Technology made life easier by bringing the market to your doorstep during the COVID-19 lockdown. You could order any product and service with your smartphone while at home. Companies invested more towards automation in the business world, bringing a work from home culture wherever possible. These new changes have pushed many individuals with less knowledge of cybersecurity to the information technology world too.
As much as the large-scale adoption of technology sounds beneficial, it becomes more dangerous for an individual with no or limited knowledge of cybersecurity and the risks it brings. It is visible with during the lockdown. Hackers are targeting the first-time user connecting to the internet during the lockdown. Therefore, it is essential to improve your security. This blog will help an individual find out how to secure yourself and your company against cyberattacks during the lockdown.
How to Evaluate Your Risks?
There are many ways a hacker could exploit vulnerabilities and cause your company and you some serious harm with data breaches. Sensitive stolen data could be used to steal your money and commit other cybercrimes with the data. For a company, this risk could be in the form of business disruption, and reputation loss, and more. Let us now check out the various weak spots that a hacker could exploit to breach your privacy and steal your data.
- Routers: Hackers could try to exploit the vulnerability in your router to compromise your whole network. Hackers can read your sensitive data on the network and also plant incorrect data or bugs to compromise the system if routers are compromised. Always keep your router firmware updated and set up a firewall to keep hackers at bay.
- Weak password: Various tools guess all the possible passwords to find the real one finally. An invalid password could easily be cracked, but a strong one presents more challenges to the hackers.
- Phishing, vishing, and smishing: During COVID lockdown, fraud emails, SMS, and calls have become common. Hackers try to impersonate some bank or financial agency to get the victim’s sensitive information like credit card details, etc., and steal their money.
- Pirated software: Downloading pirated software is another way of inviting the hacker to steal from you. Most of the time, this software contains preinstalled bugs and viruses, stealing data from users when run.
- Less awareness: There was a time when security awareness was only the job of security professionals, but today it is an undertaking for everybody to have a basic level of security awareness. There is very little awareness among the public regarding the potential danger of security breaches and data hacks. Organizations and agencies must organize security awareness training. It will help an individual fight against hackers by strengthening their security.
Routers and Wi-Fi Security
Routers are the gateway to your internet safety. A compromised router could mean your whole network is compromised. The hackers could get their hands on the sensitive data packet of the network and later exploit it. An infected router only means hackers could read you sensitive data or plant bugs and viruses in your system. One should always change the default password of the router. This will make it harder for hackers to gain access to your network.
Some ways to increase the security of your router and Wi-Fi are:
- Use VPNs: It is wise to use VPNs to encrypt your sensitive data so that hackers could not eavesdrop on your data.
- Change the default password: Always change the admin password of the routers.
- Update your firmware: Updating your firmware routinely ensures that your router’s vulnerability is patched up and the hacker cannot exploit it.
- Create a separate client network : Always create a different network for your client instead of connecting them to the leading network.
Weak passwords are a tasty feast for hackers and a nightmare for your online security. When 52% of people use the same password for multiple websites, it is always recommended to keep a strong password.
A hacker is always trying to guess your password and break into your system. Hackers use tools to break your password to enter your account, steal your sensitive information. Hackers could make transactions in your name also commit a crime in your name. Now you see how dangerous a weak password could be.
Always keep a strong password to secure your account. Let us see some ways we can make passwords stronger to secure them from hackers.
- Don’t use a similar password for all accounts: If you use an identical or predictable password for your account. It will mean if one of your accounts gets compromised, the hacker has control over all your different accounts. If you keep a similar password for all your accounts, you are exposed to a higher risk of being hacked.
- Don’t write your password anywhere: It’s easy to keep track of your password by writing it down, but as much as it is tempting. It is very risky. Hackers could discover these passwords to steal your data.
- Always use a password manager: Password managers make it easy to use a different password and random password for every account. Stored passwords are encrypted so that no one reads them other than you.
- Don’t share your password with anyone: You must not disclose your password to anyone. It is very risky.
Your security boils down to your browsing habits. Hackers try to lure you with phishing emails, fraudulent SMS, and calls. Your security depends on if you can identify the dishonest from the original. In a phishing email, there will always be some weird email address, wrong names, etc., which if you find, you could call out it’s a fake email to lure you into giving up your sensitive credential.
Some clean browsing habits to secure yourself from hackers would be:
- Using a different password for different sites : Using a similar password for all your login credential, you increase chances of being hacked. Using the same password would mean the data breach of one account would mean the hacker can access all your accounts.
- Updating antivirus and browsers: An updated antivirus means you have protection against new and old bugs alike. Having an updated browser at all times will ensure that vulnerabilities in a browser are all patched up.
- Not installing unnecessary browser extension: Unnecessary browser extension means hackers have more target to attack. It is wise only to keep the trusted and needed browser extension installed at any given time.
- Using public unprotected Wi-Fi : Unprotected public Wi-Fi should never be used to share sensitive information or perform an important transaction.
The vast benefits of your phone could turn red eye on you if hackers breach it. Your smartphone contains various sensitive information, chats with clients, photos, credit details, etc. It is a gold mine of data that the hacker could exploit in multiple ways. This makes it very important to increase the safety of your phone. Some ways to improve the security of your smartphone are:
- Keep your apps and OS updated: An updated software and firmware means the vulnerability has been corrected, which the hackers could have exploited to get into your smartphone.
- Use strong passwords and biometric to lock your phone: A strong password means it will be difficult to break into your phone easily.
- Install antivirus for your smartphone: Antivirus protects your phone against malware and virus.
- Manage app permission smartl: It is never wise to give unnecessary permissions to an app. Always install apps from a trusted third party like google play store and apple app store and only consent to permission needed by the app.
Your home security is in your hands. The hackers are always trying to hack into your home and steal your data and money. Your job is to increase security awareness and know the various loopholes a hacker could exploit in your home network and system. Companies should look into investing more into the privacy of its consumer. A Penetration tester could help the company find out the vulnerabilities in its website and apps etc., that hackers could exploit to gain access to user’s sensitive information. One such penetration testing certification from EC-Council is developed by security experts from all over the world and it vastly helps an individual elevate their career in cybersecurity. The course teaches candidates how to defend against the latest vulnerability and know the industry standard in performing a test on systems and creating reports.