- Ashish Shrestha
Be cyber smart! - Cybersecurity Awareness month
No one likes being out of date whether it be with knowledge, skills or fashion. You would not consume stale food so why treat your device, software and apps differently. The update you deferred or postponed could have saved you from the malware that you could be downloading next. Device, software and app developers push critical security and bug fixes to keep your device updated which protects your data from the bad guys.
Enable auto update wherever you can. Where it is not an option, do make sure you do regular checks and balance to update the device, software or apps.
Here are some key knowledge base:
Apple Devices - https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202180
Android Devices - https://support.google.com/android/answer/7680439?hl=en-GB
Apps- https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/113412?hl=en-GB (Andriod) https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202180 (Apple)
Windows 10 -
Go to Start button, select Settings > Update & security > Windows Update
Select Advanced options, under Choose how updates are installed, select Automatic (recommended)
Still using Windows XP and Windows 7?
Seriously! Go get a new device or upgrade win10 (applicable to compatible windows 7 device)
Helpful link: https://computing.which.co.uk/hc/en-gb/articles/360009159719-How-to-upgrade-from-Windows-7-to-Windows-10-for-free
A system without an antivirus is like a home with an unlocked door. An antivirus will protect your computer as it will detect, scan and remove any potential threats and viruses from your devices.
New types of viruses are appearing every day. You might click a certain link or pop-up on the internet while browsing, which may spread viruses on your computer, or your device can get infected if you click an infected emailor through removable devices and any other media. Despite being extra cautious, you could be at risk.
Here is a list of secure antivirus softwares you can install:
Free antivirus softwares:
Windows Defender - inbuilt in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
Avast - https://www.avast.com/index#pc
Note : When using free antivirus softwares you will be receiving basic level of protection even if it is 40%, SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING!
Paid antivirus software:
Kaspersky - https://www.kaspersky.com/downloads/thankyou/antivirus-free-trial
Eset - https://www.eset.com/int/home/antivirus/download/
Norton Antivirus - https://support.norton.com/sp/en/us/norton-download-install/current/info
VirusTotal - https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload
Use this free tool to scan suspicious files and URLs to detect any malware or viruses.
Do you reuse the same password for multiple accounts in the fear of forgetting them? You probably know that using ‘123456’ or ‘password’ or ‘your birthday’ as a password is not the best idea. Despite the risk of data being compromised, majority of people still recycle passwords. By using the same password across multiple sites, you are making it much easier for hackers to access your other accounts as well.
However, it can be a pain in the brain coming up with strong passwords every time (containing uppercases, lowercases, numbers, special characters) and remembering all of them. That is why you should be using a Password Manager – they generate and remember your passwords for you.
Here are some links to secure and free Password Managers you can download:
Apple and Android devices:
For Apple devices – You can use the inbuilt password manager: Keychain Access
Bitwarden - https://bitwarden.com/download/
Dashlane - https://bit.ly/2WPsHr0
LastPass - https://bit.ly/3uJntcV
Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (In your Social media, Gmail, and other accounts) will provide you an extra layer of protection against cyber-attacks. In the latest updates people can now use biometric authentication whether it be your fingerprint or face recognition, which is much more secure than SMS codes.
Here are some links that shows you how to set up Multi-Factor Authentication in your accounts:
Google Account - https://support.google.com/authorizedbuyers/answer/2690010?hl=en
Instagram Account - https://help.instagram.com/566810106808145
Facebook Account - https://www.facebook.com/help/148233965247823
TikTok Account - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzKmea5vpbU
WhatsApp - https://bit.ly/3Fl3Ix2
Viber - https://bit.ly/3FmgcEx
Telegram - https://bit.ly/3DaZlCO
Using public network could be dangerous than you think. Someone might be watching on your activity. Some key points are mentioned below to keep yourself aware when using an open Wi-Fi network.
Avoid using Open Wi-Fi and Hotspot (unsecured networks) for accessing your personal bank account and confidential data. Highly recommend using VPN to ensure your privacy and anonymity.
Connect to sites with Padlock icon enabled in them. It indicates that the connection to the website is encrypted.
Beware of visually confusing names of open Wi-Fi like Starbock, kesperskie. These networks may look like a valid company but could have been hosted by intruders.
Disable automatic connection to public networks.
Turn off your Bluetooth connection in public places. Doing so will protect your device from being connected to unknown devices.
Use Multifactor Authentication for securing your applications (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Tiktok etc) and mail services (Gmail, Outlook, etc). Scroll above on how to enable multi factor authentication.
However, Mobile network/data is a much safer choice to connect to the internet, rather than using public & open networks.
Back up your DATA - Be a Batman!
To have something to fall back on always gives you a sense of relief. The same applies when it comes to staying cyber secure as well. You may wonder how?
Valid question. Now when you download a malware or lose your credentials or a ransomware what is it that is of genuine loss? Your information. Your personal and private information, could be your photos, your portfolio, your thesis, your project information and the list goes on. The impact of losing such information is far more significant and can cost you more than your money.
In fact, your social – economic wellbeing and your mental wellbeing could all be at stake. So, backing up your data on a regular basis acts like a “safety net” in the times when things go south due to unforeseen errors or threats.
You can be your own superhero to save yourself from the stress and misery by restoring data from your backup. It not only gives you continuity assurance but a peace of mind too.
Our recommendation would be to have one back up strategy – Cloud Storage or an External Hard Disk Drive. You can get mammoth storage capacity at a nominal price. If using external hard disk drive, make sure you disconnect when not in use. This will prevent any malware infection of your back up information too, should you download malware next minute.
Here is how you can turn on automatic back up:
Windows - https://bit.ly/2Yq0RSH
Apple (Mac) - https://support.apple.com/en-gb/mac-backup
Apple (iphone & ipad) - https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT203977
Andriod - https://support.google.com/android/answer/2819582?hl=en-GB
WhatsApp - https://faq.whatsapp.com/iphone/chats/how-to-back-up-to-icloud/?lang=en
Facebook - https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/23/how-to-download-a-copy-of-facebook-data-about-you.html
You're already one step ahead of any cyber risks that could result in data loss if you back up your data!
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