Cyber threats are constantly evolving thus increasing the need to hedge and tighten the security measures to ensure that one is protected while using the cyber space. Cyber threats are made more complex especially due to the increasing globalization and use of cyber space in most of the parts in the world. This has caused a major security threat which calls for better security measures installation to counter some of the threats which are well organized by some individuals.
Some of the major cyber threats include phishing, adware also known as spyware, cyber shopping and browsing, data safeguarding and also threats a user faces while using networking sites (AnonIC.
org, 2004). Common cyber security threats, how to recognize and how avoid them One of the major cyber security threats is referred to as phishing which refers to the attempt to get access to sensitive information which may include passwords of other users, their user names and even credit cards.
This is a criminal offense and is usually carried by individuals who purport to be working with a renowned electronic communication entity which is trusted.
Phishing is usually used to obtain credit card and bank account information of a person thus enabling the attacker to obtain money from a person in a fraudulent manner. Installing security and spyware prevention software can help in reducing phishing (Warren, S2005).
Spyware also referred to as adware is another cyber security threat that faces the cyber space users. Spyware refers to a form of software that once installed in a computer; it may send an advert which redirects a cyber space user’s browser to some selected web sites. Once one logs into such webs, this enables the attacker to monitor the sites which are visited by the cyber space user. These are usually used by attackers mostly for malicious purposes.
Some the symptoms which indicates that a computer has been installed with spyware include pop up windows which are endless, redirection to a web site which is not the original one a person had previously typed in the browser, unexpected toolbars which are new to a web browser of your computer, change of search engine, error messages which are usually random start appearing in the window of a computer and sudden changes in the home page of a browser among other symptoms. To avoid spyware installation to a computer, one should avoid clinking links which appear on pop up windows.
This is because most of them are spyware products which once clicked their install the spyware system in a computer. Closing the pop up windows would be essential in avoiding spyware installation. At times, unexpected questions may be posted in the pop up windows. Clicking “no or cancel” buttons would help in reducing the risk of spyware installation in a computer. Adjusting the preferences of the browser may also be helpful in reducing the pop up windows as well as cookies in the computer (McKenzie, 2008). Social networking sites are also mostly targeted areas by attackers hence they pose great cyber security threats.
Instant messaging (IM) and chat rooms are highly targeted networking sites which are used in obtaining personal information about a person. IM is mostly used within companies by employees to ensure constant communication. While IM usually involves one on one communication, chat rooms are more wide and can be used by more that one person simultaneously. As such, while chatting, it is possible somebody else is following your conversations thus posing greater risks of impersonification and also the information is not protected.
For a person to hedge himself from such risks, he should install security measures in his browser system. One of the way one can ensure safe chatting, messaging or even browsing is by constantly adjusting the default security setting in his computer. Disabling all automatic downloads and limiting certain interactions to only some users may help in reducing the cyber security threat. A person should also avoid revealing sensitive and vital information to strangers. Verifying the person one is chatting or messaging is also important in ensuring that the information one shares is made confidential.
However, this may not be applicable especially in public chat rooms which are not restrictive. Updating the security software frequently is also vital in ensuring safe use of cyber space (National Cyber Alert System, n. d). While using social networking sites, one should remember that internet is usually public and unrestrictive. A person should thus give minimal information about his confidential information like addresses and bank accounts. Being skeptical about some information on the mail is also important in ensuring one is safe while using the networking sites.
Some of the stories in the cyber space are usually false thus taking precautions is vital. Online shopping has grown tremendously especially due to globalization and the subsequent introduction of e-commerce by most corporations. Online shopping gives attackers a chance of obtain information about a person. Financial position of a person is usually targeted by attackers who use such information to make their own financial gain by selling the information or making other purchases using the information of buyers.
Computers which are not protected from viruses are the most vulnerable to manipulation by attackers. It is easier to gain access to a computer which is not protected and obtaining vital information regarding a person. Fraudulent sites and also messages in the emails are also used in obtaining financial information of online shoppers. To ensure safe online shopping, a person should ensure that an up to date anti virus software is installed as well as an anti spyware software. This would ensure that Trojan horses and also viruses do not take away data or modify it in a person’s computer.
Updating web browser regularly by installing software patches would help in reducing the vulnerability of being attacked (National Cyber Alert System, n. d). To reduce the risks of password alteration and monitoring by attackers, one should ensure that he evaluates the computers software settings regularly to ensure that the default settings are still in operation. Securing the web browser is also vital in ensuring safer cyber space usage by a person. Sensitive information sent via the cyber space should be protected with a password only known to the users.
Passwords should also be updated and reviewed regularly to ensure they are secure and that the information contained in the computer is also secure (AnonIC. org, 2004). Practicing good home computing habits may also help in reducing the risk of cyber security threat. This may be done by ensuring that the computer is locked always when one is using it. This would ensure that no unauthorized person is capable of tampering of with the information contained in the computer. Internet disconnection while not in use at home reduces the risk of virus attacks which are usually to monitor and modify a computer.
The home security setting should be updated regularly as well as software updates. One should also ensure that the password being used for computer is not easy to guess by other people. Ensuring that there are no people in the vicinity keying in the password to the computer would help in protecting information contained inside the system (AnonIC. org, 2004). Conclusion Cyber crimes have been on the rise with more and more cases being reported daily. It is thus to take essential precautionary measures to ensue that one is protected from cyber attacks.
High technology being used by cyber attackers has also necessitated constant upgrading of the security measures one uses to protect his or computer system and network. Ensuring that a computer is always protected and have updated securing and passwords would help in reducing cyber security threats in the country. Reference: AnonIC. org (2004): Computer Security. Retrieved on 25th March 2009 from, http://www. anonic. org/computer-security. html. McKenzie, G. (2008): Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware. Retrieved on 25th March 2009 from, http://www. nationalcybersecurity.
com/articles/144/1/Recognizing-and-Avoiding-Spyware/Page1. html. National Cyber Alert System (n. d): Cyber Security Tip: Good Security Habits. Retrieved on 25th March 2009 from, http://www. us-cert. gov/cas/tips/ST04-003. html. National Cyber Alert System (n. d): Cyber Security Tip: Understanding Hidden Threats: Corrupted Software Files. Retrieved on 25th March 2009 from, http://www. us-cert. gov/cas/tips/ST06-006. html. Warren, S. (2005): 12 steps to avoid phishing scams. Retrieved on 25th March 2009 from, http://articles. techrepublic. com. com/5100-10878_11-5818568. html.
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