Have you ever thought that by posting a personal photo with the actual location on a social network, you provide information that can serve as a source of information for hackers? To protect yourself online, you do not need a lot of skill and knowledge, but to be careful and to keep personal data safe. So, here are some tips from advanced software developers how to secure yourself online.
First, it is necessary to say that Social Engineering is the most powerful attack that we cannot even prevent because we are humans and trust is inherent in us.
Now in more detail. Social engineering is manipulating people by gaining their trust and using it to get confidential information about their life. At first, criminals will need some public data of yours to message (like your Instagram).
Let’s take a look at the example: imagine receiving a message from some stranger man that says: “Hello! Remember me? I’m your classmate from long ago!”. The scammer may know some background information about your class where you used to study. It will confuse you and make you trust a man. He can pretend to be in trouble and ask for money or try borrowing it. Of course, you will be glad to hear from him and will help him financially. Here you go, he built trust and got the money! After getting the money he will not immediately stop the conversation because the victim, who is now you, will notice that he has just been scammed.
There are a lot of fraud schemes: phishing is the most popular one. Phishing is the type of online scamming aimed at obtaining personal data via E-mail messages and fake advertisements. By adding a link to messages or ads, criminals take their victims to a cleverly prepared fraudulent web page. The address of a fake website can look absolutely the same, but there is a minor difference: one or more letters may be changed to a similar symbol in other languages. For instance, the English letter “a” looks completely similar to the Russian “а”. This means, such a website will gain your trust as it looks similar to the real one. Usually, these web pages are created to look like a legitimate business, such as a bank, and even have proper logos and content. They ask for verification of your credit card or ask for your passport details.
Here is the example: you receive an e-mail message from your bank, at least it looks so, and it says: “Scammer have tried to withdraw your funds! Please create a deposit account to secure your savings, here’s the link: www.site.соm”. You click on the link, and it takes you to a well-done web page, that looks like this is the real one. You will be too scared to wait and check everything on the site, so you will do what they say; it may be money transfer or scanning your card. That’s it, they have scammed you and got your savings!
So, how do you avoid being defrauded? Here are some tips you should follow. Firstly, you should always make sure you know the people, group of people, or the organization that texts you. These “Hello! Remember me?” type of messages are confusing and make people believe that they had met before. Secondly, if it is a scammer pretending to be your old friend, ask him about a few real things that had happened to ensure this sincerity.
Phishing prevention tips
Now let’s talk about securing yourself from phishing. This method is a bit complicated and consists of 3 steps: Firstly, pay attention to their addressing: usually they don’t get enough public data and write “Dear customer” this is not an identifier. Secondly, they often make grammatical errors, for example: “Please visit our www.site.соm to reset account your account”. Perhaps you didn’t notice the mistake at first, although it seems obvious. In addition, notice that the only way they try to reassure a victim is by encouraging them the E-mail by using a link, silly, isn’t it?
It may seem strange, but many people use the simplest passwords. For example, almost forty thousand people use the “password” word itself as a password. And even crazier is that over a hundred thousand users have chosen “123456” as a password. Of course, you may say that there are billions of users around the world and the chance that such an easy password will come up with a randomly selected account is low. You are right, so the scammers decided to hack accounts by brute force instead of brute-forcing many different passwords for just one account. Thus, they decrease the time spent matching passwords.
Password security tips
While creating a password for your account, you should remember that these, mentioned above, are the worst possible! Always try to create a password that looks as random as possible to protect your account. Also, never use passwords associated with you because there is a lot of publicly available information to be found in your social media profile. In addition, never use the same password for different websites. Thus, you allow attackers to get even more private data.
Malware and Software bugs
First, malware is any malicious software that causes a computer, laptop, phone to malfunction. There are several types of malware, such as adware, spyware, Trojans, scareware, bots, and viruses. They are directed to leaking personal information gaining access without authorization: they interfere with the security and confidentiality of the account. One of the issues how the hackers get access to the commercial data or the social net data is via a bug in software. The responsibility for invulnerable software solutions is in the hands of the companies, who design that platforms. To provide better protection for the user’s data independent security audits should be ordered on a regular basis to check if the program is not behaving differently from how it is intended.
Protection against malware.
To protect yourself from malicious software, you should always pay attention to what you read and what you agree with. Malicious programs such as application box, for example, use your permission to use some of your computer programs: “The program” would like to control this computer using accessibility features.” If the malware has not received any access, it tries to run as an administrator. Sometimes people agree without reading; that’s how it works. Similarly, read all security warnings and notifications from your operating system (OS), never turf off its security features, and most importantly, regularly download and update the anti-malware software.
As you can see, the Internet is a rather dangerous place where you need to take care of what you post and protect yourself from malware and prevent any attack. The danger surrounds us everywhere, so if you go online often, you should keep these things in mind: always consider threat chances. Try to make a conscious trade-off between your privacy and your convenience.