There is an opinion that an average Internet user can not be a subject of interest for hackers and other thieves of confidential data. The head of the CIA or celebrity is a completely different story. But what can hacker expect from an ordinary person? No intriguing secrets, no big money. It seems like there is no need in data protection for common people.
But everyone thinking this way is seriously mistaken. There are a lot of network fraudsters and not so many top people to go around. Thus, hackers do not shun ordinary people’s accounts. Especially because many of us think that they are too ‘boring’ for hackers and, therefore, do not have any data protection.
Why is data protection important for an average person?
- Smartphones are vulnerable. For many people smartphones have become not only electronic organizers. We use them for chatting with friends or business partners, for making online-purchases, buying train and music concerts tickets. But the smartphones are usually protected far worse than computers. On the Internet, you can read a lot of stories telling how an innocent user may get a ‘bonus’ in the form of a full-fledged Trojan virus together with a downloaded application. The latter makes all the data on a smartphone (addresses, phone numbers, and passwords) available for hackers. Not so long ago, the police exposed a criminal group that has managed to create a botnet of more than 16 thousand Android smartphones. All smartphones were infected with the malware allowing stealing money from victims’ bank cards.
- Data protection on your computer is the issue of primary importance. Today, almost every family has a computer. Any computer connected to the Internet is a potential source of danger. It is enough just to click on the link in the phishing email to ‘give’ your data to fraudsters. And these e-mails are usually quite convincing and look just like real messages from banks and other major institutions. Downloading illegal content containing a lot of ‘surprises’ is out of the question.
- Smart TV – a new target for the hackers. Devices using Smart TV systems are an easy prey for the hackers. Some models are capable of recording the user’s actions and even the conversations taking place nearby.
- Digital locks are also a rather easy target. They are often used on the front doors, yard gates and in the garages. Unfortunately, such a lock, if desired, can be broken by a simple password guessing.
What data protection methods can enhance your cyber security?
You should choose passwords seriously and pay attention to their reliability as it is a key, which unlocks the access to all accounts: from social networks to bank accounts. So the password should be:
- Reliable, long, and containing both characters and numbers. There are different password managers that may come to your assistance while choosing passwords. But as a newly discovered vulnerability in a famous password manager KeePass has showed lately, you should be careful even with them.
- Individual for every website where the user is registered. Quite often, having stolen one password, hackers gain access to all other victims’ accounts.
- Kept in a safe place. And this place is not a piece of paper taped to the monitor.
When a reusable password appeared to be hacked, only two-factor authentication can save the situation. If it is activated, of course. If the one-time password is needed to enter the account, the hacker who doesn’t have it won’t be able to make any actions on the user’s behalf – whether it’s the money transfer or a blog post. Now the most reliable way to generate OTP password for 2FA is the OTP token. Usually, OTP token is a small device in the form of a key fob or a credit card. However, there are also software tokens – such as Protectimus Smart. Having installed it onto your smartphone or Android Smart Watch, you can generate one-time passwords directly on your gadget.
You should not be too open on the Internet and post in the public domain the information that may be useful for fraudsters. No one is forcing users to specify their exact addresses and phone numbers or upload fresh photos from vacation (thereby informing attackers that at the moment no one is at home). Often people don’t think how they themselves can cause harm to their own security.
This little cyber security lesson was made to convey a simple idea: absolutely everyone should care about data protection. Without any exceptions.