What is security?
There are multiple systems designed for providing security. But few are aware of the definition of the term â€˜securityâ€™. So, security is a state of being free from any danger or threats. The term is applied for all vulnerabilities that may undergo different kinds of risks. But the term has a broad sense and today we are to turn attention to Internet security.
What is online security or Internet protection?
When speaking about Internet security it should be stated that the main functionalities of the term are preserved. Online security is a branch of security in a broad sense specifically related to Internet operation. That means that any online activity may suffer from different kinds of threats and security is the measures taken for the activities protection.
Before delving deeper in the sphere of Internet protection letâ€™s define what vulnerabilities and what should be exactly protected from.
First, you know that any computer system or operation system needs protection and no one will take care of the state of your system better than you. So, your system should be kept â€˜healthyâ€™.
- Your system should be helped in avoiding different viruses. â€˜Spywareâ€™ and â€˜malwareâ€™ are just some of the names used for the virusesâ€™ definition. Programs and files can contain viruses. Gaining and attacking your personal data are the commonest features of the viruses. Up-to-date computers have â€˜firewallâ€™, which is built in your system, so make sure it operates well enough to protect it from viruses. Also the firewall should be switched on every time you accessing to the Internet. Moreover, antivirus software should be set up onto your device. Most of the threats can be blocked with the help of a good antivirus (the details should be explained later on the article). The software can be downloaded for free or bought from online specialized shop. Regular updates, which are provided by the developers of your software, should be fulfilled for automatic protecting your system against new viruses. The updates can be achieved either automatically while connecting to the Internet or newly installed. In addition, it is a good practice to learn some new data on topic independently in order to protect your computer.
Then you should look through the passwords you have chosen for your accounts.
- You shouldnâ€™t let adversaries reach the account data instead of you. In this regard email or Internet banking services are demanded to ask passwords and logs for their accounts in order to prevent your account from unauthorized access.You should forget about passwords containing your real name, names of your family members, dates of birth or such easy codes as â€˜123456â€™ or something thereabouts. Instead of this, a serious approach should be taken. Weak passwords are moved to a risk groupon the word, because hacking into accounts becomes easier when using such obvious passwords. In addition, the criminals seeking for vulnerability are turned to be more skilled in the sphere, which is a reflection of the fact that the choice should be even more selective. Todayâ€™sâ€™ hacking programs can crack such an account, which has a common-word password within minutes. Different passwords should be chosen for different websitesâ€™ accounts. Numbers, symbols, upper and lower caseâ€™ letters should be used for creating a good password. But it may cause a problem for your memorizing. In this regard you some password managers can be used instead of paper notebook, which can be stolen putting your vulnerable data under a risk of being intercepted.
After that you should pay attention to the data you leave online about yourself.
- It is strongly recommended to avoid mentioning your real first/last names, full birth dates, physical addresses, telephone numbers and etc. Social network websites are of a high importance in this regard. Your privacy settings while subscribing to such a network should be studied thoroughly and taken into consideration. Criminals can be interested in your personal information and identity for committing fraudulence or identity thefts online. Your identity including credit cardâ€™s number can be stolen and misused. That means that products and services can be applied in your name.
Also only secure websites should be visited by you.
- A website can apply for your personal data sometimes. The site should be checked for security policies in this case. Being a security concerned user, you should check the website uses https protocol, which can be observed in the address bar. Any product you want to download should be achieved through a reliable service. It is better to use personally tested services or those websites inspiring trust by using up-to-date technologies such as https protocol.
Your location is another issue, which is hard up for your consideration.
- The people around you while connecting to the Internet should be taken into account too. Endless Wi-Fi hotspots have made our accessing to different resources even easier but also have put our online security under a risk. In addition, when using a shared device, make sure you havenâ€™t left any personal data on it. Moreover, it is a good practice to enter your personal data each time you get access to the Internet even from your personal device. It may be time-consuming action but still needs attention provided that the device can be stolen or used by your fellow. While using any public wireless network you should resist from sending any of your personal data.
Thus, Internet protection will take some of your free time, but the question wonâ€™t wait for your consideration.
Internet threats and risks:
As it has been already mentioned, there are numerous threats you may face while using the Internet. Here we are talk about the topic in more details.
