Half a billion people got hacked last year. That’s a staggering number. Cybercriminals are not slowing down, and their attacks are becoming better by the day. Tech giants like Microsoft and Twitter can be breached. What does that say for your organization?
Focus on the things you can control. Every digital application has a weak spot. The majority of the time, the weak spot is human error. If a behemoth like Microsoft gets breached and you get affected by it, there probably wasn’t much that you could do.
But if you connect to a public Wi-Fi and get your identity stolen, then you’re at fault. Here are some of the lessons learned from the breaches that happened and the best practices you can use to make sure you’re not an easy target.
We tend to look at mice and laugh at how they get stuck in a trap when it’s so obvious that the cheese is bait. Well, you’d be surprised at how most people fall for phishing scams or free Wi-Fi.
Somebody sending you a special code through email that you can use to get a 50% discount works wonders. Free Wi-Fi works even better. Hackers go to popular places like monuments, coffee shops, and restaurants and wait for unsuspecting victims to bite. As soon as you connect to their network, they can launch a MITM attack and steal your information. The remedy in this situation is to simply use a VPN. You can mask your IP and change location on Chrome, and you’re immediately safe. But most people aren’t aware of the danger.
What’s even worse, if hackers breach your phone or laptop, they can use your personal info to hijack company data and wreak havoc inside your organization. Most companies use social media text-messaging apps for confidential documents. Employees need to use end-to-end encrypted channels and avoid sharing work-related information in unsecured apps.
Even though human mistakes account for 82% of all breaches, the rest belong to software and tech. It’s a smaller percentage, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be addressed. Tools make our lives easier, and we don’t like change. That’s why most people hate updates. However, 99% of the time, updates aren’t about changing the user interface. They’re about increasing and improving security.
It’s human nature to remember the odd scenarios. For example, if there’s a 5% chance for it to rain when you go on a hike, and it rains, you remember not to trust the weather report. Same thing’s true with updates. In the first case, you get wet. In the latter, you get robbed by a hacker. It makes sense to update.
Antivirus and VPN programs add more security to the mix. They scan your device, everything you browse, and everything you download. If you change location on Chrome by using a virtual private network, your real IP address gets masked, and hackers can’t get any info on your device. That’s a luxury in the world of overflowing information where your personal data is leaking through every website.
A free cookie is the cheese they give you to steal your demographic info and sell it to marketers and government agencies. It’s the trap that works as bait, and it works every time.
Ensuring that your work environment is equipped with a great software combo, including antivirus and a VPN, makes you a hard target. In the world of cybersecurity, making it difficult for hackers means they skip over you and go to someone else.