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Cyber Security 101 (Part 2/3) – 3 Tips on how to protect yourself online

We live in a digital age, where everything is progressing at a fast pace. As we have discussed in our previous article, technology is improving every second. With it, we have gained enormous advantages, however it also has some negative sides – cyber attacks.

A cyber attack is an attempt by hackers to damage or destroy a computer network or system. These attacks are broken down into two categories – Syntactic attacks and Semantic attacks.

Syntactic attacks are straightforward and are done by malicious software that includes viruses, Trojan horses and worms.

Semantic attacks are done differently. In these situations, the attacker uses the computing infrastructure to fool the victim into thinking that they are doing something differently, even thought the infrastructure is working exactly in the way it was designed to.

We all know that the internet is not completely safe, but that is not a reason to stop using it. With all the advantages the internet offers, it is worth the trouble. In order to prevent hackers from accessing your computer there are a couple of options to protect yourself.

  1. Visit only secure websites

It does not matter if you are on your laptop or your smartphone, have it as a rule not to share your personal information with anyone online. If you are visiting a website requesting your password or personal data, make sure that it is secure before you provide sensitive information.

Check if it is secure by searching for a small padlock symbol in the address bar. Web addresses beginning with https:// are usually secure because the “S” at the end stands for “secure”. Before visiting and giving out any information to a certain website you should check with your friends if they know anything about a site or search for online reviews just to make sure that the site is 100% secure. It never hurts to go one extra mile when it comes to your security, online and offline.

  1. Use strong passwords

This is a really important rule, as many hackers will use your passwords to hack into your online profiles or accounts. You have probably seen a million times when creating a profile online that the site informs you whether your password is weak, medium or strong. Never leave a weak password by typing just small letters. Use numbers, capital letters, symbols and create a long password.

Another good tip when creating your passwords is not to use your pet’s name or your birthday. Those are the first things anyone will attempt to access your account with. Make it complicated, give them a hard time so they eventually quit. Here is an example of a good password: LiV34ae@3.

Also, make it a habit to change your passwords regularly. Create passwords you have not used before because someone might now the previous ones.

  1. Be careful online

When watching a movie online or just browsing the web and entering various sites you will notice many different pop-ups offering you various discounts and awards. It is important to know not to click on those, as they will damage your computer.

Another good example is scareware. Scareware is a malicious computer program designed to trick the user into buying and downloading unnecessary and dangerous software. It usually appears as a pop-up saying that the computer is infected with a virus and that you should click “ok” to download an antivirus program. That is a fake antivirus protection that will harm your computer. Be careful when downloading things online, and make sure that they are from secure websites. Do not download things from unsafe sites offering unusual awards or recommending an unfamiliar antivirus. Be smart.
When searching for a good antivirus online download only those that are 100% secure, recommended by someone and familiar to you.

Some of the best anti viruses are:

  1. Bitdefender
  2. Kaspersky Lab
  3. Norton

Hopefully these tips will help you protect your computer from dangers lurking in the online world. Be aware of everything that is out there and use the internet wisely.

In our next article Cyber Security 101 (Part 3/3) we will be focusing on the financial services and how to protect our most valuable assets from cyber attacks.

 

Manigo Team, May 2017

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