Cyber Security basics for beginners | Learn to stay safe online, prevent a cyber attack

Cyber Security Basics for beginners | Learn to stay safe online, prevent a cyber attack

In our modern life, from the moment we wake up to the time we close our eyes, we are addicted to the internet. Be it social media, online games, or reading, etc. we are always hooked onto it.
  •    We definitely cannot live without the internet
  •    Neither can we ignore the evil that comes along with it
Unfortunately, cybercriminals have become quite savvy(cunning) in their attempts to lure people in and get you to click on a link or open an attachment.
 
You shouldn’t venture online without taking some basic precautions. It is almost the same as you won’t drive without your seat belt, you won’t ride a bike without a helmet, you won’t play cricket without a guard Same here, do not surf the internet without safety precautions.
 
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Have you ever been the victim of a cyber attack?

Hopefully, your answer is No.
 

99% of Computers Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

But even if it’s yes there’s a major risk out there every single day for the potential of it happening to you let me present a few statistics to you about online security.
 
  • There were over one million Web attacks against individual people every single day in just 2015 in 2016 there were 38 percent more security incidents detected than in 2015 more than half of the funds stolen through cybercrime will never be recovered as much as 70 percent of cyber attacks use a combination of phishing and hacking techniques.
  • Over one hundred and 69 million personal records were exposed in 2017 stemming from seven hundred 89 publicized breaches in 2018.
  • Nearly 99 % of computers were vulnerable to cyber attacks 
  • The reality of all of this is that Anybody even you are at risk of being the victim of a cyber attack at any moment on any given day when it comes to cracking passwords.
  • Most hackers use a bot or software that can quickly cycle through tons of combinations and run them against your account.
  • Furthermore, just think of all of the database leaks that happen each year or so just to name one instance was with the Heartbleed issue that just happened not too long ago
cyber-security-basics-for-beginners-Learn-to-stay-safe-online,-prevent-cyber-attacks
  • It’s more important now than ever to take just that extra step to make certain that not just all of your online accounts are completely secure but that your personal information is safe as well.
That’s why this guide will aim to focus on a few of the main aspects of your online security that you should take a look at and possibly improve. Everything is laid out in a neat and easy to follow manner so that you can take action on the system provided.
 

How About Your Password?

Have a completely secure password, If you’re on the internet then you know what a password is even if you aren’t on the internet you clearly know how a password works.
Let’s be real who doesn’t. The real question is 

Do you have a completely secure password?

Some people skip over putting in that extra effort towards creating a unique and secure password perhaps they just assume nothing could ever happen to them and maybe nothing ever will but that’s the first and biggest mistake about using the Internet and creating accounts really anywhere on the web.
 
Generally speaking, if your password contains any ordinary word by itself then it probably isn’t as secure as it could be.
 
Most Web sites nowadays won’t let you use a password that’s super basic anymore meaning you should have at least a number symbol and capital letter.

You see most passwords are case sensitive which helps you a fair bit to create something unique that you can remember you can even include symbols such as at sign(@) and sign(&) exclamation sign(!) point(.) and parentheses() as well.

This means that for example, you could turn a regular password such as Surabhi Nishu into something far more difficult to ever crack by doing something like ([email protected]!).

 

Sure that kind of password might be more obnoxious to type in but think of how much effort it would take to crack that password.

If you want to take it a step further you can even generate a completely random password or use a variety of free random password generator sites out there on the Internet.

 

Create A Unique Account Security Question

 
Create a unique account security question if you’ve never heard the term account security question then
let me explain.
This refers to the question you’re asked when you log in from a new location when you need to reset your password or in a number of other situations it’s essentially another form of two-step authentication that’s put into place to further protect your accounts.
Most people will choose one of the basic questions provided to them for this step such as 
  1. What is your mother’s maiden name?
  2. what is your birthplace?
  3. what is your hometown?
and then they will provide the true answer to the question not to say that it’s the wrong thing to do but when you consider that most people with malicious intent prowling the internet might be willing to put a little effort into deciphering the answer to your question especially if they already cracked your password and have access to that realistically any honest answer that you provide for your account security question might pose a security threat itself to the overall protective level of your accounts.
Unfortunately, this is due in part to the fact that there is just a lot of personal information out there about us.

 

With that in mind, it’s actually rather easy for you to improve the security of your question in this situation.

For one instead of answering what your real hometown is you could put in your favorite town or a place, you’ve always wanted to live. You’ll know this and will most likely remember it and it’s going to be rather difficult for a hacker to crack that answer it’s strongly advised that you get creative and put some effort into this aspect.

