We have all heard about phishing and spear phishing, so now we are cautious with email. We all know that one person who had bought a dubious product off eBay or Gumtree and so, we are less likely to be scammed through this method. The Internet however has evolved: does it still have as many risks as once before?
The Internet is still changing and we now depend on it more than ever. Individuals rely on the Internet to complete their everyday work, their everyday travel and even their grocery shopping. Cybercriminals will also depend on the Internet to help them carry out their everyday work and will use a range of threats from network attacks to social media scams to earn their income. New Internet threats are appearing on a daily basis and it is your responsibility to protect yourself and your organisation from these threats.
Below are the top ten things that you should stop doing online:
This may seem extremely convenient especially as we have to remember so many different and unique passwords. This is convenient, but more so for the cybercriminals out there rather than you. Your work computer may feel like yours but other individuals could easily snoop when you are away from your desk. Any malicious act or spending sprees could be attributed to you if you were still signed in.
Software security exploits are responsible for an outstanding number of cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals will often attack weakness in software that have not been remedied by the update. The best way to ensure that you and your organisation are protected is to turn on automatic updates or update software as soon as you are notified.
This is difficult if you love hearing all about the latest celebrity news. The problem is that cybercriminals know that individuals will gravitate towards shocking or scandalous material. Cyber-criminals will use this information to target new attacks especially for you.
Downloading or streaming from untrusted websites can leave you vulnerable to malware. These streaming or movie download sites often host malware and may attempt to steal personal information or will flood your screen with ads that may include inappropriate content. The best way to remain safe when downloading or streaming is to use a reputable site where you will normally have to pay. Rule of thumb on the Internet is that if it is advertised as free, it usually has free malware as well.
Be extremely careful with these games as they can contain malware or may have poor quality assurance would could leave your computer vulnerable. Games that use your social media log in details could be capturing these details for a fraudulent reason. Never enter your personal credentials into any game registration forms. Remember to always question why a balloon bursting game would need to know your home address or credit card information.
Wireless networks in airports, hotels or cafes can put you, your computer and your company at risk. Using an unknown wireless network can give anyone in range including attacker’s access to sensitive or personal information that you send across this network. Whenever possible, it is best to avoid free WIFI or at the very least make sure that it is requires a password for you to join.
It is important to carefully review your privacy settings, ensuring that only trusted individuals can see your personal information such as your birthday or location. You may only be allowed to use social media accounts during your lunch or from your own personal device however social media sites are a goldmine for cyber-criminals. Posting and sharing on social media sites in your personal time can have a huge impact in your business life. These sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow anyone the ability to gather information about you. This can be used for identity theft or for threats such as spear phishing. Always take care before you share and remember that sensitive or damaging information should never be shared on these sites.
This tip you have heard over and over again from your company’s security team but - it is so important. Passwords have to be unique and different for each website, online account and system. It is difficult to remember all these passwords so we understand why you would want to use the same password for your accounts. The problem is the easier it is for you to remember the easier it is for a cyber-criminal to gain access to all your accounts. Remember - passwords to email accounts should never be the same as any other account. Email accounts are usually used to reset passwords for all your other online accounts. Once your email password is cracked, a cyber-criminal could have access to all of your other online accounts.
Competitions have been used for scams long before the Internet was born. They have just become more sophisticated as time moved on. These online competitions are usually for some sort of electronic such as an iPad or latest model of phone. These online competitions are usually scams to gain your personal information or may even be used for a phishing campaign. Only enter competitions on websites of big name brands that you know and trust.
The same rule applies as before if it something on the Internet states that it is free it is usually because it contains other free malware. It is easy for less experienced users to be tricked into installing “bad” software and therefore it is extremely important to always use a trustworthy site.