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The Importance of Cyber-Security

Internet securityReading Time: 2 minutes

Combat Threats to Your Internet Security Now

Modern life revolves around the cyber world, making Internet security vital. From social networking to banking, we keep a lot of personal information on the Internet so a threat to our security can have dangerous consequences. Hackers are a major threat to your online safety and can put at risk not only your private information, but your computer system, and other sensitive or valuable information that is not even stored on your device!

Hackers are unauthorized users that can gain access to your private details like passwords, which can be used to hack into your Internet accounts, sometimes sending content to your contacts under your identity or using the information stored in the account to access further personal information. These breaches in your Internet security can be avoided.

Even worse, a hacker can access credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and even entire computer systems. Amongst some hackers, there is a trade in infected computer systems, which are sold and used to launch attacks on other computer systems, that might store more sensitive data or valuable information. You might not even know that your device is infected and is being used for the theft of other data.

Hackers place threats most commonly on the Internet. Often, they will trick you into downloading files, known as Malware or Adware. Once you’ve got one, it’s difficult to eradicate the infection. Awareness is key to avoiding this. It’s important to implement every method possible to keep your information safe. There are ways to up your Internet security and make sure you don’t fall victim to online hackers.

Five Tips for Maintaining Online Security

1. Use Antivirus
Even the websites you trust are at risk of being compromised, so you need a firewall even if you are careful. Recommended anti-virus for Windows include Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender and for Mac include Avast Antivirus and Kaspersky.

2. Update Software Regularly
Google Chrome, Windows, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Flash plugin, Adobe’s PDF Reader, Microsoft Office and more are software items that can get infected. These companies regularly release updates armed with improved security! Install these ASAP, or set up automatic updates.

3. Download and Run with Caution
Only download software from its official website. Never download anything from illegal or unknown sites, as the download may contain Malware or Adware files. If you use pirated or cracked software from peer-to-peer networks or dodgy websites, you are at risk – software is higher risk than music or videos files. Watch out for ‘download’ buttons that lead you to other sites as they could be dangerous.

4. Watch the Emails You Open
Sometimes, hackers send emails posing as companies you trust, like your bank, requesting information including your password. This is a scam called phishing. Never send a password or username via email. Banks would never ask for this. You can avoid phishing by checking the link in the email before you click (it might contain unusual letters or numbers) or always visiting the company’s official domain and avoiding clicking on links through email.

5. Don’t Reuse Passwords
If you use the same password for multiple accounts, you’re in trouble via a breach at any one site. Hackers will try different combinations until they can access everything. Choose different passwords for each of your logins and be sure to change these often in order to stay safe.