As we are about to enter the new year, it’s ritualistic to reflect on our experiences from the passing year and make resolutions for the New Year. Most people make resolutions around good heath, their life goals, etc. Here is a different angle to our routine resolutions’ list – Security Resolutions everyone should make for 2020 to stay safe online.
To keep yourself safe on the internet – first and the most important thing is – DON’T GET LURED BY ANY FREE OFFERS. In this world, nothing comes for free!
- The guy offering you free Credit Card in any shopping mall, is actually more interested in knowing your mobile number, your earning details, your spending habits, your address and many such personal things.
- The pop-ups which you see every now and then while accessing internet or playing mobile games, which claim to offer you something, are actually click-baits/traps. These can be very risky and infect your computer or mobile phone.
- The café providing you free WiFi, might be stealthily collecting data about your internet browsing habits, as soon as you connect with the free Wi-Fi.
- The mobile app claiming to speed up your lagging smart phone, actually wants to get control of your phone and sniff all the stored passwords.
- The free antivirus software asking your permission to share feedback with them, is actually more interested in knowing your browser history and file hashes on your system.
- The caller identification apps on your phone, actually steal all the contacts in your phone book to build their own master database of contacts.
- Though unknowingly, but you end up giving full read access of all the data on your phone, when you use free file sharing apps.
And this list goes on ….
While we cannot wipe away our past mistakes, we can definitely avoid doing them in future. So, let’s make the following resolutions this year, to keep yourself safe online.
- Buy and install a good antivirus software. Yes, pay for it! It won’t cost you more than a dinner in a fancy restaurant.
- Don’t use pirated software. The most notorious ransomware from 2019 – STOP, was known to spread through software cracks.
- If you are a Windows user, use licenced copy of it. This will ensure you get all the latest security patches and updates from Microsoft.
- Apply all the security updates for your operating systems. Remember WannaCry? Though Microsoft had a patch for it, it spread fast through unpatched Windows Systems.
- Don’t download attachments in emails received from unknown sender. Email is one of the most prevalent attack vectors.
- Don’t fall prey to fraudulent emails or messages, in the rush to claim the price for a lottery which you had never bought.
- Use social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram sensibly. Remember you are leaving your trail behind, and anybody out there can misuse it.
- Don’t accept each and every friend request you get on social networks, dating apps, etc. The requester may be doing a social engineering attack on you.
- Never ever share your mobile number or address on any social networking site. We’ve seen people openly sharing complete address and phone numbers. Though they might think it’s visible to only their friend, it may not be always true.
- Use separate email IDs for use of social media, banking related stuff, use of study forums, etc.
- Don’t visit porn sites or adult forums from the same computer which you use for internet banking or doing any financial transactions. These sites are full of traps and malicious links.
- Don’t give your smart phone, tab or laptop for repairs without clearing your personal data from it. This data can be misused or get leaked online.
- Don’t throw your old laptops, SD cards, USBs directly. Dispose them off properly. Chances are that someone might recover your personal information stored on them and misuse it against you.
Have a digitally safe and secure New Year 2020!