What is internet security? | US news

Internet security is any cybersecurity measure taken to protect online transactions, data, and activities. The intent is to protect Internet users from hackers and to limit or eliminate data breaches.

What is internet security and why is it important

Internet security includes steps taken to protect online activities, transactions, and data. Internet security can be a strategy, such as using only complex passwords for online services. It can also include steps such as installing security software. For example, setting up a firewall for Windows or Mac OS can block malicious connections during installation Antivirus software It helps keep your computer free of malware.

Internet security is important to protect people and their private information online. according to Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), one in three US homes have computers infected with malware, and about half of US adults have been infected. Hacked Online. In addition, many companies have undergone Data breaches that disclosed the personal information of its customers. This is why good cybersecurity practices are so important.

Internet security threats

What threats should you care about most? We spoke with several cybersecurity experts about what they believe are the most significant threats.

Malware

Malware, in short “malware,” is a broad term that refers to any software designed to hijack, damage, or otherwise destroy a computer or device. Viruses, worms, and ransomware are examples of malware.

ransomware

Most of the experts we spoke with mentioned ransomware As one of the fastest growing and most worrying types of malware. With ransomware, the victim’s data is either locked or removed until a ransom is paid, which does not always guarantee that you will get your data back.

botnet

Bots use a type of malware called a Remote access to the Trojanwhich allows cybercriminals to take control of infected computers remotely to carry out other attacks.

Wi-Fi threats

Linksys Director of Product Management, John Minassian, says the router’s role in Internet security is often forgotten. It refers to several exploits that directly target external vulnerabilities. “As the first line of defense, the router acts as a gateway between people, devices, and the Internet,” he says. Open networks are easy targets for attackers to spy on the activities of devices on the same network as well.

phishing

phishing It is a technique used by cybercriminals to lure victims into revealing sensitive information. During a phishing attack, someone sends an electronic communication such as an email or text that appears to be from a financial institution or other entity. Instead, the link in the message takes the victim to spoof a website controlled by the attacker. Any data entered by the victim on the site is compromised. “Phishing requires very low skill and low impact for threat actors,” Nuspire Says Cyber ​​Security Analyst Josh Smith. “They only need one victim to interact to launch an attack.”

the pirate

Hacking involves hacking an otherwise secure account. Generally, the login credentials of someone who has been “hacked” has been stolen or leaked. While this is often done with malicious intent, some pirates Do it just for fame, to prove they can, or out of boredom.

data loss

Online data can be stolen through data breaches. “When someone signs up for a website and adds their credentials to it, they are at the mercy of the security of that platform,” Smith says. If this website fails to keep your data secure and you suffer a data breach, there is a real chance that your data could be hacked, damaged or lost completely.

malicious sites

All modern web browsers include some kind of basic protection from malicious websites. For example, Chrome runs every website someone visits with an antivirus, and it will notify you before you perform an unusual action, Real Quest says architect AJ Ledwin. To be on the safe side, only visit websites that contain a file SSL or TLS certificate.

How to stay safe online

Set up multi-factor authentication

Uses multi-factor authentication (MFA) a password for one time As an extra layer of security for your accounts. DNS filter Lead researcher Alex Applegate says setting up an MFA is one of the easiest ways to secure your online accounts. “It’s easy to add and incredibly effective,” he said. “Stay away from services that do not offer an MFA of some sort. Besides not offering a major advantage, it also speaks volumes about their overall approach to security.”

Consider using a firewall

Firewalls are either software or hardware-based tools that act as a barrier between your computer and the open Internet, allowing legitimate traffic while blocking unknown or suspicious traffic.

Use strong passwords

University of Chicago Computer science professor Ben Y. Zhao suggests using a good tool Password manager To set strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. “Data breaches are now the norm, and minimizing the damage from lost passwords is critical,” he says.

Use antivirus software

Antivirus software It can protect you from many internet security threats, including new and emerging ones – often the most dangerous. It is not a good idea to just install antivirus software. You should also update it in order for it to remain functional.

Use a VPN

installation and Use a virtual private network (VPN) is another way to protect yourself while online, all your internet traffic goes through an encrypted tunnel which is difficult for hackers to penetrate.

Remember you get what you pay for. Free or cheap VPNs are not a good option, Privacy Lab at Yale University Founder Sean O’Brien says: It warns that “the app may be malicious, may not work at all, or worse, it could be active to spy on you”.

Use the identity theft protection service

While taking all the steps recommended here will greatly reduce your risk of being successfully hacked, it will not eliminate it. using file Identity Theft Protection Service It will alert you if your personal information has been compromised.

upgrade software

It’s important to regularly update your device’s operating system and security software to make sure the software is as secure as possible.

“It has become a perennial joke that people are quick to dismiss, delay, or ignore software updates when messages come up,” says Peter Robichow, a cybersecurity consultant. “But when these notifications are ignored long enough, devices become bright, shiny targets.” Vulnerabilities are often exploited quickly, so the sooner you update, the better.

Block access to the webcam

It might also be a good idea to check with the people you’ve given access to the webcam. In Chrome, you can find this by clicking on Privacy and Security, then Site Settings, and then on “Camera or Microphone”. Safari users can find similar settings by clicking on Preferences.

Use an ad blocker

O’Brien also recommends installing an ad blocker. “Not only does this provide a quieter and less cluttered user experience, but it also makes it more difficult for malware to deliver to you via dodgy ads,” he explained.

Use parental controls

If you have concerns that your children may visit unsafe or inappropriate websites, using parental controls can prevent this. Parents can manage their children’s Google accounts and restrict access to porn or other sites within Chrome, with similar functionality available from Apple for the Safari web browser and other iOS devices.

learn more

Guides from 360 reviews

Why you can trust us

At US News & World Report, we rate the best hospitals, best colleges, and best cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complex decisions. Our 360 Reviews team takes the same unbiased approach to evaluating the tech products you use every day. The team does not hold samples, gifts, or credits for the products or services we review. Additionally, we maintain a separate team that has no bearing on our methodology or recommendations.

Leave a Comment