link provided in a spam message. In the wake of recent security issues, some experts advise to not click on an email link even if that is from a known source.