In the age of information technology, when the Internet has already become an integral part of the life of a modern person, the issue of personal security on the Internet is becoming more and more pressing. Most users do not care about their safety on the Internet because they simply do not know how to do it correctly and do not think about the likely consequences, ranging from the theft of their logins and passwords from pages in social networks by fraudsters to the bankruptcy of the company in which they work.
In previous articles, we touched on how to protect ourselves from phishing and malware in the PC browser and on smartphones, as well as how to recognize a phishing email.and don’t fall into the trap of intruders. In this article, we will talk about Internet security in more detail (there will be links to previous articles).
What is the danger?
Let’s briefly recall the main danger of non-compliance with Internet security rules:
- Fraud (fraud) is when an attacker pays for the services of stolen payment card.
- Account theft – cybercriminals receive logins and passwords from an online bank account, social network or email.
- Data collection – collection of a person’s confidential information and transfer to unauthorized persons.
- Penetration – An attacker gains access to the victim’s PC through the virus software installed on the computer. Attackers can make a PC part of a botnet and use it for DDoS attacks or steal autofill data from it (logins, passwords, payment card details, etc.)
- Phishing – Clone sites of well-known services: social networks, online cash registers, resources for online purchases, online banks. Mailings on behalf of supposedly eminent sites (Google, Mail.ru, Facebook, VK), designed for naivety and fear of a person, through which attackers try to gain access to personal data – logins and passwords.
- Deception is an offer in social networks, online stores, where the seller sells goods for a low price, requiring payment online or by transfer to a card. After that, the attacker does not get in touch. Therefore, it is important to know about the measures and methods of protecting your PC on the Internet and be able to apply this knowledge in practice.
How to protect yourself online?
Comprehensive security measures must be followed to protect your confidential information on the Internet. This will reduce the likelihood of personal data leakage and prevent intruders from harming you.
Install the antivirus on your PC, smartphone or tablet .
Antivirus is a program that ensures safety on the Internet, the main task of which is to detect malware, phishing resources, dangerous servers, and suspicious traffic. It is necessary to regularly update the antivirus, as well as the operating system, as new hacking options appear on the network every day. Be sure to check the privacy settings of the apps and browsers you use.
Use complex and unique passwords to protect your accounts, mailboxes, social media pages.
Imagine someone got hold of your apartment keys. After all, he can enter and take out all the most valuable from each room! The same goes for protecting your accounts and so on. An attacker, having got hold of your username and password, or picking them up, can use your personal information for the most unfavorable purposes, ranging from sending spam on your behalf and ending with the ruin of the company you are an employee of. An attacker will be able to guess a password in the form of your name, the name of your mother, spouse or child, date of birth, the name of your favorite music group, and so on, are directly associated with you, and thus gain access to your social network account, mail and your PC. Therefore, 18031996 is a bad password. Alex 17071990 – also because they are tied to your personality. And Vy0 @ $ e6 # Omx 6 is a strong password. It is impossible to pick up or collect the data received about you. Always use different passwords. Using the same password for all your email accounts, social media and banking services is dangerous. Since passwords are difficult to remember, install a password manager. There are many of them on the Internet now and you can find the one that suits you.
Use two-factor authentication (two-step authentication).
First, let’s look at what authorization is. Authorization is logging into an account you have already created. With normal authorization, only your username and password are required to enter the site. With two-step authorization, after entering the aforementioned data, you will receive a message by SMS or e-mail with a randomly generated code that must be entered on the site, or an application-generator of one-time passwords can be used instead. The essence of their work is as follows – the device generates a random sequence of numeric and alphabetic characters, which acts as a dynamic password. This password is checked on the site and, if it matches, the user is successfully authorized. You cannot reuse such a password. To increase the security of clients, Internet resources such as social networks VKontakte, Viber, Telegram, online banking, use additional methods: auto-dialing from a special registered number, sending a personal message to VK to provide an access code to the client. The above methods allow you to minimize the risk of hacking your account and stealing your confidential data, because even if an attacker got hold of your password, he will not be able to enter your account without taking possession of your device.
Be careful with email!