Online identity theft and fraud:
Crime is implied by identity theft or fraudulence. Wrongful gaining and usage of another customer personal data where an economical gain is the main aim of commitment is known as identity theft.Â Your personal data is much alike your fingerprints and canâ€™t be given to another person. Social Security number, bank account, credit card number, telephone calling card number are just some of the sensitive identifying data, which can be aware of personal profit at your expense obtained by wrong people. Bank funds and financial accounts have been announced to run up debts in the US this year. In what connection the fraudsterâ€™s name remains unknown.
Your personal data can be obtained in several ways:
- â€˜shoulder surfingâ€™ is the most popular method for public places with free Wi-Fi connection. Your personal information can be intercepted while punching it into your gadget or saying to someone who needs it.;
- â€˜pre-approved credit cards applicationsâ€™ sent by an email is another vulnerability, which can be very convenient for those who can use it. Tearing up an enclosed material is one of the proved ways for avoiding fraudulence. Otherwise, the card can be activated by a thief. In order to escape this fraudulence many bank companies (but not only) have followed a politics of phone number verification.
- â€˜spam emailsâ€™ is an old breach that still popular among adversaries. Usually some bonuses are promised in such letters for identifying data. While involving a mass computer power, a fraudster can gain so much data that at least half of which is to be appropriate.
As you see, there are numerous ways for fraudulence commitment and the maximum term of fifteen yearsâ€™ imprisonment, which has been taken in the US in late-90s, doesnâ€™t scare the adversaries.
It is another effective way used by adversaries for stealing money from unsuspicious users. There are several forms phishing can take: email messages, links or even phone calls. Malicious software or malware is installed on your device for that purpose with the help of which an adversary can steal any personal data. False pretences such as social engineering can also be use for your convincing. You can be convinced to download something from a website thus getting the aim. In order to avoid such cases look through the material you achieve from unknown resources before linking to it. A phishing letter can contain some spelling mistakes. Also some links should be in such an email. Some threats for your hesitation remove (that your account will be closed, for instance). Usually such letters are sent on a fake â€˜behalf of a big corporationâ€™.
It is fraudulent websites direction of a user, which is achieved through the installation of malicious codes. Having this threat on your system makes you visit these fake sites. It is also known as domain name system poisoning.
Botnets or zombie army:
These are mostly home-based computers that have undergone virus transmissions and now forward it to other computers connected to the Internet. These computers are also called zombies that fulfill the orders of an organizer or a virus. It is now considered as the biggest threat of the Internet concerning viruses. An Internet port that has been left open is usually used for this purpose. Such computers while organizing a botnet can be ordered to direct transmission to a website, which is known as DDoS attack (a site is closed for accepting too much traffic at once).
Being specially designed for accessing or damaging a system without userâ€™s awareness, it is a combination of methods gained through malicious software. Malicious codes, spyware, keyloggers, viruses, worms are all the varieties of malware. Internet crime can be easily organized through malware usage and it turns to be more obvious with each day. The largest part of the malware is created for profit gaining from the unsuspicious users.
The most popular variety of malware, which having been installed on a device, asks its owner to pay ransom for getting the access.
Under the term is understood any manipulations that have been taken for busting up the normal network operation. The reasons for that can be multiple expressed in personal revenue. All the threats described earlier are sort of hacking tools and methods.
Secure your PC browsing and mobile browser
In order to save your system from being hacked you need to know some simple measures for making your network secure and thus providing a secure browsing.
- First of all, you should establish a strong firewall for your computer system. The firewalls are prescribed by many computers for compliance. The tool should be hardened, switched on and supplied with strong antivirus software.
- Regular scans should be conducted for your network. Your system should be regularly scanned for having some vulnerability installed. This service can be found presented by different vendors even for free. But you should choose a reliable service, so, make sure it is worth it.
- Reduce your remote access. Try not to use a public connection for especially important data transfer, otherwise it can be intercepted and used â€˜againstâ€™ you one day.
- Make credit card data encrypted. Up-to-date websites dealing with bank accounts encrypt all the data and use https protocol for their service. So, make sure you use a right service in this regard.
- Divide your network into separate segments. Wi Fi system should be separated from accessing to your personal computer system. LAN can be used for separating authorized traffic into secure zones.
- Your software needs updating. Have you noticed that practically all the inventions have been enhanced from the moment of first realization? The same happens to your software. It doesnâ€™t mean that your software will be enhanced only exteriorly. That means that each time an updating appears the developers have managed to repair the previous breach or other defects, which makes your network more secure.
Now, if speaking about browsing separately, you should know about some defensive â€˜extensionsâ€™ you may apply for your network protection.
