Survive a Cyber Security Threat

The main problem with cyber security these days is that all the advancements in cyber security that we’ve had is also available to the cyber criminals. Coupled with the fact that there’s even more financial motivation, many individuals have started treating cyber crime as a business. It’s no longer the stereotypical teenager typing away at his mother’s basement – cyber criminals these days wear suits, employ other skilled professionals, and go on meetings with his conspirators. It has become a very profitable business, which means you can no longer rely on sheer luck to protect yourself.

If you’re not taking active steps to bolster your cyber security, it may end up turning into a very costly mistake. It also means that cyber attacks are more of an eventuality than a risk, so you need to learn what to do in order to survive a cyber security threat WHEN (not if) it comes. Here are some things you should remember:

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Don’t Depend on Third Party Companies for Protection

Technically, a web hosting provider has it in their best interests to protect the security of their customers, and they do provide protection on their end. But to depend on it as your sole protection against cyber security threats is naiveté of the highest order. The sheer number of customers that web hosting providers, coupled with the low monthly hosting fees that they charge means that they won’t be able to provide a level of protection comparable to, say, an in-house team that’s assembled solely for the purpose. Additionally, many cyber security threats are targeted more towards the user than the web host.

Minimize the Amount of Applications on Your System

Majority of malware is run via executable files. The more applications there are on your system, the more executable files there are, which means you are a bigger target, as each of those executables is a potential backdoor or carrier for malware. So make sure you trim down the number of apps installed on your system to only those that you absolutely need, and those that you choose to retain should be patched regularly if updates are available.

Dedicate a Single Machine to Extremely Sensitive Activities

If you do a lot of financial transactions such as trading, buying, selling, and banking via the Internet, you really need to dedicate a single machine for the purpose. Don’t use the machine that you use for Facebooking, for watching movies, and playing games, especially if you’re sharing the PC with different people. Also, some people tend to limit the amount of security features enabled because it gets in the way of ease of use, which is understandable – but if you have really sensitive data on a PC, you should prioritize security over ease of use. This is where having a dedicated “business” PC becomes useful – you no longer need to worry about all the security softwares and numerous password prompts from the UAC, because you’re only using it for business purposes, not for entertainment or socialization.

Encrypt Your Data

Don’t depend on just a single wall of security to be your protection. Even if it’s a sturdy wall, once the cyber crooks manage to get past it, what happens to your data? If you took the time to encrypt your important files, you won’t have to worry about this. Using encryption is double important if you keep your files on a cloud service, because it is accessible to anybody who manages to get past the cloud provider’s security. With encryption, there is even a chance that the attacker won’t get access to any of your important data even if they manage to download it.

Make Backups

By backups, we’re not talking about just making a copy of your important files. Make sure you have offsite, or at least backups that are not on a hard disk attached to an open computer. Basically, you need to keep a backup of your files in a form that cannot be accessed remotely. This will be a great help if you ever find your files compromised. You won’t need to bother repairing files nor do you need to start from scratch. At best, you lose a few days of work (or none at all if you do backups religiously).

Last But Not the Least, Think Before You Click

You’ll be surprised to know just how many cyber attacks could have been prevented by common sense. Don’t go around clicking every single clickable link you come across the web, and worry about whether the promises that are coming your way online. It’s almost always good to adhere to the adage “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Many things on the Internet seem suspicious because they probably are. Being vigilant with your activities online will help you avoid future cyber attacks, while also preparing you when the ones you can’t prevent eventually arrive.


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