Some great basic tips for the average user to protect your computer:
Firstly, the most important computer security tip is to have anti virus software. These programs will not let your data be lost in case some viruses enter your system. They make backup files as well which allows you to retrieve any files that you lose. However, make sure that the anti virus you use is good software. Do not settle for any substandard program for it may harm your PC instead of doing any good to it.
Another very important point pertaining to computer security is that you should not open attachments with emails which you receive from unknown senders. Many of these emails are intended with the purpose of transferring viruses into your system. They can damage your files or the entire computer so better not open them.
Using strong passwords is also a very important tip to secure your computer. You should use long passwords with a mixture of digits and alphabets so that they cannot be easily hacked.
One major addition to this list that I would make is:
Change your user account so that it is NOT an Administrator account.
1. Mobile security
While computer networks remain the traditional targets for cyberattacks, the growing usage of mobile devices for seeking information and everyday financial transactions is driving an increase in cybercrime. Financial applications like digital wallets and pocket ATMs are targets, as are QR codes, those square, barcode-like images that you scan with your phone’s camera. Hackers can redirect you towards a website that contains viruses or other malicious content with the intent to steal sensitive data, like credit card or bank account information, track your location, or even send SMS messages to premium rate numbers.
Mobile applications can be risky business too. Earlier this year, Google removed 60 applications carrying malicious software from its Android Market. Some of the malware revealed private information to a third party, replicated to other devices, destroyed user data or even impersonated the device owner.
2. Social media
The free sharing of personal information via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc., will continue to contribute to personal cyberthreats and those targeted to companies. You can expect to see more viral threats which can infect everyone on a user’s friends list. A profile or comment on a social media platform gives smooth-talking scammers something personal to work with in their social engineering schemes designed to steal or delete users’ personal information. A wayward comment from an unthinking employee can reveal corporate information not meant to be exposed which can lead to data theft and security breaches.
3. Malware attacks
Zero-day malware (malicious software) and well-planned attacks will continue to increase from a rise in 2011. Experts predict that attackers will target devices on networks like printers and routers as well as more traditional targets. Small business owners and home users especially need to protect their environments against malware and the tactics of organized cybergangs that are increasingly used today.
Head over to the source to see some additional cyberthreats that are predicted.
- Brace Yourself: 2012’s Top Cyberthreats (news.dice.com)
- Future-Proof Your Network Against Advancing Cyberthreats: A Sourcefire Seminar Series (sourcefire.com)