If you can read this, then there is a possibility of your device being attacked. This article will discuss how to Protect Yourself from Cyberattack(s).
this article is designed to help honest and unsuspecting Nigerians to protect themselves and devices, the suggestions are non-exhaustive, to stay safe in the ever evolving cyber world one needs to constantly stay alert and up to date with current trends, however the suggestions may also apply elsewhereucheson
What is Cyber Attack
Cyber attack is an attempt by a hacker or group of hackers to damage or destroy a computer network or system.
It can also be described as any type of offensive manoeuvre by nations , individuals groups , society or organization carried out to target computer information ,system infrastructure, computer network and or personal computer devices through the use of malware (malicious or harmful computer virus or software) which usually originate from an anonymous source and very difficult to trace.
Apart from altering the way the system runs cyber attacks /attackers may tend to steal valuable information, such as credit card numbers and some other information of value to the owner of the infected device.
The cyberattack does not just happen it is deliberate if you are using the internet with your PC or mobile devices you are very much at risk. But how can you protect yourself from this ever-growing menace?
Before then lets discuss some disturbing trends
COVID-19 Data Attack Trends
Webroot shared the following disturbing covid-19 -related trends:
- Two percent of all COVID-19 websites created in past few months were malicious.
- There has been a 2,000% increase in malicious files with Zoom in their name.
- A 40% increase in unsecured remote desktop protocol (RDP) machines for remote working. With unsecured RDP, cybercriminals will use brute force to gain complete control of the machine.
- Unsecured RDP isn’t new, but during the pandemic, the attack area surface is only continuing to grow.
of course there are millions of phishing websites springing up, and internet users are likely going to click on any link related to covid-19 relief funds, palliatives or support.
Now remember the pandemic isn’t gone yet, many countries are recording the second wave already.
We are going to discuss that but it is vital to note that the country Nigeria is among the top ten countries at the highest risk of a cyber attack.
According to Premium Times, Nigeria ranks 3rd behind the USA and UK in cybercrime.
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, says Nigeria currently ranks third globally in cybercrimes behind the UK and the U.S..
Now read that again
You do not have to be a cyber crime expert to protect yourself and devices.
Nonetheless, even as a novice you can do a lot to protect yourself .
How to Protect Yourself from Cyberattack
AVOID SECOND HAND DEVICE
In Nigeria the market is swarming with second hand laptops, desktops and mobile devices, off course these devices are cheap and affordable compared to the brand new devices, moreover in some areas in Nigeria buyers believe that most second hand devices popularly known as “tukumbo” are more durable than brand new devices.
Although, the above statement however true it may be, all who purchase second handed devices put themselves in the crossfire of cyber crimes or cyber attacks.
Worse yet, some who purchase a second hand or so called fairly used devices maybe arrested for a crime they know nothing about.
This is so because some of these devices might have been infected by a malware.
Or the previous owner, used it to commit a cyber crime.
For your information there are special search engines that indexes every device the moment it access internet.
Buying a second hand device is like adopting a child, not just adopting a child, but adopting a teenager, who might have acquired a lot of bad habits and traits, which may not be obvious initially but will definitely show up laterucheson
Moreover some second hand devices which are sold cheap might have been previously used to commit crimes, such as kidnapping, imagine you bought a device associated with such crime, this will put you in the crossfire of the police investigation.
Perhaps you may see yourself getting arrested for a crime which you did not commit.
BE MINDFULL OF WHAT YOU DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL
Have you ever tried to install an app? And your device warned you that it is not from a trusted source? Or perhaps tried to download a video, music, or PDF, and what you end up downloading is an app?
In a lay man’s explanation such downloads are somehow not safe for you and your device, in this case instead of overriding you device firewall (security) by ignoring its warning, it is advised you heed that warning.
USE SAFE WEBSITES
But how do you know if a website is safe or not?
Websites are like houses, some are fenced, some are not, some has CCTV cameras, some do not.
So will you prefer to live in an unsecure neighborhood? or a safe one?
The internet is very volatile in terms of security, one need to be sure they are protected.
Safe websites has SSL (secured socket layer) certificate which is usually indicated by a padlock symbol at the address bar.
Did you just look at your address bar?
Not to worry you are currently on safe webpage.
let me explain the work of this protocol, SSL helps to encrypt data, what this means is: instead of a hacker to see your password as “mylove1234” they will see it as “Ykhdid2;0eaV” or something like that, which doesn’t make any sense to humans.
Some websites also employ CAPTCHA, at especially sensitive areas such as login page, take your time to solve these CAPTCHA and do not grow impatient .
Get a good anti-virus software and maintain a regular scan of your system.
An anti-virus is just like analgesics used against headache, but sometimes when the symptom persists you may need to see a doctor, this gives rise to the fifth point.
VISIT A GOOD TECHNICIAN
Hey take note, not “visit a technician” but visit “a good technician”
Have your device checked occasionally by an experienced technician, the technician should not just be experienced but also trusted.
This is because some technicians can also manually plant malware in your system.
If your system is Hanging or not responding, some apps are misbehaving then know that you may be at risk.
You may need a deep scan from an anti-virus or visit a technician.
BE A SMART SOCIAL NETWORKER
A friend once said
“maturity” is when you stop posting or sharing all the events that happen in your life in the social network.
Most people share more than they keep, some individuals use their date of birth, nicknames, as password and pin, yet this same information is publicly displayed in their social network wall or page.
Cyber criminals are smart, and often use social engineering to finish off their victims, the key is this, upload less , say less, know more, use password that has both uppercase, lower case , and symbols as this will be difficult for both man and computer to predict, ( example instead of berry1111, you may use bERry!/”@ )
Additionally, do not, I repeat, do not, use the same password over and over again in different websites.
Whenever your system or software in your system needs an update always update it, this is because system and software developers might have spotted a serious security flaw in the previous version, which is why there will be need for an immediate update.
However, ensure that your downloads are from the official websites of the software provider, or a trusted store, say play store.
Hence if you refuse or remain adamant towards making the update, you may be susceptible to such security flaws, even this article will soon be updated.
BE A SMART CLICKER
Try as much as you can to learn about web addresses (URL) so if you see a look-alike you will know.
Your sound knowledge of your frequently visited websites will help you to know, when a malicious email is trying to redirect you to a harmful website.
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