Cyber security (or computer security as it is sometimes called) is concerned with securing networks, computer systems and internet-connected devices from a number of threats. Threats to cyber security include cyber attacks and malware, such as trojans, spyware and ransomware programs.
As more functions and aspects of important infrastructure rely on computer-based systems and the internet, protecting these from cyber threats is constantly growing in importance. Cyber security is not only a concern of companies and organizations. Individuals should also be aware of cyber attacks and security threats that they should be protected towards.
A common misconception is that cyber criminals are not interested in
regular people. Even if you don’t have anything you consider worth stealing, this does not stop you from becoming a target of cyber attacks, such as phishing, or ransomware. Cyber criminals often choose their victims at random and use automated attacks for sending malicious spam emails, viruses and carry out data breaches or phishing attacks.
In addition to individuals and businesses of all sizes, cyber security is a crucial aspect of countries’ defenses and warfare. After all, hackers and cyber criminals are not a homogenous group. Hacking and other forms of cyber crime are widely used in organized crime as well as by terrorist organizations and state-sponsored groups of cyber criminals.
Although larger organizations may be more profitable targets to cyber criminals, the consequences of insufficient cyber security measures to individuals are numerous. These include:
As people’s jobs and critical infrastructure are increasingly reliant on computers and the internet, certain trends have emerged. Here are some recent cyber security trends:
As mentioned, some common threats to cyber security include malware and cyber attacks. Here are some other cyber threats that cyber security aims to prevent.
DDoS attacks (short for distributed denial of service) aim to overwhelm a server with traffic in order to take down a website or a service. When speaking of a DDoS attack, the attack is coming from multiple sources at the same time, whereas a regular DoS (denial of service) attack has a single source.
Phishing is a way to trick people into downloading virus-infected files or revealing sensitive data, such as passwords or financial information. A phishing scam tries to disguise itself by making it look like the victim is approached by a legitimate and trustworthy person or company. A cyber threat such as phishing is also known as social engineering.
Data breaches happen when cyber criminals break into a database full of sensitive information. The criminals can then use the stolen information for account takeover and identity theft.
As you might have guessed by now, cyber security is an important issue nowadays for both organizations and individuals. With good security measures in place and planning, you too can improve your personal cyber security. Take care of at least the following cyber security measures.
Strong passwords keep your accounts safe
A generic password that is easy to guess or crack is a low-hanging fruit for cyber criminals. Passwords such as “password” or “12345” do not require advanced tools to hack. Using your name or some other password that is easy to guess makes you a good target for cyber criminals. Using unique passwords that contain both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters, are much harder to break. The length of your password is another factor that contributes to a safe password.
Create a strong and safe password with F‑Secure’s strong password generator. Consider also using a password management service that allows you to use complex and strong passwords without having to remember them by heart. F‑Secure ID Protection comes with a password manager that helps you generate and manage passwords that are both unique and strong.
Look out for threats online
Human error and careless online behavior are exploited by cyber criminals. By clicking an unsafe link or downloading a sketchy attachment file, you expose yourself to many risks, such as identity theft. Not only do you put yourself at risk, but a small mistake can also lead to a large data leak or infect the entire network at your workplace. This is why companies and organizations should educate their employees about various threats to cyber security.
Protect your devices with an anti-virus
Browsing online and downloading files without an antivirus is like driving without a seatbelt. If you are unfortunate enough to be targeted by a cyber attack or stumble upon a malicious website, there is nothing to protect you without an antivirus. An antivirus program such as F‑Secure Internet Security can both detect and remove harmful files and other threats from your device.
Keep your devices and programs up to date
Cyber criminals are good at finding vulnerabilities in software and exploiting them. A zero-day attack involves the attacker using an undetected security hole that has not been patched. The vulnerability can be exploited to infect devices with malware and steal sensitive data. By making sure your device is always up to date and you are using the most recent versions of all software, you can improve your level of cyber security.
Avoid unsafe Wi‑Fi connections
Public Wi‑Fi can be very useful, whether you are looking to work remotely at a local cafe or need a Wi‑Fi connection to download larger files on your mobile device in public. However, always make sure to use a VPN when connecting to unknown Wi‑Fi. Unsecure networks put you at risk of being exposed to cyber attacks and malware.
Being protected online is now more important than ever. With F‑Secure Total you get full online protection for both your desktop and mobile devices. Stop viruses with Total’s award-winning antivirus and browse in private with a VPN. Total’s password management and online identity protection help you avoid identity theft and log in to your devices with ease.
Take care of your personal cyber security and try F‑Secure Total for free.