Recently, the concept of cyber security has been on everybody’s A-list, and for a good reason. You can check your mail, buy a movie ticket or pay for your vacation any time. And all of these activities involve the exchange of personal information, which, if you are not careful enough, may fall into the hands of intruders.
To ensure personal data protection when browsing the Internet, you must adhere to the basic rules of cyber hygiene. They will protect you from malicious software and possible theft of confidential information. In this article, we explore why cyber hygiene is so important and what steps you can take to improve it. Reading the text below, you may stumble upon certain mistakes that you made regarding your personal information, and you may want to correct them. Are you afraid you won’t have enough time to change your passwords and browsers? Calm down – we’ve figured out how to free up time in your busy schedule. All you need is to get help from professional paper writer at EssayPro, and your to-do list will be much shorter. Besides, the teachers will undoubtedly be pleased with your homework, as authors always perform the tasks on the highest level!
Why Are Students Particularly Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?
First, cyber hygiene is essential in the education industry. Its lack can be detrimental to students’ safety, as well as the security of the school system. During self-isolation, almost everyone has started using Zoom, a program that makes life easier for both teachers and students. However, the lack of security rules has led to a phenomenon called “zoombombing.” Attackers connect to the conference to disrupt the lesson and often show inappropriate content.
In addition, students are more likely to connect to public Wi-Fi networks (in cafes, shopping centers, some clubs, etc.). This comes with certain risks, as the level of security in these networks is often low or completely absent. This means that cybercriminals can track users’ online activities and steal passwords and personal information.
- Phishing Protection
Phishing is a cyber-attack that relates to fake emails. The criminals’ goal is to make sure email recipients believe that the message is authentic and up-to-date. Thus, emails may look like requests from banks or governmental structures or just from friends. As a result, users follow links and open attachments. Then, their personal information is revealed, or malware is downloaded.
Phishing is one of the oldest Internet security threats dating back to the 1990s. It remains popular today as it is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to steal information. But in recent years, phishing messages have become quite sophisticated.
- Safety Against Hacking And Remote Access…
Attackers are always looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in private networks or systems to steal data. And remote access technology provides them with additional opportunities. More and more people are studying and working online, so the significance of such software has increased during the pandemic. The protocol that allows us to control a computer remotely is called RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol).
Attackers use various methods to identify RDP vulnerabilities to gain full access to the network and its devices. They can either carry out data theft on their own or sell credentials on the dark web.
- … And Malicious Ads
The term malware covers plenty of things: viruses, worms, trojans, and others. So, malicious ads distribute this malware. Online advertising is a complex system that includes advertiser websites, ad exchanges, servers, retargeting networks as well as content delivery networks. Attackers use all of them to place malicious code where advertisers can’t find it.
- Fighting Ransomware
Ransomware blocks the use of a computer or access to specific files on it until a ransom is paid. They are often distributed as trojans, and once installed, the ransomware locks the system screen until the attackers receive their money.
To maintain anonymity, they typically require payments in cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. The ransom value may vary depending on the digital currency exchange rate. However, criminals don’t always unlock encrypted files after receiving a ransom.
Ransomware attacks are now on the rise, and the most known ones are Conti, Jigsaw, GoldenEye, Maze, Locky, Bad Rabbit, and WannaCry.
- Minimizing Risks in Public and Home Wi-Fi Networks
The use of public Wi-Fi networks (in restaurants, malls, airports, hotels, etc.) is risky as they might be completely unprotected. This means stealing your passwords, and personal information becomes an easy task. So, how can criminals do that?
- Attackers monitor and intercept unencrypted data as it travels over an insecure network;
- During a man-in-the-middle attack, criminals hack into a Wi-Fi access point and intervene in the data transfer process. As a result, they intercept the information or modify it, and
- Fraudulent Wi-Fi networks are created as baits to collect personal data.
As for your home Wi-Fi network, spying on it shouldn’t be as much of a concern since the network equipment belongs to you. However, keep in mind that using a VPN on your home network makes it much more difficult for criminals to track your online activity.
So, we’ve figured out why cyber hygiene is so essential. Now let’s move on to the main steps to follow it.
Use Multi-factor Authentication Wherever Possible
This authentication method is made up of two or more steps to access an account. For example, instead of simply asking for a username or password, it requires:
• An additional one-time password sent to your phone or email;
• Answers to personal security questions;
• Voice data or face.
Be Careful When Choosing Your Browser
Perhaps nothing like a browser is essential for your Internet connection to be secure. It must protect against data leakage.
Use A Password Manager
A strong password has the following properties:
• It is long: at least 12 characters, the more – the better;
• It contains uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as special characters and numbers;
• It’s not easy to predict: there are no combinations of consistent numbers (as 1234), your date of birth, pet’s name, etc.
Just like you organize your study notes, it’s helpful to write down your passwords, too. Let’s face it: the more difficult they are, the harder it will be for you to remember them.
To Wrap It Up
And the last, but certainly not least, is to use the latest security software on one’s devices. An antivirus that provides protection on the Internet is vital for maintaining your privacy and security. Let it be up-to-date. The most modern programs are updated automatically, which guarantees protection against the latest Internet security threats.