How Good Cyber Hygiene Can Save You

Lana Macapagal - 5 months ago

When was the last time you brushed your teeth? Most of us, if not all, would say today as good hygiene comes second nature to us. But if you haven’t, I urge you to go get your dental kit because that secret won’t go unnoticed!

Similar with personal hygiene, being proactive on cyber security should be second nature to any computer user. Having a strict routine of securing our online properties and resisting cyber threats should almost always be mandated; otherwise, hackers won’t take too long before they notice your vulnerability.

Feeling lazy to do so? Here are few of the cyber-attacks that alarmed online users worldwide. This could happen to anyone, including you.

Beware of Ransomware

Cyber-crimes don’t only attack businesses but also individual users. Online hackers basically get access to your personal online accounts, lock your files making it inaccessible to you, and ask for ransom money in exchange for your documents. Whether you’re a business-owner who has strictly confidential legal documents or a millennial with tons of photos and videos stored online, these hackers know how to play the game and target your vulnerability.

Visit https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/12-true-stories-that-will-make-you-care-about-cyber-security/ for true-to-life online hacking crimes.

Infamous Hollywood iCloud scandal

Most of us are familiar of that time when there was an avalanche of leaked nude photos of Hollywood celebrities online. While Hollywood stars cried foul, numerous downloads and views of their private pictures were unrestrainable. Worst, the culprit who admitted to the crime, is still at large and said getting access to celebrities’ photos was fairly easy: through their iCloud.

The Interview

This film created so much noise that it invited more people to view the film. Unfortunately, the giant publicity wasn’t through Sony’s marketing efforts but through a highly-publicized cyber-attack.

The Interview depicts North Korea’s leader in a satirical manner, upsetting a group of hackers called Guardian of Peace (GoP).  They swept Sony’s digital files, disabled their computers and published some controversial and confidential e-mails from Sony’s executives. As if this wasn’t bad enough, salaries of the Hollywood stars were also released sparking more controversy.

In the end, Sony decided not to show the film in commercial cinemas but allowed online downloads and few theatre shows.

COMELEC hacked data

How can we forget this? 55 Million registered Filipino voters had their private information exposed online available for public viewing. Being the worst-ever government data breach, Anonymous Philippines and LulzSec – known hacktivists in the country, owned up to the crime. But it wasn’t too long when the real culprit was arrested – a 23-year old IT fresh graduate who claims he didn’t mean any harm. According to the suspect, he only wanted to ensure that COMELEC will execute the security features of the vote-counting machines and to remind them the need to tighten their cyber-protection.

Now that we know what can happen to us, here are few ways to improve your cyber hygiene.

1. Change your passwords.

Multiple online accounts must have multiple passwords. Don’t do the mistake of having a universal password. Make sure to change your online credentials too at least every quarter.

2. Turn on Two-factor authentication.

You might find this unnecessary especially with the convenience of touch ID. But you might want to think again and realize the stress once you lose your files.  

3. Update your OS.

Online hackers pry on people vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Ensure your laptop and smartphone OS are on-point to avoid any cyber-security loophole.

4.  Install the right tools.

Online users get susceptible to tons of malware once they go online.  Know how to protect your gadgets, online accounts and documents through installing and regularly updating your network firewall, credible anti-virus software, data swiper, and other cyber-security tools.

5. Backup your data.

No matter how vigilant we are, we may still be victims of online hacking and viruses. Avoid the regrets of not having an extra copy of your files and back up now.

 

References:

Ong, G. (2016, April 22) IT grad, 23, arrested for Comelec website hack. Retrieved from http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/04/22/1575594/it-grad-23-arrested-comelec-website-hack

Fowler, B.  (2016, May 4) Digital Spring Cleaning: 4 ‘cyber hygiene’ tips to stay safe Retrieved from http://bigstory.ap.org/article/db5539f6286941ca998e1213752d4171/digital-spring-cleaning-4-cyber-hygiene-tips-stay-safe

The Interview: A guide to the cyber attack on Hollywood (2014, December 29). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-30512032

Five Basic Cyber Hygiene tips for generation work anywhere (2015, November 18) Retrieved from http://www.barclaysimpson.com/blog/five-basic-cyber-hygiene-tips-for-generation-work-anywhere–blog-53221815443

These True 12+ Internet Crime Stories Will Make you Care about Cyber Security (2016, November 3)  Retrieved from https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/12-true-stories-that-will-make-you-care-about-cyber-security/

Cyber Hygiene with the Top 20 Cricital Security Controls (2013, December 01) Retrieve from https://its.ny.gov/newsletter/cyber-hygiene-top-20-critical-security-controls

Good Cyber Hygiene. Retrieved from https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-how-to-good-cyber-hygiene.html

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