Read the letters you receive carefully, especially if you received them from a stranger or organization! If you are familiar with the sender of the letter, make sure that it was he who sent the letter. Set up in your mailbox to synchronize contacts of people with whom you communicate, and they will always be at your fingertips! If the email you receive makes you suspicious, then ask yourself a few questions: Does the sender have a suspicious email address? Is an impersonal greeting used? Is the letter writer trying to create a sense of urgency? Does it not contain a call for urgent, momentary action? Do not follow the links indicated in letters from people you do not know, online banking and unknown payment systems without first checking them and do not download attached files, suspicious applications from unknown sources,
Do not forget to also check the file with an antivirus – suddenly the sender is spreading threats and is unaware of it.
Do not send personal information via social media.
Personal data means bank card numbers, PIN codes, passport data. It is better to send them by e-mail and only to verified people, and then delete this letter so as not to store it in the mailbox. You can also use messengers WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram for these purposes, since they use end-to-end encryption on devices. End-to-end encryption means that all information (photos, videos, messages) is encrypted when sent from one device and decrypted only when received by another device. Audio and video calls are encrypted too. No third party will be able to access your information at the time of transmission.
Use a secure connection.
You shouldn’t use public Wi-Fi networks to transfer personal information. Free networks in public places are a great opportunity for hackers to intercept your data. Therefore, it is better to carry out important operations only over a secure Wi-Fi connection or use a VPN.
Do not save public networks, as criminals can use this to intercept traffic. For example, they can create a network of the same name and intercept all your data.
Permanent data encryption.
When going to a web page, be sure to make sure that the connection to the server is secure. On such pages, instead of “http: //” there is “https: //” protocol, which means an encrypted connection (SSL certificate) and the difficulty in intercepting your data by intruders.
Modern browsers always warn about the risk of an unsecured connection. If an unsecured connection is detected when checking the certificate, a warning about this will be displayed on the screen. Think before ignoring it and clicking “I accept the risk, go anyway.”
To increase your level of protection, you need to encrypt as much of your internet traffic as possible. The site you are visiting must have HTTPS (Secure Information Transfer Protocol).
Get yourself an e-wallet.
Electronic wallet is an application that allows you to store electronic money, pay for purchases and services on the Internet, withdraw money to a bank account or to a plastic card or receive cash.
Today, e-wallets use two-factor authentication, which was already mentioned above, and intermediary services save your data and you can make purchases online without fear of intruders.
Don’t post unnecessary information about yourself.
On the Internet, there is no such thing as “temporary”: anything you once posted online remains online forever, even if you delete the file. You don’t need to publish all the events from your life on the network: what you bought, who you were with, where you vacationed, etc. Because in this way you provide information about yourself to unfamiliar people, including hackers. Thus, you can simply become a victim of targeted phishing or banal theft of property in the future while you are on vacation and your apartment is already empty.
Change the privacy settings of your social media profile, making it available only to friends– then only these people will see the information you post on your page. Only add as friends those you know outside the Internet and with whom you often communicate.
Caution! False “charity”!
Many of you have met on VK, Instagram and other social networks information about people in a difficult situation. Yes, the posts contain the numbers of cards, accounts where you can send money, phone numbers that you can call, published documents confirming that the child has an illness (an extract from the medical history, research results, a receipt with drugs, etc.). But don’t rush to give in to empathy. The fact is that there are charitable foundations whose functions include fundraising for such children. It is enough to contact the management of such a fund and clarify information on the child: does such a child really exist, is fundraising open, and so on. Also, on such pages in social networks, information is laid out about the condition of the child at a given time, a report on what the money was spent on,
Keep track of the permission of mobile applications.
When downloading or updating an application, be aware of what it is asking for access to. After all, it is rather strange if the calculator requests access to contacts, gallery or camera. You can manage permissions: disable or enable them in the settings without impairing the functionality of the program. Remember that under the guise of harmless applications, cybercriminals release malicious software that steals information from your phone or computer. This data gets to cybercriminals and can be used for the most unfavorable purposes, which we mentioned earlier. For the same reason, you cannot install applications on a smartphone from unknown sources, but only from official application stores, for example, Play market, App Store, Windows store.
Compliance with these recommendations will allow you to minimize the danger on the Internet that you may encounter.