What is the danger? What recommendations will help you minimize the danger on the Internet? Follow these simple tips to protect your devices, data, and identity.
In the age of information technology, when the Internet has already become an integral part of the life of a modern person, the issue of personal security on the network is becoming more and more topical. Most users do not care about their safety on the Internet because they simply do not know how to do it correctly and do not think about the likely consequences, from theft by fraudsters of their logins and passwords from pages on social networks and ending with the bankruptcy of the company in which they work.
In previous articles, we touched on how to protect yourself from phishing and malware in a PC browser and on smartphones, as well as how to recognize a phishing email. and not fall into the trap of intruders. In this article, we will talk about Internet security in more detail (there will be links to previous articles).
What is the danger?
Let’s briefly recall what the main danger of non-compliance with Internet security rules is:
Fraud (fraud) is when an attacker pays for services with a stolen payment card.
Theft of accounts is the receipt by attackers of logins and passwords from an account in an online bank, social network. network or email.
Data Collection – Collecting a person’s sensitive information and sharing it with third parties.
Penetration – an attacker gains access to the victim’s PC through virus software installed on the computer. Attackers can make a PC part of a botnet and use it for DDoS attacks or steal autofill data from it (logins, passwords, payment card details, etc.)
Phishing – clone sites of well-known services: social networks, online cash registers, online shopping resources, online banks. Mailing lists on behalf of allegedly famous sites (Google, Mail.ru, Facebook ), calculated on the naivety and fear of a person, through which attackers try to get access to personal data – logins and passwords.
Deception is an offer in social networks, online stores, where the seller sells goods at a low price, demanding payment online or by transfer to a card. After the attacker does not get in touch. Therefore, it is important to know about the measures and ways to protect your PC on the Internet and be able to apply this knowledge in practice.
How to protect yourself on the Internet?
To protect your confidential information on the Internet, you must follow comprehensive security measures. This will reduce the chance of personal data leakage and will prevent intruders from harming you.
Install an antivirus on your PC, smartphone or tablet
Antivirus is a program that provides security on the Internet, the main task of which is to detect malware, phishing resources, dangerous servers, and suspicious traffic. It is necessary to regularly update the antivirus, as well as the operating system, as new hacking options appear on the network daily. Be sure to check the privacy settings of the apps and browsers you use.
Use complex and unique passwords to protect your accounts, mailboxes, pages on social networks
Imagine that someone got your keys to the apartment. After all, he can enter and take out all the most valuable things from every room! The same goes for protecting your accounts and so on.
An attacker, having taken possession of your login and password, or picked them up, can use your personal information for the most unfavorable purposes, from sending spam on your behalf to ruining the company of which you are an employee. An attacker will be able to pick up a password in the form of your name, name of your mother, spouse or child, date of birth, name of your favorite music group, and so on, directly related to you, and thus gain access to your social network account, mail and your PC. Therefore, 18 031 996 is a bad password. Alex 17 071 990 – also because they are tied to your personality. And Vy0@$e6#Omx 6 is a strong password. It is impossible to pick it up or collect the data received about you.
Always use different passwords. Using the same password for all your email accounts, social networks and banking services is dangerous. Since passwords are difficult to remember, install a password manager. There are a lot of them on the Internet now and you can find one that is right for you.
Use two-factor authentication (two-step authentication)
First, let’s look at what authorization is. Authorization is logging into an account you have already created. With normal authorization, only your username and password are required to enter the site. With two-step authorization, after entering the above data, you will receive a message via SMS or email with a randomly generated code that you need to enter on the site, or an one-time password generator application can be used instead. The essence of their work is as follows – the device generates a random sequence of numeric and alphabetic characters, which acts as a dynamic password. This password is checked on the site and, if it matches, the user is successfully authorized. You cannot reuse this password.
To improve the security of customers, Internet resources such as social networks Viber, Telegram, online banking, use additional methods: auto-dial from a special registered number, sending a personal message to provide an access code to the client.
The above methods minimize the risk of account hacking and theft of confidential data, because even if an attacker has taken your password, he will not be able to enter your account without taking possession of your device.
