5 tools to make your devices more secure in 2020
Digitization has made everything seem very easy, quick, and efficient. What many of us tend to overlook is the downside that comes with this innovation. Digitization and automation of nearly all the phases of our existence comes with an all-time crisis known as device vulnerability.
Most digital devices are home to lots of private data and information, this makes cybersecurity an issue of serious concern. If this information lands into the wrong hands, the damages could be dire.
Fortunately, securing your device is not difficult. You can use the help of some tools along with other good habits like setting stronger passwords and installing updates regularly.
Selecting the ideal tools can be overwhelming, especially for a beginner. First, the market is flooded with hundreds of security tools: second, you may not know which the right tool is if you do not have a good understanding of the threats that are at hand.
To help you make an informed decision, we will walk you through the major cyber risks and the recommended security tools that will help you keep your devices safe.
3 Major Cyber threats facing the public in 2020
In a phishing attack, targets are contacted through email or SMS, and recently WhatsApp messages. These messages are from a criminal impersonating an important or legitimate contact.
The motive of the malicious message is to lure unsuspecting individuals into clicking a malicious link which redirects them to a fraudulent site where sensitive data such banking and credit card information is stolen through a process known as data harvesting.
The common features of a phishing message include hyperlinks, the information may be too good to be true, or it may contain malicious attachments. On 15th July 2020, and following the declaration of coronavirus as a global pandemic, attackers exploited California’s contact tracing program to launch a phishing attack that leveraged on the program.
A ransomware attack is a money-making strategy where attackers invade your devices and hold the systems to deny you access. They then demand a certain payment known as a ‘ransom’. In most cases, ransomware attackers demand that the payment be made in cryptocurrencies.
This attack can find its way into your device through a deceptive link or a pop-up message. A defence contractor was in January 2020, forced to go offline following a ransomware attack. The CPI-California company was so affected by the attack, that despite parting with a ransom fee of approximately $500,000 it still wasn’t able to resume its operations by March 2020.
This can be defined as unauthorized and illegal mining or stealing of cryptocurrencies. Criminals do this by hacking into a personal device such as a smartphone, or a tablet.
Cryptohackers can take advantage of any situation to spread their crypto-mining malware. For instance, when many people were mourning the death of famous basketball star Kobe Bryant, hackers staged his wallpaper which had a malicious code containing a harmful Trojan which once clicked on, would redirect victims to a malicious crypto-jacking website.
Security tools to protect yourself
It is impossible to discuss device security without mentioning an antivirus. However, as seen in the threats discussed above, the vulnerability landscape has changed. You need additional tools to remain and keep your devices safe.
Here are essential tools to protect yourself.
Email security tools scan all contents of an email to detect any potential threats and prevent them from making unauthorized access. Some of the security methods used by email security tools include mail encryption, the establishment of access controls and setting up email servers.
These moves secure the user’s information and email accounts from hackers and other cybercriminals.
You can also beef up your security by using a VPN. A virtual private network protects you by securing all your internet traffic. Your data is further secured using a data encryption technology which makes it unreadable by third parties.
Unlike many software, a VPN can be easily downloaded from a service provider’s website. The installation process is also easy and quick.
An ad blocker is a security tool that protects you from being spammed with malicious pop-up ads and messages. Most ad-blocking tools are extensions and are compatible with popular browsers.
Given that an average person sees approximately 4000 ads a day, this security tool is an effective way to put an end to the disturbance and the risks that come with it.
Anti-spyware software is a security tool that fights and protects you from threats that may be secretly spying on your online activities. These threats include password recorders and key loggers which run in the background; secretly snooping on passwords, usernames and other personal data.
If you are using your IoT device to access sensitive data, you must remain vigilant. Many dangers can happen if these devices are left unsecured. Understand the current vulnerabilities, then move with speed to stay ahead of the cybercriminals.