Cyber security is like art, everyone loves to talk about it but no one agrees on how to define it, and there isn’t one piece of it that can represent the full spectrum. So when it comes to building your internet security strategy, you’ll need to protect yourself and your devices from as many threats as possible. The only way to do this is with a multi-layered defense, offering you protection from human-recognized scams and machine-recognized malicious code.
Whether you’re putting together a plan for protecting your personal computer or work environment, the first thing to do is assess your vulnerabilities. Once you fully understand where you are most vulnerable you can develop a strategy that will mitigate risks and implement your plan.
What are the different types of online threats?
- Malware – malicious software that infects your computer, such as computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, and adware.
- Phishing – fake emails, websites and text messages that are designed to fool you into giving away personal information.
- Scams – these can be any type of fraud designed to steal money, personal information, or anything else of value.
- Botnets – bots are vulnerable computers that have been infected with specialized malware, botnets are a network of these infected devices.
- DDoS Attack – a malicious user commands botnets to contact a specific website over and over again, causing it to slow and sometimes shut down completely.
- Spam – mass distribution of unwanted messages, usually in email form, designed to slow servers, phish for private information, and/or install malware.
- Spyware – collects your personal information without your knowledge.
- Viruses – can turn your computer into a bot, steal your information, allow hackers to take over your computer, and can spread to other computers.
What can you do to protect yourself from these online threats? Combine several online security tools to minimize risk and disrupt efforts to access your device. Here are a few of the essentials:
- Firewall – restricts incoming access to your device, screens hackers, viruses and other malware before they reach your computer.
- Filter – prevents you (or anyone else using your computer) from visiting sites that may host malware and phishing attempts.
- Antivirus software – designed to detect and destroy computer viruses, they must be kept up to date.
- Website reputation tool – uses 3rd party lists and human experiences to aggregate site trustworthiness ratings, warning users of scams and phishing attempts before it’s too late.
Smart practices & tips:
- Use caution when visiting unfamiliar sites and clicking links.
- Avoid opening email attachments from unfamiliar addresses.
- Keep your software and browsers up to date.
- Regularly backup your data on an external storage device.
Putting it all together
Combined, these preventative measures and smart practices can go a long way toward keeping your device safe. Remember that while there is no one perfect solution to protect your computer, the best thing to do is adapt to the threats, remain vigilant and stay up to date on threats and attacks from reliable sources. Take action now and start building your muti-layered online security solution before it’s too late.