From waking up listening to the chiming smartphone alarm to transacting banking transactions, we rely on technology for anything and everything. Tech and gadgetry have become intertwined with our daily lifestyle. We are so attached to it that it is impossible to think of a day without using any kind of technology.
In fact, Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) has become a casually mentioned mental condition that is affecting everybody across all ages and genders. Imagine a situation when FOMO becomes real? Like, when the technology you rely on daily is taken away by some reason?
That is not a hypothetical situation. All it takes is a single security loophole to lose your digital assets. From getting locked out of your devices to losing access to your social media or emails, quite a lot can go wrong. In such a scenario, protecting yourself from harm’s way is much needed. How to do that? Read on.
On a broad scale, the kind of technologies that we use on a regular basis can be classified into mobile devices, personal computers, hybrid devices, mobile apps, and social networking websites. Each one of these technologies and services has to be protected in specific ways. There is no one-size-fits-all security measure. Let’s take a closer look at those safety measures.
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Mobiles and tablets
Did you know that 70 million smartphones are lost each year, with only 7 percent recovered? (Kensington study). They are small, handy and are also easily displaced. That makes them the most easily lost or stolen gadgets.
Since most of us are also heavy users of mobile and tablet devices, it makes sense to set up security measures for them as the first thing. The basic thing you can do to protect your mobiles and tablets is to create a strong password, PIN or pattern for accessing the device.
Also, most smartphones come with an option to track your phone in case it is misplaced. You can also use the same to remotely erase your smartphone data once you confirm that it is lost. Make sure you turn on these features.
Laptops, PC and hybrid devices
Next, to mobile devices, laptops, PCs and hybrid devices are the most depended upon gadgets. They help us get work done as well as do advanced computing tasks that mobile devices cannot do flamboyantly.
Their additional computing power also makes them vulnerable to serious cyber security attacks. In fact, spyware, ransomware, and viruses largely target laptops and PCs more than any other devices.
So, it is wise to invest in a good antivirus software that can shield your device from any malicious attacks. And, be careful to use public Internet networks. Avoid downloading files and attachments from unknown sources.
35 is the average number of apps installed on users’ smartphones. From instant messaging to social networking, banking, on-demand services, games, productivity tools – there is a long list of mobile apps that everyone uses on a daily basis.
There are also millions of other apps on play stores that we download from time to time. Unknown to many, some of these mobile apps are actually imposters that can spy on your phone’s data and cause personal harm.
To cite an example, giving access to microphone means the app might possibly record your phone conversations. In fact, one social networking app was dragged to court for doing the same to users without their explicit knowledge. Imagine the tragedy if such kind of private data goes public or falls in wrong hands?!
To avoid such grave situations, it is better to download mobile apps only from verified sources. Ensure that the app is released by the official brand or software publisher. Also, look for the kind of app permissions they ask for. If they are asking for too many unwanted permissions, turn them off by going to the system security section.
Despite the meteoric growth of mobile app usage, websites still remain a vital source to find information on the Internet. And, most of the online services and eCommerce activities are primarily consumed through websites.
As a result, websites are juicy targets for hackers. Insecure CMS platforms make it easy for hackers to find their way into the website and steal away sensitive information. If you are a website owner, ensure that your CMS is made hack-proof from all angles. Also, have the heart to buy https SSL certificate to display https before your website URL in the browser address bar. That will take care of online transactions of your website by encrypting information transferred between the web server and web browser.
If you are someone who uses websites, ensure that the website has the green HTTPS and the padlock symbol in the browser.
It is fun to share where you are traveling to, your birthday, your home location and so on to the world. At the same time, it is dangerous too. Advanced social engineering mechanisms enable hackers to work their way back to your passwords or even access your physical belonging while you are away.
Also, having weak security for your personal data can lead to profile cloning which can land you in serious trouble. To keep things safe and simple, ensure that you do not share too much on a social network. Share only what is safe for the world to know at large. Else, be wise to set up privacy controls.
Bringing it all together
Technology has permeated every strata of our existence. While it brings countless benefits, it is also accompanied by several threats against which we must raise our defenses. Right from the mobile phones to the websites we use, ensure that everything is safe and secure. The tips that we have elaborated above should help with that.