A host of security pitfalls have been born of the internet, namely because the World Wide Web is not nearly as secure as many individuals believe it is. Unfortunately, the vast majority of surfers fail to take cyber threats seriously. They assume that the internet is safe because they’ve never been on the receiving end of a trojan virus that forwarded their personal information to a hacker’s hard drive. This type of thinking affects millions of users each year, unless you received your computer engineering degree online. Let’s have a look at some ways that you can improve your cybe security:
• Read the Terms and Conditions carefully before entering any personal information to ensure that your information will not be forwarded to a third party. Once a third party has your information, there is no telling how many mischievous hands it may fall into. Further to that, the speed with which investigations into incidents of cyber fraud are resolved is contingent upon how many variables there are in the investigation. If your personal information has been spread about over thousands of IP addresses, it is quite possible that the matter will never be brought to resolution.
• Note the IP address and the URL of the page that you’re visiting. Click out of the page and wait one hour. When you pull up the page again, compare the IP address and URL to those of the page that you pulled up an hour ago. If they do not match, flag the site for removal and click out of it immediately.
• Personal information should only be given over a secure site. Note the URL. If it reads ‘https’ at the beginning, the site is secure. If the ‘s’ is absent, do not enter your personal information.
• Any legitimate vendor will afford you the option of placing an order over the phone. If this is option is not made available to you, there is a strong possibility that either your personal information will be stolen, or that the product you ordered will not be of the quality that the owner of the site has claimed it to be.
• Avoid opening emails from people that you don’t know. New technology has afforded hackers the ability to embed a remote keylogger in files that you would deem relevant to information that you requested by proxy or even directly. Remote keyloggers relay every keystroke that you make to a hacker’s computer for review. Not only are all of your keystrokes recorded, but some keylogging software takes snapshots of your screen views, enabling the hacker to see the various screens you’re on when you enter your personal information. Hackers can run your log-in details against the time stamp on the snapshot to determine which usernames and passwords you user for various websites. Furthermore, many hackers use software to generate mailing lists and send out emails asking for a quick response. They do this to verify that the email account is in fact yours. Responding to emails of this nature afford hackers this information, which they can then use to carry out further illegal activities.
• Many companies–online pharmacies have been in the spotlight recently for such notoriety–present as legitimate vendors, when they are, in reality, hackers who accept credit card payments that forward monies to their own accounts. For the record, most of these accounts are obtained via means that promote anonymity. All companies are required to file with the state in which they are headquartered. When purchasing a product online from a vendor with which you are unfamiliar, run a Google search to determine whether or not they are a member of the Better Business Bureau. Do not make a purchase until you have established their legitimacy as a business to your satisfaction. Questions should be directed to the number provided. If a vendor does not have a number at which to be reached, click out of the site immediately and flag it for removal.