“Cyber-attacks” or “Cybercrime”, the word is familiar to all now a days. Attacks made on smartphones or computers to grab all your personal or business information, such as contact information, messages, bank information etc. are cyber-attacks.
As per report, the average annual cost of cyber-attacks was above US $13 million in 2019. Average 145 cyber-attacks were happened in 2019.
The more software and applications are developed, the more cyber criminals are finding their way out to hack them. Each year there are warnings from security experts stating that our smartphones or computers would be attacked by Viruses, which are created by hackers or intruders who penetrate into your personal information without your knowledge and take undue advantage of it.
There are certain preventive measures which will help you to protect your PC or Android phone against such criminals.
Strong password protection or fingerprint:
- Ensure that your password strength is the maximum by keeping your password in alphanumeric + symbolic mode. Use a combination of upper and lower cases in alphabets for safety.
- Keep a long password of more than 10 characters and never store it in your Computer or keep it written near your device.
- Keep on changing it once a week to ensure maximum safety.
- Never make your password public, by sharing it with friends or employees of your firm.
- Use different passwords for different websites.
- Even fingerprint password protect is safe and non-penetrable in case of mobiles.
Install anti-virus software and mobile security app:
- Install Anti – Virus software on your PC and mobile and keep it updated on a regular basis.
- Mobile Security App downloaded from your Play store helps you in protecting your data against hackers and viruses.
- Safety Advisor software’s show you which sites are safe, and they display an alert when a risky site is clicked.
- Update your software regularly.
Firewall is security software which monitors the incoming and outgoing traffic of your computers. It creates a wall or barrier between the secured sites and the non-secured ones. There are different types of firewall and you can select your firewall depending on your preferences. You should ensure that firewall protection is on for maximum defence. It helps to recognize the cyber-attack efforts.
Keep a periodic Backup date for your mobile and computer. Regular backups will help you in a long way in retrieving your data in case anything should happen to your computer.
A full back-up once in a week and differential back-up on a daily basis is advisable. Even online backup or cloud backup is very easy wherein the data is collected, compressed and encrypted to a remote server. It is affordable, very safe and easy to recover and access.
Device lost or stolen:
Always install “Find My Mobile App” in your smartphone. Losing your cell phone can turn into a nightmare, just by thinking about all the personal and useful information going into the hands of hackers directly. But you can still locate your phone with the app installed. It is also possible to lock or remove your data completely by using this app.
Mobile Malware is at the top these days. Online Banking and Online Shopping are very common now-a-days. In 2015, the Pew Research Centre shows 57% of users do online banking, thus transmitting personal and sensitive data. Cyber criminals send fake texts or links to collect personal data. Anti-malware helps you to prevent the damage caused by any malicious download or attachment.
Check for unusual usage:
Unusual usage on your phone, unusual behaviour, phony text messages, instant battery drain and suspicious charges in bill are symptoms that your mobile is infected. Always check for such symptoms, format the device instantly and run anti-virus update.
Check your internet source:
Public Wi-Fi is dangerous and should be used with care while accessing it. Never send any personal or sensitive information on public Wi-Fi. Instead you can use mobile data or verbal communication to be on the safe side. Always use a reliable internet source so as to prevent any disasters.
Re-check your Social Media security settings:
Security settings in your social networking sites i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc. should be set to private. Never reveal any other personal information on these platforms. You can encrypt your data in a zip file so that it doesn’t get leaked. If you want to encrypt any hard drive you can always use “BitLocker drive encryption” security.
Always use websites with SSL certificates. Check whether they have padlocks and also check if their SSL is not expired. They are secured ones and you can trust them with your personal information. Mostly, when you pass your credentials to any website, always check the green padlock on website, it assures that the website is legitimate to handle customers’ data in encrypted form. Moreover, HTTPS and a site seal from certificate authority also assures site’s safety.
Cyber attack numbers:
|Reason of Unawareness||% of People Unaware|
|Unsafe link clicked||40%|
|Smart phone apps can pass sensitive information without user knowledge||89%|
|Financial apps for smart phones can be infected by malware||91%|
|Fail to log off properly from an app and get attacked||56%|
As technology is advancing, stronger security protections for smart phones are being developed.
Samsung has invested in FIXMO firm, who is into R&D of Device Integrity Verification, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Risk Analytics. Let us hope that in future, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is used to curb cyber-attacks rather than doubling them and making them vulnerable.