Social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube have become an essential part of our lives. While it is great to stay connected with others via social media sites, you should also be careful how much personal information you share online. Here are a couple of tips you can use to stay safe online.
- Privacy and security settings are available for a reason, use them on social media sites to control who sees what you post.
- When you post something online, it stays online. Protect your reputation on social media sites by thinking twice before posting something. Many employers perform background checks on social media sites before hiring employees; you don’t want your future employer to see inappropriate content you have posted online. Maintain a good online reputation and it can help in future jobs.
- Personal information is meant to be personal and not posted for all to see on social media sites. Posting personal information online makes it easier for hackers to gain access to your account and steal your identity, and commit other crimes.
- Many people add friends on social media sites they don’t know. While it could be fun to have new friends online, you need to be careful of the friends you add. You might have several friends online, but you can use tools to manage the information you share online. You can create a public persona, or open a “fan” page that allows just about anyone to follow your posts on that page, but use your personal profile to stay connected with real friends.
Omar Todd is experienced in online security solutions and serves on the council at the ICTTF (International Cyber Threat Task Force)
Attacks from malicious code have become a common problem with computer users. The malicious code does not necessarily have to come from unusual file formats and web page scripts only. Cyber criminals could corrupt other common file types you would consider safe, so it is best to be extremely careful when accepting and opening files from other people.
Problems Malicious Files can Cause
There are several kinds of malicious codes, including worms, Trojan horses, and viruses. The damage caused by these vary and a malicious code could be designed to one or more than one thing such as:
- Installing, changing and deleting files on your computer
- Interfering with your computer’s performance by consuming bandwidth or memory and causing your computer to become slow and even freeze
- Allowing the attacker access to the files on your computer
- Using your computer to attack and infect other computers
- How to Protect Yourself?
- Use a reliable antivirus program that can recognize and protect your computer from viruses. You will need to keep you antivirus updated with the latest definitions.
- Email attachments could contain a virus. If you are not expecting any attachments, you might not want to open it straight away. Instead, you can scan and open it only if it is free from viruses.
- As much as possible avoid downloading files from unknown websites. If you have to download files from a particular website, check for a website certificate. You might want to download the file to your computer and scan it for viruses before you open it.
- Ensure that your computer’s software is up-to-date, and install any software security patches that are required. If the automatic updates option is not available, you should regularly check for updates manually.
Omar Todd is considered as a cyber-security specialist and serves on the council at the ICTTF (International Cyber Threat Task Force)
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Strong cyber security has become vital to ensuring organizations are secure from malware, hackers, and other cyber threats. Without proper cyber security measures in place, businesses and organizations can stand to lose everything in a matter of minutes through the various cyber threats currently being used online criminals. Cyber security goes beyond simple encryption and firewall on your computer. Here are some tips you can use to ensure your data is as secure as possible:
Applications with Access to Data
Most businesses use applications to give their business the tools they need to be productive, however, these applications may also put your organization’s sensitive data at risk. IT security attempts to protect sensitive information in your business, and it makes use of firewalls to protect your data. Once this is done, you allow applications access to this data. When hackers try to steal your data, they are not going to worry about getting through your firewall to access the data. Instead, hackers will look for the least secure system that has access to the data and exploit it. This is why it is crucial to monitor applications that have access to your data so that hackers do not gain a loophole and steal your data.
When your IT network is properly secured, you will need to careful who has access to the data. In fact, no one should have access to your data. You can create specific access controls for your users and limit their access to the systems. Give them access only to complete their tasks and take measures not to expose your sensitive data.
You will need to collect detailed logs and report data for everything that goes on in your system. This will ensure the security of your data and provide you with a detailed report for troubleshooting purposes. This is also a great way to keep track of applications that do not have internal logging. You might want to install tools that log the activities of these applications and block any security holes that these applications might create.
Omar Todd is a cyber-security expert and has 20 years of experience in the IT industry and serves on the council at the ICTTF (International Cyber Threat Task Force)