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Internet Security Begins At Home

November 19, 2014 | By Editor 

Summary

Regardless of age, young or old, Internet users should know and practice basic security hygiene, to be safe online because what happens anywhere on the Web can have a huge impact on all of us.

With the recent spate of cyber attacks and NSA snooping on top businesses, the tech industry finds itself thinking a lot about how much secure they are online. If businesses are affected, it is not only them that suffer losses, it is the customers who are directly impacted by it. If it is brand damage and revenue loss for companies, it is the loss of personal identity for consumers.

Those in the business of information security tend to think primarily about protecting user data and the organization. But the Web is a shared ecosphere where the actions (inadvertent or not) of some people can have enormous impact on everyone else.
We would be safe online, if everyone knew and followed a few security practices.

Internet Security at Home

Cyber Security Begins at Home

When it comes to cyber security, there are two important things that immediately comes to mind. First, and most obvious is that malware victims become favored resources for further attacks.

For example, One of your friend’s computer contracts a bot and starts spamming the his/her network and yours with malicious emails.
His/her computer also acts as a drive-by download website, infecting new victims attracted by the emails. This starts a chain reaction, affecting the you and your other friends.

Even if you astute enough to ignore the phishing attacks, the hacker could still leverage the thousands of victim PCs under his control to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) your network.

All this damage because a few uninformed folks made simple online security mistakes and got infected.

Take another hypothetical example. If your friend introduces you to someone, a minor acquaintance, and you accept a Facebook request from him/her. This means you have invited someone who is not closer to your trust circle.

If that person’s system defenses are not up to the mark, he/she may introduce a serious threat into your system. A classic example would be retail giant Target that suffered a massive data breach due to inadequate security practices of one of its external associates.

The second issue is the chain-of-trust. While a company may have a strong security system around its network, the firm likely has several external partners with whom its interacts each day. It is highly likely the firm may have extended its trust to these external associates, by either giving them elevated access to its network or by readily interacting with their mails. In any business, the network of trust go further than one could realize.

The fact is other people’s online security practices (strong or lack of) impact everyone. The whole world is connected via a shared network called the Internet. It should in our own best interests to ensure everyone knows and practices basic online security habits.

Whether common user or a security professional, everyone should share online security tips with others, whenever the opportunity arises.

The following are few basic steps to stay protected online.

  • Patch up your software on a regular basis. Companies release software updates every now and then, so make use of them as often as you can.
  • According to a study, 80 percent all cyber attacks can be prevented simply by updation.
  • Most modern software, like Adobe, Java, and Microsoft have auto patching programs. You are just required to turn them on, and click ‘Yes’ whenever asked to update.
  • Use a strong virus protection software and update it regularly.
  • Use a AV program that auto updates. It acts as a sanitizer to help prevent infection.
  • Give some thought before you click on any attachment. Do not click on links that look suspicious.
  • If some link or attachment looks to good to be true, or receive an attachment from a stranger, or a link looks weird, avoid clicking on it.
  • Only browse websites that have a HTTPS connection. Avoid unencrypted sites.

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