Your cyber security isn’t just impacted by viruses, learn how to look out for these vulnerable points to keep you and your business safe.
Almost everyone is aware of the perils of computer viruses. An entire industry exists to combat the problem with anti-virus software and built-in security provisions for computers. Yet numerous digital threats are lurking in the world that many people haven’t even thought of. We outline four of the most urgent threats below so that you are increasingly aware of them to take steps to protect yourself and your business.
Infected USB Drives
If an objectionable USB drive is plugged into your computer, it can unleash a host of problems. Often times we won’t question a random USB drive and will readily plug it into our systems that store some of our most sensitive data.
Most current versions of Mac OS and Windows don’t run executable files or programs automatically, but often the most sophisticated malware can get through. If you have an antivirus program on your computer already, it might have a degree of USB protection on it, but you must make sure that it’s properly switched on and configured. You may also want to run a virus scan on any new drives when you plug them in.
Windows offers some third party tools that have been developed to stop USB attacks, such as Ninja Pendisk, Panda USB Vaccine, and Bitdefender USB Immunizer.
Though the best way to keep yourself safe is to not plug in a USB stick that you’re not sure of the origin of, and if you have to to be incredibly careful when you do.
You may have noticed a new trend of people taping up the camera on their laptops and computers. This is to combat hackers who can tap in and actually film from your webcam. Using tape or the camera’s shutter to keep prying eyes out is an easy option to keep you safe.
You can also make some software changes to increase your security. Windows has a Device Manager that allows you to click to disable your webcam, while it’s privacy function can determine what apps have access to the camera. Mac isn’t as straightforward, but some unapproved hacks are out there to assist. While OverSight software for Mac helps to warn you when a program tries to access your camera.
If you’ve been ultra careful with your information and data security, it can still be streamed out to third parties via an unsecured, public WIFI connections if you use your laptop or smartphone on the go.
If you’re using public WIFI, you can help to increase your privacy by using websites that use secure HTTPS connections or by installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that adds additional encryption and makes your device harder to tap into.
Another good tip is not to do any personal and sensitive work, such as online banking, on public WIFI. Save it for when you’re using your secure home or business network.
Suspicious emails and messages can be the Trojan horse that opens up dangerous access to your digital data. Be cautious about clicking on links and pop-ups on your computer and definitely do not input personal information in them.
It’s also crucial to be vigilant with phishing scams, emails or websites which are made as copycats of the real thing. Some may easily fool you, but a good rule of thumb is that most legitimate sites won’t ask you to input personal details. If you are asked to reset a password via an email link, visit the actual website instead that has sent you the message and change it there directly.
Be careful not to give out too much information on social networks that can make it easy for hackers to access your accounts, this can include where you live, names of pets, your date of birth, etc.