- The first and foremost thing you should do is to clear your cached DNS entries. IP addresses are received and cached by your browser in order to enhance the speed performance. Which is, of course, of a high use, but still it can manage some hardships for your system.
- Practically all up-to-date browser versions are managed to disable cookies. You should control the process if you donâ€™t want to get some troubles with it. Moreover, it has been noticed the cookies are not always blocked by default. Probably one of the best decisions for that is using a special software, CCleaner, for example, which is to delete all the â€˜rubbishâ€™ preventing your deviceâ€™s system from high performance.
- In order to stay secure online you should also clean your browsing history Most up-to-date browsers allow setting historyâ€™s deleting according to your convenience (once a week, a month, a day). But it is highly important to check the operation on your own, because as you have mentioned some innovations contain defects.
- In addition, in order to provide your network with high level of security you can use some browser extensions. There are different extensions but the most popular of them are commercials (or ad) blocking, which is able to prevent you from annoying ads and even alert you on some websites; disconnect is known as the most efficient extension dealing with cookies and tracking threats, which is also supplied with analytic tool; an extension that helps to avoid websites using http protocol, which is known as https only, using this additional function you will be able to surf the Internet securely; better privacy an extension used by firefox only, which can deal with a new kind of cookies andÂ noscript addition, which is to help you with tracing all the scripts passing through your system.
- So, as you have probably mentioned there is one browser, which is considered to supply you with the most secure level of protection, this is definitely firefox. It is known to contain all the possible built-in up-to-date technologies on condition that you can get through their settings.
- In addition to this, some searching engines can be mentioned also. We all have got used to some commonest kinds of tool (such as google, for instance). But it is considered to be more secure to use such engines as DuckDuckGo or StartPage, which seem to be less popular but more defensive.
- Hide your web-communications. All customers use Skype, WhatsApp but only a few of us know some more secure messengers for online communications. There are such variant for you to use as Jitsi or RedPhone, or messengers like Chatsecure or Telegram, which are to encrypt all your communications thoroughly.
Make some efforts and you will be able to enjoy a secure network. As there are too many threats for your taking a chance on that.
Thus we have come up to the topic we have started from. The main problem of most devices underwent hacker attacks is their out-of-date software and antivirus system.
Antivirus software should be always used by you. As we have already mentioned bad antivirus software can let hackers commit their crime over your personal data or system. It should be mentioned that when choosing antivirus it is better to look for separate software rather than the one, which is built into your browser. Although such extension can be of a high quality, a detached program has some additional facilities for your system better operation. Moreover, donâ€™t forget to install the program not only to your computer but also to all the gadgets you use, because even your smart fridge can undergo some malware. Some good antivirus systems are considered to be paid, but there are some worth variants for free too. Thus, you can try Avast or AVG, which donâ€™t budge an inch to their paid competitors.
A VPN for security
When talking about online security a VPN service canâ€™t but be mentioned. Being developed for corporate usage, today the service is desirable among many individual users.
The operation of the service is pretty easy. There are some dedicated up-to-date protocols, which are used by a service to design a secure tunneling. When sending, for instance, an email to your friend it goes through the tunneling and becomes encrypted. This resembles the case when you wrote some notes to each other at school in a â€˜fakeâ€™ language. The only difference is that you shouldnâ€™t decipher the letter the system will make it instead.
The service is of an extra need if you live in countries with poor Internet freedom and where total censorship is being followed. Usually the agencies of such countries forbid access to most popular sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and others. Even if you donâ€™t live in such a country one day you can go there for a business trip (for example to Brasil), so you wonâ€™t mange to call your wife by Skype, because the app is forbidden there to use. Again, using a VPN you can avoid all the restrictions. By choosing an appropriate virtual location (there are usually plenty of them in the list) you can use any banned application you wish absolutely anonymously.
If speaking about anonymity, it is achieved through â€˜no logsâ€™ or â€˜metadataâ€™ providerâ€™s politics. Having subscribed to a VPN that doesnâ€™t keep any logging data and needs only your email for subscription is the best way for your protection. More than that, different anonymous payment methods are used by such services. There are such anonymous payment methods a s Bitcoin, for example.
So, as you see the method of security is quite easy but you should choose it carefully for not to get into a trap.
Summing up, it should be said that Internet security is each user business taken separately. If you are looking for providing your networking with a high level of security you should look through the main steps one more time and remember that nobody is interested in your security except you. Thus, having taken the main steps, such as good password management, browsing history deleting, software updating and antivirus installation and updating, you can feel safe online. And having applied to such service as a VPN, you can feel double-protected.