Mobile Notifications & Privacy Settings

 
Many email providers and other accounts or service providers that have pertinent information on them will present the feature to connect your mobile phone number to the account as an extra layer of security for your account. If this feature is available to you it’s strongly recommended that you make use of it.
As you may be wary of sharing that kind of personal information with a service or other provider there’s the main reason why you generally don’t need to be wary of this.

 

  • When a company offers this feature in relation to account security they will almost certainly have extremely safeguarded methods for storing and protecting that kind of information about you above all the entire purpose for connecting your mobile phone is because when something fishy happens involving your account you will receive a notification on your cell phone no matter where you are building on top of that you can often use your mobile number as a means to reset or gain access to an infected account.
  • Even if you simply forgot your password anytime a Web site allows you to add or connect a mobile phone to your account you should definitely consider doing such inspect your account privacy settings.
  • Nine times out of ten when you’re signing up for an email account social network or a plethora of other Web sites on the world wide web you’ll be asked the inevitable what is your birthdate advancing personal questions even more.
  • Sometimes you’ll be asked things like your full name obviously your location or birthplace sometimes for security questions hobbies or any other random questions while most of these are standard procedure and you shouldn’t give it a second thought maybe you actually should think about it carefully.
  • Where are you signing up to if it’s for your email account keep in mind that you may need to know the information you’re providing. For instance sometimes when resetting or recovering your password you may need to enter your birthday or the birthday you chose for your account because of this you need to realize that if you sign up anywhere on the web or communicate your birthday anywhere on the web publicly or not people might be able to see that information by the process of elimination.
  • It’s not out of line to see how a hacker could use the Internet to figure out what school you went to for first grade or even what street you grew up on these details can frequently be dug up somewhere on the web somehow even further they can often be guessed by just looking up common lists as in the case of the make of a car maybe not in every individual person’s case. But it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

Vet emails and phishing attempts.

 
Ordinarily, when you receive a link you can hover your cursor over the link in a tooltip will display with the target your URL. This allows you to be certain that the link your clicking is really sending you to that location when it comes to email senders are able to embed a link that points to another target you’re well they can even use link cloaking forwarding services to disguise their link even further.
 
Because of this, you don’t always know where you could be sent when you click on a link that can be potentially very dangerous it’s not a difficult task to quickly check a link and see if it’s malicious for starters you already should know that hovering over a link will display a tooltip with its true location.
 
Beyond that, the nature of the email should really tell you a lot about the intent of the link found within the message.
 
If the email seems suspicious then the link is most likely suspect as well add you shouldn’t even click the link.
Just out of curiosity there are also a few simple techniques you can use to recognize if an email might be suspicious.
 
Here’s just a brief list that can help you out.
  1.  Any email requesting that you take action on an account or provide personal information via email may be suspicious and should most times not be trusted.
  2.  Never click directly on links in an email hover over them first to check if an email asks you to submit confidential information via another form or an outbound page this is generally not safe and is a phishing attempt.
  3.  Anytime you have a suspicion you should contact the support team or support desk contact for the company in question.
  4.  If the email is caught in a spam or trash filter and it looks like it may be coming from a suspicious address then it should be avoided.
  5.   Now monitor account activity regularly obviously you should regularly log in to important accounts and make sure everything is up to date and secure.

This is the first step to keeping an eye on things.

  • The next is enabling mobile notifications and any other form of two-step authentication Occasionally you should check your sent mail folder in your email address and make sure that nothing is being sent out that you’re unaware of.
  • You can also take your security a step further by actively keeping an eye on the last account activity feature that’s often available to you in your dashboard on email providers like Gmail and such for example this is located in the bottom right-hand corner of your Gmail inbox screen.
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  • You can even find these tools in sites like Facebook Twitter and so on whenever they are available you should glance over the recent activity and logging connections just to be sure that you are the only one with access.
  • With that in mind, you need to always keep a constant watch over these kinds of things just because it’s better to catch suspicious activity before it actually explodes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would say with just a few simple steps you can easily make sure that the level of security around your accounts is the best it can be.
Now go through your accounts if you haven’t already and give them what I like to call a tune-up just to lock them down further this could be as simple as changing your passwords adding two-step authentication or creating a recovery account as well.

Regardless of what it is you need to do it’s important that you take action today and bump up that level of security because you truly never know if it could be you tomorrow when some hacker decides to target your personal accounts and wreak havoc upon your life by putting these tips into effect and making that extra effort to check over everything

you’re actually doing yourself a massive favor in the long term wouldn’t you rather end up safe versus being sorry and paying a huge price trying to resolve hacker related issues down the road.

The best thing you can possibly do at this point is to take preemptive measures towards securing both your personal data and your important accounts too. Most of all you should always be prepared just in case something does happen with all of that said I wish you the best of luck in securing your accounts and privacy.

The last important note never uses a universal password for any of your accounts.
 

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