It’s so convenient to use online banking, to order food through an app and to track fitness on your smartphone. But that also means that we are more vulnerable online.
Digital threats may come in the form of Malware, Spyware, phishing scams or WiFi sniffing.
Everyone needs to stay informed. Here are some tips on what to look out for.
Malware is the broad term used to describe several types of malicious software. Malware is designed with the sole intention of causing harm to the device it has infected. If you’ve experienced a computer virus before, malware is the likely culprit.
Spyware is a common type of Malware. As the name suggests, Spyware tracks your day-day activities on the web. Personal information such as credit card details and passwords are at risk to Spyware.
Phishing scams often involve one party purporting to be a trusted identify i.e. your service provider. Phishing scams will often come in the form of emails, text messages or links to certain webpages. The idea is to trick the recipient into handing over personal information such as passwords.
What's WiFi Sniffing
WiFi sniffing, or rather the act of WiFi sniffing involves using malicious software to snoop on everything you’re doing online. Susceptibility to this sort of attack increases when connected to an unsecure open or public WiFi Network.
There are ways to protect yourself and your tech from digital threats.
Passwords and Biometrics
Setting a secure password and taking advantage of biometrics might seem like an obvious one, but neglecting to set up your phone securely or choosing a password that’s too simple means your device and accounts are at risk.
Don’t use the same or similar password across multiple accounts and avoid words that are easily linked to you.
A better idea is to consider an alphanumeric, 8 digit or graphical password, or even using a random password generator.
Update your OS applications
Updating your phones software and apps is critical. OS developers routinely release updates to combat newly discovered threats and vulnerabilities.
Trusted app vendors work to patch their software/applications as soon as new exploits are made known.
Don’t delay updating your handset! Doing so can put your handset and private information at risk to cyber criminals.
For iOS, users can check for system updates under Settings > General > Software Update. Android users can look for it under Settings > About > System update.
Download apps from trusted sources
Do your due diligence. Read reviews and only download applications from trusted sources. Stay away from certain third-party apps stores.
Third party vendors aren’t subject to the same stringent criteria and vetting process as larger app stores such as the Apple or Google play store.
When installing or using an application for the first time, you may receive a prompt which requests access to certain features of your device. Always check your in-app permissions (and set to ‘while using app’ instead of ‘always’). Be extra cautious when connecting to an Open or Public WiFi Network
Limit the sort of tasks you complete on your handset whilst connected to an Open or Public WiFi Hotspot. We all love public WiFi, but these Networks are not secure and are haven for cyber criminals on the hunt for personal data.
Avoid accessing your banking apps, online shopping or accessing private emails which contain sensitive information.
If necessary, there are precautionary measures you can take such as using a VPN.
If you get an unsolicited email claiming to be from us asking for sensitive or personal information, you can always contact us directly and we can help you identify any threats.