If we learn one thing about internet security, it’s this: it’s hard to get there! Unfortunately, it is getting worse. Game developer Ginga and dozens of other, reported data breeches are making headlines more than ever from reputable sites like LinkedIn and the diet-and-exercise tracker My FitnessPal.
In 2018, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reported a 126% increase in user records for data breaches, and by July 2019, the company had listed more than 10,000 U.S.-based breaches. The right stuff, right?
There are many reasons why you should seek additional security protection, especially if you are a freelancer working outside the home. First, however, let us consider the most common threats.
First, what is a violation?
“Breach” is a phenomenon in which data is accidentally exposed to a vulnerable system, usually due to software security vulnerabilities.
Malware, Bugs and Spam
According to security giant McAfee, malware, which is short for “malicious software,” comes in many forms, including computer viruses, worms, “trojans” and free spyware. Worms are software programs that duplicate themselves from one computer to another. Without human interaction, these copies can form themselves and spread rapidly in large quantities. Spam refers to unwanted messages in your email inbox. We’ve all seen: Mail advertising goods or services that are not of interest to us, although annoying, are generally considered harmless. However, with a few clicks, your computer may have links that install malicious software. Inconvenient.
Cyber criminals are shy. Through a process known as phishing, they try to solve your bank or web service by presenting private or sensitive information to a familiar company. If they persuade you enough, you may be tempted to click on the link to verify details such as account information or password.
Infected with malicious software, botnet is a network of personal computers, usually controlled by a single user, and often prompted to engage in criminal activity, such as spam or denial of service.
Oops. See? It’s there.
So, how can you protect yourself?
First, be aware of secure browsers
Every web browser has its own security measures, but there are some vulnerabilities that allow some hackers to attack. To check if you have a secure site, look at the URL. If it starts with “https”, you’re in good condition, because the site is protected using an SSL certificate.
Check out 1, 2: Is this really you?
To prove yourself, multi-factor authentication works by controlling access by requiring a variety of evidence. Send text to your mobile device and ask a security question you’ve seen before: Authentication can make websites and email accounts safer by requiring at least two factors.
Protect your email accounts
Ah, email. We can’t live without it nowadays, but unfortunately email creates the possibility of tons of viruses, worms and other malicious programs entering your system. Email messages can be protected using cryptography, which creates codes that keep your information confidential.
Is it over yet?
Most Internet service providers offer their own additional web security. To find out what you have to offer, check first, and then you may want to select in additional layers of security.
AT&T Contech Tech Plus detects and removes viruses and malware and provides chat options with agents to get to the bottom of other security-related issues.
Verizon Internet Security Suite McAfee Active Protection (against malicious threats), real-time protection from virus attacks, secure firewall protection and parental controls – provides a robust array of tools for all devices that use the Verizon service.
Spectrum offers a downloadable security service for professional Internet users, at no extra cost. The software software protects against malicious software, including viruses, spyware, worms, Trojans and more. Through the firewall feature, allow only secure Internet connections and block unwanted access access to your computer.
When in doubt, ask your provider what they offer and what you can do to further their existing defenses. Now that you know a little more about the dangers of the Internet world, you become more diligent about protecting yourself. Stay connected to our resource center and don’t forget to stay safe!