Be careful with email
Carefully read the received letters, especially if you received it from a person or organization you do not know! If you are familiar with the sender of the letter, make sure that he sent the letter. Set up synchronization of contacts of people with whom you communicate on your mailbox, and they will always be at your fingertips!
If the letter you receive makes you suspicious, then ask yourself a few questions:
- Does the sender have a suspicious email address?
- Is an impersonal greeting used?
- Is the writer trying to create a sense of urgency?
- Does it not call for urgent, momentary action?
Do not click on links provided in emails from strangers, online banking and unknown payment systems without first checking them and do not download attachments, suspicious applications from unknown sources, because malware can disguise itself as anything from a popular game to emails from tech support.
Do not forget to also check the file with an antivirus – suddenly the sender distributes threats and does not suspect it.
Do not send personal information via social media
Personal data means bank card numbers, PIN codes, passport data. Send them better by email and only to trusted people, and then delete this letter so as not to keep it in the mailbox. You can also use WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram messengers for these purposes, as they use end-to-end encryption on devices. End-to-end encryption means that all information (photos, videos, messages) is encrypted when sent from one device and decrypted only when received by another device. Audio and video calls are also encrypted. No third party will be able to access your information at the time of transmission.
Use a secure connection
Do not use public Wi-Fi networks to transfer personal information. Free networks in public places are a great opportunity for hackers to intercept your data. Therefore, it is better to carry out important operations only over a secure Wi-Fi connection or use a VPN.
Do not save public networks, as criminals can take advantage of this to intercept traffic. For example, they can create a network of the same name and intercept all your data.
Permanent data encryption
When going to a web page, be sure to make sure that the connection to the server is secure. On such pages, instead of “http://” there is “https://” protocol, which means an encrypted connection (SSL certificate) and the difficulty in intercepting your data by attackers.
Modern browsers always warn about the risk of an insecure connection. If an insecure connection is detected during certificate verification, a warning will be displayed on the screen. Think before you ignore it and click “I accept the risk, go anyway.”
To increase the level of protection, you need to encrypt as much of your Internet traffic as possible. The site you visit must be HTTPS (Secure Information Transfer Protocol).
Get yourself an e-wallet
An electronic wallet is an application that allows you to store electronic money, pay for purchases and services on the Internet, withdraw money to a bank account or plastic card, or receive cash.
To date, electronic wallets use two-factor authentication, which was already mentioned above, and intermediary services save your data and you can make purchases online without fear of intruders.
Do not post too much information about yourself
On the Internet, there is no such thing as “temporary”: everything you once posted online remains online forever, even if you delete the file. You don’t need to publish all the events from your life online: what you bought, who you were with, where you vacationed, etc. Because in this way you provide information about yourself to unfamiliar people, including attackers. Thus, you can simply become a victim of spear phishing or banal theft of property in the future while you are on vacation, and your apartment will already be empty.
Change the privacy settings of your social network profile, making it visible only to friends
Then only these people will see the information you post on your page. Add as friends only those whom you know outside the Internet and with whom you often communicate.
Carefully! False “charity”
Many of you have come across on the vastness of Instagram and other social networks information about people who find themselves in a difficult situation. Yes, the posts contain the numbers of cards, accounts where you can send money, phone numbers that you can call, documents are published confirming that the child has an illness (an extract from the medical history, research results, a check with drugs, etc.).
But do not rush to succumb to sympathy. The fact is that there are charitable foundations whose functions include raising funds for such children. It is enough to contact the management of such a fund and clarify information on the child: does such a child really exist, is the fundraising open, and so on. Also, on such pages in social networks, information is laid out about the state of the child at a given point in time, a report on what the money has been spent on, how much money needs to be collected before the collection closes.
Monitor mobile app permissions
When downloading or updating an app, be aware of what it asks for access to. After all, it’s rather strange if the calculator asks for access to contacts, gallery or camera. You can manage permissions: disable or enable them in the settings without compromising the functionality of the program. Remember that under the guise of harmless applications, attackers release malicious software that steals information from your phone or computer. This data gets to malefactors and can be used in the most unfavorable purposes about which we already spoke earlier. For the same reason, you cannot install applications on your smartphone from unknown sources, but only from official app stores, for example, Play market, App Store, Windows store.