The computer revolution has changed our lives beyond recognition. Now even a humble farmer in a busy fruit and vegetable market might be seen dialing home on a smartphone. But what we now accept as normal society is about to change even more as the Internet Of Things (IoT) builds momentum.
This is a merger of all web-based devices that can be accessed on the Internet. These new devices will be able to fetch and transmit and crunch data based on data coming from an ecosystem of electronics with embedded sensors and processors. In other words, it will be a sort of electronic singularity, where devices associated with healthcare, automotive, manufacturing will have industrial and consumer applications.
Still, in all this excitement over a new world morphing before our eyes, we still have to learn to pay attention to the dark side of Internet-based applications and continue to protect ourselves from an underground world of hackers, scammers, and spammers.
5 Ways to Stay Safe Online
How do you keep your computer and devices safe when it seems the number of virus definitions is increasing at an exponential rate? Fortunately, a considerable amount of research and effort has gone into protecting the average user when they use their desktop, laptop, Google Chrome, tablet, or Smartphone when accessing the Internet.
Here are 5 ways to stay safe from malware and people with malicious intent when accessing the Internet:
1. Use encryption for mobile devices.
What do you do when you need portable storage for your data? The most convenient solution is to use a USB drive. Still, if someone steals your USB drive, they can easily make criminal use of the information and steal your financial information, blackmail you over sensitive information, or assume your identity and open up a number of credit cards. Fortunately, there is now a new type of encrypted USB drive available from Secure USB which protects your info and can be used with any device that has a USB port. It will also work on almost every platform — Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, or Chrome. This kind of secure storage drive uses AES 256 Bit Encryption, which basically means you are getting military level encryption.
2. Use the best security software available.
When it comes to security software, you have a variety of choices. You can get free software, standalone software, entry-level software, or advanced software. Your best choice is to get an advanced software suite. This not only has all the features you would find in an entry-level software suite (from antivirus to firewall), but it has many added features, too (like a password manager). It’s also advisable to use a trusted brand because reputable companies spend a fortune researching the best protection against the latest spam mail, spyware, adware, worms, Trojan horses, and other types of malware.
3. Use a hardware firewall layer for added protection when you go online.
While you may already have a software firewall with your comprehensive security software suite, a hardware firewall will hide your entire home or organization’s PCs from the outer world. They can even shield one department’s PCs from another department in the same organization. Hardware firewalls are a type of network box with special hardware and software features. Through the use of hardware firewall, you create a layer of protection between your computer and the Internet when you go online. This prevents someone from hacking into your computer system.
4. Use a password manager to create impossible-to-guess passwords.
While almost everyone who uses the Internet is familiar with the idea of passwords to log into secured websites, few people know how to use passwords properly. They usually choose something that they can easily remember like a birthday, anniversary, family member’s name, or the name of a favorite pet. A hacker who knows the user will often try a variation of different names until they crack the password. Even when people make an effort to use an alphanumeric password, they make the mistake of writing the password down near their computer because they can’t remember them. A much better way of securing your passwords is to use a password manager.
Here is a description of how it works from PCMag: “The typical password manager installs as a browser plug-in to handle password capture and replay. When you log in to a secure site, it offers to save your credentials. When you return to that site, it offers to automatically fill in those credentials. And, if you’ve saved multiple logins for the same site, the password manager offers you multiple account login options. Most also offer a browser toolbar menu of saved logins, so you can go straight to a saved site and log in automatically.”
Stay Safe Today
While many brilliant people are devising fascinating ways to improve the interconnectivity of all devices that can access the Internet, there are also evil geniuses scheming how to use this enhanced accessibility to spread malware far and wide or to pull off phishing schemes that empty people’s bank accounts. Although there is an abundance of new technology that will soon be part of mainstream life, protect the technology that you have now by taking proper security measures.