By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
October 2012 is the National Cyber Security Awareness Month. In order to promote digital security, NCSAM encourages participation from organizations, individuals, and communities to spread awareness about everyone’s role in understanding and promoting cyber security. As a NCSAM Champion, AnchorFree, the parent company of Hotspot Shield, offers education about cyber security, its importance, tips to enhance online security, information about the risks of cyber security, and more.
Why Cyber Security is so Important?
Whether it’s communication (emails, cellphones), entertainment (mp4, digital cable), transportation (navigation systems, car engines), shopping (online shopping stores, credit cards) or medicine (medical records, automated equipments), computers are everywhere.
Have you ever wondered about how much we rely on computers in our daily life and how much personal information we store on different computers?
The act of detecting, preventing, and responding to online security attacks refers to cyber security. October is the month when we make sure we spread the knowledge as much as possible.
Cyberspace is becoming highly infested with an increasing risk of varying intensities. The dangers involved include viruses that may erase your entire system, hackers intruding your system and accessing your personal files, someone using your computer to launch attack on others, or some unscrupulous hacking of your credit card information to make unauthorized purchases.
What adds to the irony of all these situations is the fact that taking the best possible precautions today still do not provide 100% protection from all of the above mentioned cyber security risks.
However, taking certain precautionary measures can help you minimize the risk of cyber security. That’s what your and everyone’s goal should be: to minimize the risks as much as possible.
Ways to Enhance Cyber Security
Before you start working towards enhancing cyber security, it is important that you understand the risks you will be securing yourself against. This can be done by becoming familiar with some, if not all, of the terminology associated with cyber security.
- Who is a hacker?
A hacker, intruder, or attacker is someone who intends to exploit any shortcoming or weakness in a computer system and or software for his or her own good. At times, the intentions of hackers may be simply motivated by curiosity.
However, the actions a large number of hackers take violate the intended use of the particular system they exploit. Their exploits may range from merely creating a virus (with no intention to cause harm) to malicious activity that involves altering or even stealing crucial system data.
- What is Malicious Code?
Known popularly as Malware, Malicious Code is a broad category that includes any code that is capable of attacking a system. A malware can have the following characteristics:
– It may require you to execute an action in order to infect your computer. A common example of the same could be an anonymous email asking you to open an attachment or asking you to go to a particular web page.
– You may come across some kind of forms that popup without your intervention. They typically exploit any vulnerability found in your system software. And once your computer has been infected, the malware will try to find and attack other computers through your computer.
– Some malicious code may claim to do something while they perform something completely different behind the scenes. A good example would be a software claiming to speed up your computer, actually sending your personal system data to a remote hacker.
Viruses and worms are two common examples of malicious code.
- What is Vulnerability?
The cause of vulnerabilities lies in the (sometime unavoidable) programming errors in the computer software. Hackers exploit these software errors to infect your system. Thus, it becomes important to apply updates and immediately address all known vulnerabilities in your computer.
Stay safe in October
Becoming aware in October through the National Cyber Security Awareness Month is just one of the steps you need to take to have a very secure and satisfied online presence. Whether it’s avoiding phishing emails or telling someone else what a Malware is, be sure to take part and take any action that can help anyone you know.
Our next article will give you further deep insight about Cyber Security issues and tips to enhance Cyber Security. Thanks for reading.