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Cyber Safety: Protect your Online Identity

October 17, 2023

Table of Contents

Cyber Safety: Protect your online identity

What is Cyber Safety?

Cyber Safety is implemented in organizations and in individual systems and networks against cyber-attacks. These attacks are caused through a publically accessible internet connection, phishing emails, suspicious links, downloadable documents or apps, and more of similar nature.

The Top Cyber Security Threats to Watch Out

Weakness in the cloud:

  • Misconfiguration, gaining access control, shared housing, and supply chain weaknesses pose risks in cloud environments.
  • Insecure APIs and lack of multifactor authentication can also cause security issues.

Data Breaches:

  • The high-profile data breach affected major companies such as Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook and Marriott International.
  • In 2023, the United States suffered the worst data breach of all time, affecting millions of people.

Risky Hybrid or Remote Work Environments:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic made hybrid and remote work popular, but it posed security risks.
  • Risks include insecure Wi-Fi networks, use of personal devices, weak passwords and unencrypted file sharing.

Mobile Attacks:

  • Often used for personal and business purposes, smartphones are vulnerable to phishing, weak passwords, spyware and malicious apps.

Phishing is becoming more sophisticated:

  • Hackers use advanced techniques including machine learning, to create authentic phishing messages.

Ransomware Strategies Evolve:

  • Ransomware attacks cost billions of dollars each year and hackers are targeting high net worth individuals.

Cryptojacking:

  • Cybercriminals steal tools to mine cryptocurrency, causing performance issues and downtime.

Cyber -physical attacks:

  • Critical infrastructure such as power grids and transportation systems also face cyberattacks.

State-sponsored attacks:

  • Nation states launch cyber attacks on governments and private institutions, posing a serious threat.

Vulnerabilities With Smart Medical Devices and EMRs:

  • Online patient records and smart medical devices present privacy, security and cybersecurity concerns.

10 Things You Can Do To Keep Yourself Cyber Safe

  1. Protect Your Personal Information With Strong Passwords
  2. Keep Personal Information Private
  3. Make Sure Your Devices Are Secure by passwords, screen locks or other security    features
  4. Pay Attention to Software Updates
  5. Be Careful About Wifi- Make sure you’re using a secure internet connection
  6. Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
  7. Back Up Your Personal Data
  8. Review your privacy settings and understand privacy policies
  9. Be careful of suspicious links and where you click
  10. Use a good antivirus and keep it updated

How to Spot and Avoid Online Scams

  • Don’t give money or personal information to anyone if unsure
  • Be alert to phishing scams
  • Don’t respond to phone calls asking for remote access to your computer
  • Keep your mobile devices and computers secure
  • Use strong passwords
  • Review your privacy and security settings on social media
  • Avoid streaming from unknown websites
  • Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology.

The Importance Of Strong Passwords And How To Create Them

Strong Passwords Are Crucial For Online Safety. They Prevent Hackers From Easily Accessing Your Accounts. To Create One:

  • Use a mix of letters, numbers, symbols, and both uppercase and lowercase characters.
  • Avoid common words or patterns.
  • Make it long and unique for each account. 

Understanding the Risks of Public Wi-Fi and How to Stay Safe

Public Wi-Fi, like in cafes, stations or airports is convenient but risky. They come with lots of risk like:

  1. Eavesdropping: Hackers can intercept data transmitted over insecure public Wi-Fi networks for obtaining personal information such as login credentials and financial information.
  2. Fake Wi-Fi Networks: Cybercriminals can create fake Wi-Fi networks with legitimate sounding names. If you visit these websites, your data can be stolen.
  3. Malware Distribution: Malicious software can be installed on your device via public Wi-Fi which can lead to infection or data theft.
  4. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: In these attacks, hackers secretly intercept and alter the communication between two parties and steal sensitive information.

How to stay safe on Public wifi:

  • Use secure networks with passwords.
  • Use a VPN to encrypt your connection.
  • Turn off sharing.
  • Double-check network names.
  • Avoid sensitive stuff.
  • Keep your device updated.
  • Forget the network after use.
  • Use a firewall if possible.
  • Use your mobile data if you’re unsure.

6 Cybersecurity Tips to Keep Your Workplace Safe Online

  1. Lock laptops and phones with a secure password code or biometric authentication, using a different password for each account.
  2. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is needed for critical accounts, combining what you have, what you have, and what you know for additional security.
  3. When working in the office, always use a VPN to encrypt the internet and protect sensitive data from public Wi-Fi hazards.
  4. Be careful of suspicious email links, never open attachments from unknown senders, and verify the URL before clicking.
  5. Educate employees on cybersecurity best practices including using VPNs to detect hacking attempts.
  6. Manage all hardware and software assets in your organization to enhance cybersecurity protection and compliance with CIS controls.

The Role of Social Media in Cyber Safety

Almost 4.8 billion people worldwide use one or more social media platforms. While social media platforms help users keep in touch with friends, connect with customers, and promote businesses, they also increase exposure to cyber threats in the following ways.

  • Exposure: Employees on social media accounts may disclose content or employee communications, which can be used by hackers to conduct phishing attacks, data theft or other fraud.
  • Oversharing Risks: Frequent sharing of personal information on social media can expose individuals and businesses to various threats, including spear phishing, whaling attacks on senior executives, spoofing, and impersonation.
  • Social Connections: Social media reveals compromised relationships with others that can be exploited by cybercriminals to carry out fraudulent activities such as phishing, spoofing and impersonation.
  • Data Aggregation: Questions and puzzles on social media can collect personal information that can be used by cybercriminals to access unauthorized accounts.
  • Unsecured Mobile Devices: Using social media applications on mobile devices carries the risk of data theft if the device is lost or stolen. 
  • Increased Social Engineering Risk: The use of social media for business purposes and personal accounts increases the risk of social engineering attacks, where cybercriminals trick individuals into revealing sensitive information or committing crimes.

Conclusion

Cyber Safety is all about protecting ourselves and our information from online attacks. These attacks can happen through the internet, emails, or even when we download things. 

Some of the biggest threats in 2023 include problems with cloud services, data breaches affecting big companies, and risks related to working from home or using mobile phones. 

Cybercriminals are getting smarter with things like phishing, ransomware, and attacks on our smart devices. It’s essential to keep our personal information safe by using strong passwords, securing our devices, and being cautious about where we click. 

Related Blogs:

Guarding   your digital world with digital aid 

Cyber safety in the age of social media

Related Terms:

Cyber Safety 

Cyber Awareness

Cybersecurity culture

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