With the dawning of the internet age we’ve received technological advancements that have made our lives easier and more connected. But with every ying there’s a yang. And in this case, the yang is a rather frighteningly persistent cabal of hackers, internet con artists, phishers and Nigerian princes. Thanks to these groups, and more, October is now known as National Cyber Security Month.
Here at 3PRIME we realize how important good security tools and techniques are, because we’re not only protecting ourselves but our clients as well. That’s why we wanted to share some tips we gathered from SingleHop. SingleHop is a global provider of hosted IT infrastructure and cloud computing. Their client lists includes notable names such as Harvard, Triple A and Symantec, so you can be sure that they really know their stuff. So, without further ado, here are a few helpful internet security tips courtesy of:
Know Thy Enemy
The first step in protecting yourself is knowing what you’re protecting yourself from. And while this is in no way a comprehensive list, here are some of the three most common hacking methods.
First, lets talk about phishing. This is where an online scammer will utilize a legitimate-looking website in order to trick you into sharing sensitive information, like credit card numbers or passwords. These are tricky because many of these phishing sites will look and operate exactly how sites you normally visit would. So it’s surprisingly easy to be fooled.
Then of course you have to be wary of any number of online scams like the tried and true Nigerian Prince trick (which, believe it or not, still works) and a ton of schemes tied into online dating.
The last type of attack we’ll cover here is one which has been happening more and more these day–massive data breaches. This is when someone hacks a large company and steals all of the data they’ve collected on their customers. Then they turn around and sell off their ill gotten gains. This attack is the hardest one to personally defend against.
The Best Defense
While the threats we’ve covered above are ever present and nefarious, you should know that cyber security is at the forefront of just about everyone’s minds. So here are a few quick tips that will help you stay safe.
The first tip is to always be alert when you’re on the web, which I know is easier said than done. But they don’t call it web surfing for nothing and if you stray from friendly waters it’s all too easy to find yourself in the jaws of a shark. So that is why you should always carefully read before clicking on a link. And be sure that you’re where you think you are. Another good tip is to use bookmarks for sites that you visit often. What this does is greatly lessen the chance of you ending up on a dummy site with a url that is one character off from the real one. This is a great idea for wherever you pay bills online or regularly enter your personal information.
But alas, many of the best defenses against cyber crime aren’t readily at your disposal. A lot of the threats won’t come after you personally but the institutions that you rely on, like banks and online retailers. Many are already doing their part to fight back by implementing systems like two-factor authentication which requires you to not only input a password to access sensitive information but also a code which is either sent to your registered phone number or email address.
But they could always do more and as useful as two-step authentication is it won’t stop the large scale data breaches that have been happening more and more recently. For that companies will have to store the information on servers that are more advanced and secure. To learn more about what more secure servers are capable of check out SingleHop’s page about their dedicated servers. Upgrading to more secure servers sounds like a no-brainer, but big businesses will almost always resist change, especially if it costs them money. That’s why you should write them/phone/whatever them and let them know that they’ll lose your business and your money if they don’t create a safer marketplace and a safer web. It’s what we all deserve and it’s what the current environment demands.
Once again, thanks to SingleHop for these tips. You can find more about their company and what they offer, here.