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Protecting Your Devices

In the past a cellphone was a cellphone, you made your calls to your loved ones perhaps you even communicated an SMS via text or at a later stage you were able to send a low quality MMS photograph via camera. Today that is no longer the case as microchip and cloud based technology has rapidly developed the dynamics of the once plain simple phone, the latter which allows us to store huge amounts of data on a cloud host server has become a data storage, passwords, account details, logins etc. are all available at your fingertips with the advent of the smartphone.

The Smartphone is prone to two types of attacks one which can be prevented, and we have some leverage over, and the other which is beyond the scope of technology but human error. Cyber-attacks can pose a threat to any device should the hacker be in possession of your IP address or mac address, but this can be mitigated by various anti-virus software/malware bytes/anti ransomware applications. Anti-Viruses such as Norton protect your devices against such threats in the dynamically evolving cyber security realm. The latter threat is due to human error and behavior which is physical theft of an actual device thus enabling access to critical information on your device.

Sometimes a device does not need to be accessed or stolen but can have information gathered via a flash drive from a colleague/acquaintance carrying out a seemingly innocent procedure. Unbeknown to the victim where much wanted information is gathered. Trust plays a key element here and one ought to be careful of whom they are entrusting their devices with.

Your device has now been tampered with now what? Generally speaking there are procedures to be followed such as alerting a cyber security establishment or/and the police. What was the last thing you remember doing prior to having your device tampered with? Did you receive a message on text with a phishing link attached? Was an email breached? A friend request on social media? These are all the questions you should not only ask yourself but be prepared with the answers so cyber security analysts may assist you in conducting the investigation and bringing the culprit to book. A lot of applications can assist you beforehand such as truecaller ID which will pinpoint the number of the perpetrator and allow cyber forensics to conduct further investigations and delve deeper into the particulars of the extra information you have gained.

Another important and crucial aspect of keeping your devices safe is being wary of public WIFI connection usage as this could determine the difference of being breached by a third party or not. If your WIFI connection is not secure than your device is certainly unsafe which gives attackers leverage over you with regards to obtaining sensitive data such as passwords, credit card information, identity records and other sensitive details which can be used in cyberfraud. Always keep your firewall software/antivirus up to date as well as your operating system so that in the event of using an external WIFI hotspot you remain secure.

Encryption of passwords on a regular basis could also mean the difference between staying secure or having your device attacked by a hacker, this protects the information flow between your device and the router being used. Generally, most routers have their encryption turned off by default and requires to be manually switched off which even though may be time consuming is worth it. Always install and maintain anti-virus software applications such as Norton and Kaspersky. Malware bytes also could be to your advantage and unlike most AVG software is free and more cost efficient.

Never open an email/text message from an untrusted link and under no circumstances whatsoever should you open a link/attachment from a dubious and unauthorized source as this is a potential key access point for attackers onto your device via phishing. This method involves attackers goading you onto clicking a link or opening a file in which you involuntarily end up transferring your data electronically to the attackers device thus giving them all the lucrative information that they need to access your accounts and other relevant databases. Spam filters can assist with regards to sorting out unnecessary junk that could be potentially harmful to your device.

As the pace of technology evolves, so do the dynamics of cyber security therefore we must always ensure that our appliances, operating systems, firewalls and software security utilities are always up to date. Keep vigilant of the latest trends in cyber threats in order to avoid falling victim to potential scammers and attackers so you are better equipped to deal with any threats that might or might not come your way.