Technology and the Internet have now penetrated virtually every aspect of our professional and social lives. Together, they have brought an incredible range of benefits, including easy access to information, increased communication capacity, streamlined social networking and mobile devices in our lives. However, it also means that we need to be more careful and smarter than ever when it comes to digital security.
It may seem obvious, but digital security is not to be taken lightly. Taking students as an example, our modern society now offers an increasing number of digital tools at our fingertips, both at school and at home. It is, therefore, important to ensure digital security to keep devices and personal information safe from online threats. This includes creating complex passwords and identifying malicious software and websites.
Moreover, cyber security was the focus of the Innovathon Risks in Mauritius during the month of April. The objective of the different teams was to present innovative digital solutions against IT risks according to the priorities of the country’s public policies. For the average person, there are some tips on how to best protect yourself from technology-related threats.
Digital security: beware of phishing attacks
Social engineering is how hackers and data thieves cleverly access your information through phishing, i.e. by pretending to be other companies or people. So beware of links, e-mails, phone calls and other questionable communication channels. Do not give out personal information (your full name, age, address, social insurance number, etc.) without a valid reason. You can also help minimize risk by visiting only approved sites. Protect yourself by only opening emails from trusted senders, use spam filters or anti-spam software (some anti-spam software is available for free online, for example Spamfence).
Make your smartphone access code more secure
Did you know that the default 4-digit iOS keyboard code is not the most secure? It is possible to improve this password in the settings. This way you can add extra numbers, which will make your iPhone much more secure. Similarly, Androids phones also offer tools to improve security, such as passcode lengthening.
Make automatic backups of your computer
To avoid waking up one day with a computer formatted by mistake, it is crucial to take the time to make regular backups of your important data. Best of all, the process is not nearly as complicated as you might think. For example, you can configure a backup system directly with the Windows or Mac with the “Time Machine” feature.
Install the right protection software
Viruses and malware are constant threats to any computer system. To block them, it is therefore recommended to use two types of tools: an antivirus, such as Avira for Windows or Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac, and an anti-malware to perform on-demand computer scans, such as Malwarebytes.
Locking your Wi-Fi router
The router is the first line of defense in a home network. Therefore, it is recommended to change the administrator passcode of the device using a WPA2 (AES) configuration, but also to change other basic settings such as user name and network name, enable encryption or use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) among others.
Do not use public Wi-Fi without VPN
The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of using a public Wi-Fi network is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which guarantees a high level of security. It can help mask your identity or identify you in another country, preventing hackers from tracking your Internet traffic.
Use a password manager
Virtually all software requires a password, and because a good password means a different one for each site, it is often impossible to remember them all. From then on, password managers become really useful. From Lastpass to RoboForm, each has different features and functionality to meet the needs of their users.
Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication provides an additional level of security that protects the user in case their password is stolen. For example, a device like “Two Factor Auth” offers this type of identification for several services, from bank accounts to mailboxes.
Ensure that your applications and their settings are up to date
Finally, it is important to check that your OS, applications, and their security settings are always up to date. It is also very useful to make sure that the permissions related to Facebook or Twitter are also in line with your expectations. And to make things easier, there are tools, such as “MyPermissions “, that allow you to control the settings of multiple applications easily.