Technology

How to be digitally safe from cyberattacks?

Cyberattacks in India rose as much as 40% between April and June this year, according to a security firm.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

As people increasingly spend more time online, sharing and exchanging information, it is important to stay safe from cyber threats.

Cyberattacks in India have jumped as much as 40% between April and June this year, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, according to security research firm Kapersky Security Network.

These attacks are targeted at individual users, corporations, health-care providers and educational institutions can also fall prey to cybercrimes. Among these, individual users are the most vulnerable.

So, here are some ways to keep your digital data safe and secure.

Passwords

The most common passwords of vulnerable users are '123456' and 'password', according to a survey by security firm ImmuniWeb.

Experts recommend 4 basic requirements for a strong password - an uppercase letter, a symbol, a numeral, and a minimum of 10 characters. Having a unique password for different accounts ensures hackers don't get easy access.

Password management applications like Dashlane and Password Boss can help keep passwords locked down, security firm Norton says.

Internet security suite

This is a collection of software utilities that protect a user's computer from malware. Combined with an anti-virus software and a firewall, the suite can help protect against identity theft. Computers are 5.5 times more likely to be infected by malware without anti-virus system, according to a report by Microsoft.

Social media exposure

Restricting personal information on social media sites allows minimal access to cybercriminals. For instance, if you post your pet’s name or reveal your mother’s maiden name, you might expose the answers to two common security questions. So, staying cautious on social media platforms will be of great help to you.

Home network

Virtual Private Networks (VPN) creates an encrypted tunnel between the user and the remote server, making data secure from prying eyes. There are several VPN service providers that offer their service for a monthly or annual fees.

Depending on your need, you can pick one of the providers. Use of private networks have surged in India by nearly 30% compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to Top10VPN.

Remedial measures

So, what can you do if, inspite of taking necessary precautions, you fall prey to a cyberattack. If your office-provided system has been hit, immediately let your human resource contact know.

For Individuals, a complaint can be filed with National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal. Other temporary measures include resetting passwords and re-formatting your data.

For an organisation

Recognising and addressing the possibility of vulnerabilities can be the first step in increasing security. Organisations can inform their employees about the various forms of threats like phishing and trojan attacks. This will help conduct timely action, especially with children and elderly consumers.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 3:02:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/how-to-be-digitally-safe-from-cyberattacks/article32639298.ece

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