Cyber security - tips on personal protection

What is cybersecurity and why is it our future? The amount of data is growing like an avalanche. According to IDC, from 2010 to 2020 alone, the volume of stored information increased 50 times. There are millions of Google and Amazon servers. As Alibaba founder Jack Ma put it, "data is the new oil." The value of information has become comparable to the value of raw materials. Information becomes especially important in the context of its processing. For example, using machine learning and other modern technologies. The more valuable information is for a business, the greater the need to protect it. There are already services like proxy.info that help users to browse the Internet safely.

Cybersecurity refers to one of the branches of information security. It covers the protection of data in the networks of companies and organizations. As well as the protection of private information of individuals.

Why Are Cyber Security Awareness Tips Important

Why should everyone care about cyber safety? First, data leaks in companies cause both direct financial losses and delayed reputational damage. Attacks on valuable information are external and internal:
  • in case of an external attack, the attacker invades the protected perimeter;
  • with an internal attack, data leakage occurs due to the company's employees.
Several times a year, "mega-leaks'' occur. It is when confidential information of tens and hundreds of millions of users gets publicly available. The largest leak occurred in 2019. The logins and passwords of 773 million emails appeared in the public domain.

But cyber safety is not only the companies concern. It affects everyone. In fact, data can be easily leaked not only through the network. Often, hackers and insiders gain valuable data through removable media, voice messages, SMS, audio, and video. Even through paper documents, or by examining the contents of trash cans. Theft or loss of laptops and other gadgets also remains a common problem.

A man in a shirt sitting in front of 6 black and blue screens with data on it.

Personal Cybersecurity

Yet, many people are still careless about Internet security. You may be thinking: "Who might need my smartphone, I only have photos and a contact book there."

So, here's what hackers can find out about you by gaining access to your phone or computer:

  • photos, videos, and other content (even if it is private or in the cloud storage);
  • information about documents: passport, driving license, tickets, and more. This is especially true if you store digital copies of them in applications such as Wallet, or even in the photos;
  • financial information, including your card number and CVV, account movements, recent payments;
  • everything that happens in all your social networks and mail. Including access to attachments in messages and confidential corporate and personal correspondence;
  • geolocation, microphone, and camera data.

Important Cybersecurity Tips

So, with all these dangers, how can one protect their personal data? There are popular ways that hackers use to steal data. The best decision would be to strengthen the safety in these areas.

1. Passwords

A compromised or weak password is the second most popular hacking method. Still, every year, in the lists of the most popular passwords, we can see the classic qwerty, 12345, or even just password.

How to avoid losing your password to hackers? A strong password consists of at least eight characters and meets the requirements. It should have uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers. Do not use common words or personal information that is easily obtained from open sources. For example, birthdays, pet names, company or university names, your nickname, etc.

2. Public Networks

A wide public Wi-Fi network helps residents of large cities to reduce their mobile Internet costs. Nowadays, it's rare to find a place without a Free Wi-Fi badge. But even in a favorite trusted place, you can run into a hacker.

To protect your data, be extra careful. Disable automatic network connection on your phone and laptop - this way you reduce the risk of catching a fake access point. If you like to work from a cafe or are often on business trips, use a VPN connection. And also use the secure connection protocol HTTPS - some websites use it automatically.

3. Applications

It is important to keep track of the applications downloaded to your smartphone. Download applications only from official stores (App Store, Google Play) and brands you know. Don't use sketchy apps or websites even for work - check the reliable lists first, like website builders list.

Also, before downloading, always study the list of services that the application requests access to, and check it for adequacy.

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