Are you worried that your online activity is opening yourself up to attackers? You have reason to be concerned.
According to the 2018 FBI cybercrime report, internet crime is at an all-time high. You can’t rely on trust on the internet these days.
If you have concerns about securing yourself online, this post will help. Keep reading to learn seven security vulnerabilities that you need to protect yourself against.
1. No Encryption
If you’re like most web users, you make heavy use of online accounts. While this is convenient, it also exposes your user credentials when you send them across the internet.
If the website you use isn’t encrypting your data when you send it, anyone can intercept it and steal your credentials. If you want to stop this from happening, make sure you’re using the secure version of every website you visit.
You can figure this out by looking at the lock next to the address bar in your browser. If you click on this lock, you’ll see if a website is using the proper security.
Have you ever gotten an email telling you to reset your password? If you trust the site that sent it, then it isn’t hard to get tricked by a phony email. That is what a phishing attack is.
When an attacker sends a phishing email, they send you to their own web server instead of the real web address. Once you’re on an attacker’s server, they can log every keystroke you enter in the username and password fields. When this happens, you may suffer from an account takeover.
To stop this from happening, make sure you carefully examine every email asking for credentials or personal information. If you can, go directly to the website in question and take the request action there.
When you do this, an attacker won’t be able to steal the information you enter.
Do you download a lot of files from the internet? If so, you run the risk of becoming infected with malware.
A malware attack is a file disguised as a program people regularly download. Instead of getting your application, you get a malware virus installed on your computer. You can suffer severe damage when this happens.
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Malware is capable of logging all your keystrokes, viewing all your files, and downloading information to remote locations. A single file download can compromise your entire life.
You need to run anti-malware software on your computer if you want to protect yourself from malware. If your anti-malware software sees that you downloaded a dangerous file, it will quarantine it to prevent you from opening the file.
While there is a lot of malware types out there, ransomware has become very popular over the past few years. It is very problematic for businesses who rely on their data to make good decisions.
Ransomware is a program that will stop you from accessing your files. Your files become encrypted and unable to be opened without a key.
When you do try to open a file, you’ll get a message telling you to make a cryptocurrency payment for the password. Once you pay up, you’ll get the key you need to unlock your information.
The good news is that there are a few extra steps you can take to protect yourself against ransomware attacks. Investing in backup software will be your best choice. To recover from a ransomware attack, you only need to log into your backup provider to restore your corrupted files.
5. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks
Do you use WiFi in public places? If so, you need to be careful about what you connect to.
A man-in-the-middle attack happens when an attacker sets up a WiFi hotspot in a popular location. Unsuspecting people will connect to their hotspot, thinking it belongs to the business they’re visiting.
When this happens, an attacker can see everything you do when connected to their hotspot. They will be able to steal all your online session information to try and log into your accounts.
Before you connect to a WiFi spot, make sure you double-check the name of the WiFi you connect to. To take things a step further, download a VPN client onto your mobile device. A VPN will encrypt all the traffic coming from your devices to stop an attacker from seeing your data.
6. Duplicate Passwords
It’s hard to remember the passwords to your online accounts if you change your password for each account. This inconvenience causes people to reuse the same password for every account they own. Doing this causes problems.
If an attacker compromises one of your accounts, they will compromise all of them. You need to use unique passwords to prevent this from happening.
Luckily, you do have options available to you. Download a password manager and have it generate your passwords for you. The next time you log into your account, it will fill in your credentials for you.
You won’t need to remember any of your passwords once you switch to a password manager.
7. Social Engineering
Not all security issues are technical. Believe it or not, getting people to volunteer their information is one of the most common reasons people become compromised.
Be careful of giving out any information that can be used to verify that you own an account. This information includes your birthday, address, and any security question you use.
If someone claiming to be from a company you have an account with calls requesting this information, hang up. Once you hang up, find the phone number for the business and call them. They will tell you if someone from their company gave you a call.
Don’t Ignore Common Security Vulnerabilities
The internet has advanced our world in ways we couldn’t imagine. But these advancements do have a few drawbacks. Make sure to keep yourself up to date on the latest security issues, so you know how to protect yourself online.
Once you address your security vulnerabilities, you can start to take advantage of everything technology has to offer. Head back to our blog to read about the latest tech news.