Are you safe on the internet?

Are you safe on the internet?

Is everyone getting hacked or at risk of having their data accessed by malicious individuals? We all have colleagues and friends who have duct tape on their webcams who incessantly insist on having to use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) while on the World Wide Web or on social media; be it Facebook, Twitter, Whats-app, Snap-chat or Instagram. Did you know that most if not all of your uploaded photos contain metadata that could backtrack right to your doorstep?

Everyone wants to feel safe when they are at home with their doors locked. They want to know that they are protected from danger, but today, the internet has added another dimension to the world of individual safety and security. The Internet has taken us from the physical world, where fire, flood, and earthquakes are the typical causes of catastrophic damage; into the digital world, where identity theft, ransomware, and computer viruses have the potential to be just as destructive. It is no longer sufficient to simply lock your doors, your personal information is at risk from criminals who can attack any time. This means your information needs to be protected, locked up, and secured — just like your home.

To start with, assess your risk level, which refers to how prone you are to cyber-related attacks. While we all have the potential of being victims of cyber-crime, there are factors that can cause your risk level to increase. Among these factors include your level of wealth, meaning, that the more wealth you have, the higher chance you’re likely to be attacked. Another reason is having several connected devices in your homes such as laptops, smartphones, Internet TVs, security systems, which are all part of the intricate web of technology.

These devices hold valuable information, such that passwords, dates of birth, and travel schedules, which having been connected on the internet and creates an entry point for notorious hackers to access the devices and the information they hold, thus allowing them to control critical functions in your home. Once they gain access to these devices, they can easily transfer funds from bank accounts, unlock doors that use smart locks, and install harmful ransomware on computers to hold them hostage. Also, pay attention to your level of fame/celebrity/social status and online presence as this puts you at a higher risk of being attacked especially if you are an influencer.

The more risk factors you have, the higher your level of risk is and the more you should consider taking action to protect yourself. Once you have an understanding of your risk level, you can determine the actions you need to take to mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of cyber-crime. A self-assessment is a good start, but having a cyber-security professional to work with is a viable option as well.

Summary of the article by Meshack Mwaura

Zydii Software Developer