Old Skool Dinosaurs
The future, obviously, is in technology. This is a given. Common sense to those more technically minded and common knowledge to the vast majority.
To the others, those three Luddites still in existence, or the nineteen Old Skool dinosaurs who still fail to accept Steely Dan and Genesis aren’t that cool anymore, well, forget about’ ‘em.
However, this same technology, that which we use day in day out, most of the time without even thinking about how it works and why we’re using it, can have an effect on our lives that can stretch many years into the future.
One of the most important decisions we will be making in the coming years is in regard to cybersecurity.
The digital gadgets and cyber geography that so dominate our lives at the moment will only become more so.
Cybersecurity. Is. The. Now. As. It. Is. The. Future.
We will have to be prepared.
Soon, there won’t be an area that doesn’t t see its influential shadow lurk — or hover like an angel if you’re the optimistic sort — over it.
Every day more apps are coming onto the market. More services to do the smallest of tasks, the miracle elixirs of the modern age, the technology that will store our growing collection of files, digital photos, online passwords, and email addresses.
There is a lot of digital information out there, which equates to being a massive target for those cybercriminals smart enough and with big enough balls to access it.
Although cyberhackers go after multinationals by and large to scale up their profitability, this is not their only target. We can all become, to a greater or lesser degree, victims of these unscrupulous criminals.
This is more the case to scammers and hackers just starting out in their ‘careers’ in the cyberworld’s dark arts.
Nobody is safe.
Nobody can hide.
To go around believing you’re immune to attack is a bad attitude to have. Taking precautions now can save you a lot of trouble in the future. Securing our online identities should be one of the most important things we do these days.
If not the most important thing.
An online invasion is only a mouse click away. A minute movement of the finger.
And then that’s it.
‘Committing cyber suicide aiyn’t hard to do.’
Your whole online life can be ruined, at least temporarily.
Changing habits and being able to spot dangers when on the internet can save you a great deal of hassle in the long run.
Implementing workable safety strategies can be the difference in having a hassle-free life or not.
Uncle Joe or Girlfriend Beth
Here, clearly and plainly, are some strategies, that if implemented, can save you the heartache of lost files or photos, email hacking or identity theft:
Take a look at this: Password: A secret word or phrase that must be used to gain admission to a place.‘if you don’t know the password you can’t come in’
And that’s it, in a word. Taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, it’s as axiomatic as it comes.
You need to follow it.
A password should be just that. It’s not something that can be shared with your Uncle Joe or girlfriend Beth. A password is a gateway to all your secret information stored about your online accounts and email addresses. Once it’s been breached, it’s good night, Vienna!
It’s also the same at work.
Who do you know who you can trust? The thing is you don’t.
Sharing your password with work colleagues could end up costing your company a lot of money through cyber blackmail when hackers access customers’ confidential information or sensitive financial data.
And in the end, it will cost you your job.
Oh, boo-hoo, we don’t want that, do we?
Don’t share passwords with anybody. With Nobody — you hear me!
The threat is everywhere. In each and every nook and cranny. Trust is for schmucks. Don’t do it, it’s not worth the risk.
Another area that can help you in the fight against cybercriminals is by changing your password on a regular basis.
Say once a month.
Setting strong passwords with unique patterns, by either using a mixture of lower and uppercase letters, numbers, symbols as well extending the length of your password to more than twelve digits is sound advice.
The password manager site Dashlane can help you with this.
On Death Row
Want to commit suicide? Don’t shoot yourself in the head. Neither will the electric chair do. Share your personal information online, that’s the way to do it.
That’s a sure lethal injection.
Your address, your date of birth, phone number, and posting personal information on social media is all fuel for the hackers to use to access your private data.
Sharing credit card details and photos on social media sites which are not private/closed is just an online form of Lingchi, or death by a thousand cuts, essentially. Hackers can use this info to access more sensitive financial accounts or data you have.
Another way to commit ultimate Seppuku and make a cybercriminals’ century is to accept friend requests from strangers on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.
Although these situations invariably can turn out to be harmless, scammers can take advantage of random people unaware of the dangers online by creating false Facebook profiles which are there only to extract personal information from the dumbass the hackers are trying to get the data from.
Opening dodgy emails from spam campaigns, too, can be a risky pursuit. Clicking on suspicious attachments or by opening an email you are not sure about can lead to virus attacks that can take over your laptop and gain access to personal information.
Online scams are everywhere. Watch out.
Online chat apps and sites like Snapchat and WhatsApp are other places where you are opening yourself up to cybercriminals accessing your sensitive personal information. Although these places are great platforms to communicate with friends and share ideas, if not used carefully they can be magnets for scammers to extricate data from you.
Check the security setting and the privacy laws of these sites. Watch what you post. Don’t give away too much information you believe scammers could use against you in the future.
Yes, put your hands up in the air. You’re another guilty party in this game.
Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera are some of the most popular on the market. All have their pros and cons. What’s important is to realise whichever you choose to use, it is crucial to educate yourself on each one’s vulnerabilities. Using patches to counter these weaknesses are essential when they become available.
And that’s it, guys. There’s not too much to remember. Try and think before you act and you should be all right.