Terms you should know in cybersecurity (Part 1)
We all want to be safe online but there are unlucky days when we encounter some abnormalities on our devices. I know some of us quickly Google search or call a friend who is technically oriented to explain the behavior of these abnormalities so we can get a quick solution. Well, all those abnormalities actually have a name. I will introduce these terms and break down all these terms as simple as possible trying to use real life scenarios.
- Data breach: you have a house, definitely there will be a window and door. Just imagine someone who doesn’t suppose to have access to your house, got into your house without following appropriate medium. The person then came out with some of your properties and ran away. This is exactly how data breaches happen. A data breach happens when an organization computer is attacked (which can happen in different ways) and valuable data are stolen – usually personal information, log-in details, credit card details, Bank Verification numbers etc. These stolen data can later be used in inappropriate ways. Mostly sold out in the dark web or used for reasons best known to the attackers.
- Open WIFI: Trust me, I love open WIFI as much as you do but the lesson has been learnt in a hard way. So how is this open WIFI different from the normal WIFI my friends share with me when I exhaust my data. Open WIFI is mostly free in some areas like airports, restaurants, hotels etc which you can connect to browse for free. The danger of open WIFI is that most times the owners are not known, although some WIFI name might look real. Here is an example: An attacker or hacker might create a twin-like WIFI. The hacker goes to a Restaurant and creates an OPEN Wi-Fi that doesn’t require a password with the restaurant name and a customer might notice the OPEN WIFI and connect. When you use such open Wi-Fi without the protection of a VPN, anyone on that network or the hacker can see the sites you visit, your login passwords, your financial data, and more which can later be used against you.
- Phishing: Is used by cyber-criminals to trick you into giving up sensitive information. A real-life scenario of phishing is like making an exact cloth you found on an Instagram page that belongs to a popular brand, you then trick someone in buying it claiming it is from the same brand. Phishing scams pose as emails from an organization or someone you know. There is usually a link or attachment included, which urges you to click so that you’ll download malicious software to your system. Sometimes phishing scams look indistinguishable from the real sites they copied, which their plot is to trick you into entering your log-in detail which will later be used for fraudulent activities.
- Malware: Just like human viruses, computer virus comes in many forms and can affect your machines in different ways, obviously your computer isn’t going to spend days in bed. Malware is a short name for malicious software. Computer malware is a kind of software program which is produced by unknown people who are used in bad ways to affect your computer. Malware can delete your files, steal your data and easily spread the danger to other devices on a network. Malware is a generic name for all these kind of malicious code, varieties of malware include Trojan horse, worms, viruses etc.
- Mobile banking Trojans – It looks like your trusted banking app, but that’s just deceit. A mobile banking Trojan tricks you into entering financial credentials and personal information. It can also gain administrative rights to carry out a transaction on your behalf.
- Spyware – Spyware is malware used by hackers to spy on you, to access personal information, bank account details, online activity, and anything else they may find valuable. On mobile devices, spyware can log your whereabouts, read your text messages, redirect calls, and much more.
- Ransomware – Ransomware is an example of malware which inaction takes hold of your system and encrypts it, sometimes attacking individual files. This is just like a traditional kidnapping of human and later asking for a ransom to be paid in anonymous ways. Attempting to access the encrypted files triggers the ransom note, which claims you are locked out until you make payment. The messages sometimes pretend to be from an official government agency accusing you of committing a cybercrime, which scares many into paying the ransom. Payment is often demanded in Bitcoin due to its anonymity.
Tips to keep yourself safe and secure
You don’t have to give up on the usage of the internet due to its downsides, but employing some ethical ethics will bring much joy. Here are our top tips:
- Install solid security software on every device. Some Free Antivirus prevents malware from infecting your device and also provides Wi-Fi Inspector, which scans your home router for vulnerabilities. Paid versions of some Antivirus feature Real Site, ensuring you reach the actual websites you want to visit, and prevents hijacking, and phishing scams
- Use strong and unique passwords. To generate hyper-secure passwords, use a free password manager, which also alerts you if your email address may have been included in a data breach so you can take action
- Download apps only from trusted sources. Also, use a smartphone antivirus, which blocks Trojans from entering the phones and even remove any trojan discovered.
- Employ a virtual private network (VPN).if you plan to take advantage of free, open hotspots/WIFI. A VPN — creates a secure, encrypted connection, protects your personal data and your privacy. With VPNs, you can browse anonymously and your location can be changed, helping to keep you from being tracked.
- Think twice before opening attachments, following links, or sharing sensitive info.Look closely at any email asking you for personal information. If you see a typo or incorrect logo, or anything that puts you in doubt, contact the sender (using a method other than replying to the email) to verify the contents before taking any action.
- To prevent ransomware from attacking your system, look into security software that features a Ransomware Shield that can be installed on all of your PCs.
You don’t have to give up on the usage of the internet due to its downsides, but employing some ethical ethics will bring much joy