Over the last couple of years one corporate giant after another has fallen victim to cyber-crime or security breaches of one form or another. For those who don’t follow these matters the breach at Sony Corporation may seem like news, however they were hacked in September 2011.
The breach at Target during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season last year, was the result of a series of procedural and human failures. But what can you do to protect the systems in your home or your business?
Keep up to date
Keep yourself and your systems up to date. Listen to technology news concerning security and virus threats. Subscribe to podcasts and RSS feeds to keep yourself educated on computer security scams. Attend classes – either seek the services of a local professional or learning institution or find an online tutorial. Educate yourself and your family as to the risks.
Keep your systems up to date
If you have anti-virus software – and you should – you need to ensure that it along with your operating system – Windows, Mac/OS or Linux – is kept u to date. Periodically, every operating system will indicate that there is an update available, and when you update your computer also update the anti-virus software.
Not every application (App) should be downloaded. Read reviews of other users, read what permissions the app requires.
Not every, e-mail received is from whom it claims to be from. The sender’s PC could also be infected and sending Spam or Spoof e-mails claiming to be from them, asking you to for information or assistance.
As Sony Breach II has shown us, be careful what you e-mail. Once you press the Send button, it may be impossible to retract or otherwise pull back that e-mail. You have no control over what the recipient or as Sony have adequately demonstrated, a hacker of the recipient’s system will do with your e-mail. So one should be very circumspect as to what is written in an e-mail, as the saying goes “if you have nothing nice to say then better you say nothing.”
Have you heard of Phishing? If you’re a regular reader of Kittivisian Life, you should be more than familiar with the term. This involves sending e-mails that usually appear to be sent from a bank or financial institution and request that you confirm your username and password.
This technique like everything else has been improved, now Spear-Phishing attacks, where instead of mass e-mails being sent, e-mails are tailored to appear credible to a particular recipient.
Finally, use a strong password; earlier links give guidance on how to choose strong passwords and also be “economical with the truth” as it relates to your personal details. Details such as where you went to school, the street where you grew up, are typically asked as security questions. These details can be easily ascertained especially since they’re likely to be on ones social media profile!
About the Writer
An IT Professional for more than 20 years and an entrepreneur for more than a decade, Russell Williams has extensive experience as an IT Trainer and facilitator and is happy to answer your questions. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org follow him on Twitter @RwilliamsKN, or FaceBook facebook.com/RussellWilliamsKN and G+ google.com/+RussellWilliamsKN