Tag: email

Simple Ways to Ensure Your Children’s Safety Online

Today, cybercrime is rampant. That presents a unique problem to parents in deciding how to approach ‘online safety’ with their children.

In the World, about 4000 cybercrime attacks occur each day, and, in fact, every 32 seconds, a hacker attacks someone online. To use the Internet safely and securely, you must know what to do and not do and distinguish between safe and unsafe.

Awareness and personal responsibility are vital components in surfing the web safely. Children should become aware of that as soon as possible.

Child-proofing the Internet is not as viable an option as some parents may hope it is. Yes, there are ways to block websites, keeping your children off of them. But it’s still preferable to educate them on the dangers the web presents.

Teach them how to keep themselves safe online. That includes what sites to avoid, links not to click, files not to download, emails to ignore, and so on. Education on the topic of cybercrime is a must.

Above all, children must learn against sharing personal information of any kind. Teach them young that giving out your full name, phone number, home address through any medium (email, Facebook, gaming platforms) is wrong.

Teach them to be cautious. Sometimes a string of innocent-seeming questions may pose a grave danger. It can start with your name, where you go to school, your postcode, and the child might not realize the escalation. Ensure it can recognize it.

As a parent, you must always keep your devices up to date with security installed on them – antivirus programs, anti-malware software, and other security software. Create unique passwords for your different accounts, and teach your children to do the same. Or use passwordless based authentication.

There are varying parenting styles. Some deem the act of monitoring their child’s online activity as an intrusion of privacy. Others perceive it as a given. Regardless of your parental views, it’s good to keep aware of what your child does on the Internet and encourage appropriate behaviors while discouraging inappropriate ones.

On the diagram, you can see a standard hacking workflow. Usually, hackers use this workflow to execute attacks. You can see that the first stage of attacks usually involves message-based fraud or social engineering.

‘Stranger danger’ has evolved beyond an in-person possibility of peril. It now lurks online, as well. Teach your children that not all online strangers are friendships waiting to happen – some are dangerous and look to cause mayhem and harm, i.e., hackers.

Make sure children realize that what goes on on the Internet stays on the Internet. If they upload a picture, it will forever be there. If they share their private details, they cannot merely ‘take them back.’

There are consequences to interacting with the web, and it’s your responsibility as a parent to teach them that valuable lesson.

In summary:

  • Stay updated: Always install updates when needed, and ensure your devices are protected.
  • Do not overshare: Be wary of sharing private details with people online. Sharing personal information can backfire. Ensure your children know this.
  •  Have a conversation with your child: Explain the many dangers that lurk online. Yes, children may be won’t ‘get it’ right away. But if that’s the case, talk to them again. 
  •  Use unique passwords: Ensure your child knows the importance of a strong password and the perils of using the same one for every account.
  • Keep an eye on their online activities: Be sure to monitor your child’s online activities to the extent that you know what they’re ‘up to’ online. Still, over monitoring is not good, so please use it carefully.

Educate your children, and make sure they know of the dangers the Internet presents and what they can do to minimize them

How Can Companies Get Malware?

How does a company end up with malware? There are two general replies to that question – people and vulnerabilities.

The people category tends to include all admins, users, everyone who can run code on the network, and vulnerabilities encompass anything from an old system that hasn’t been updated to lack a good antivirus program.

How does malware invade the system?

Emails are arguably the most common infiltration way malware uses to slither into your system. Cybercrooks load them with corrupted links, attachments, or both and hope you fall for their trickery. You receive an email one day that seems legitimate. It can appear to come from your boss and contain a vital business document attached. Or from a delivery company that has a package withheld and urges you to open a tracking link to check it out. The potential scams are endless, and some of them can be pretty convincing. Always be vigilant when getting emails that you were not expecting or anything even remotely seems suspicious. Better to be safe than sorry.

Look out for bad spelling and grammar, weirdly placed punctuation, senders you don’t recognize, your name misspelled. Anything can be a giveaway that you’re the victim of a scam. Caution is critical if you wish to protect your computer and company from malware.

Here are two simple rules to abide by when dealing with emails:

  • Unless you’re positive who sent you the email – don’t open it!
  • If it aims to convince you to click a link or download an attachment, triple-check everything before you do; blindly following instructions won’t end well.

Another common invasive way is removable drives as they often carry infections. You should always handle external hard drives and USB flash drives with care. If employees find one on their way to work and decide to check it out on their company PC, the whole company could be in trouble. The malware usually gets installed once the drive gets plugged in, so don’t do that. Again, you must proceed with caution.

Employees often have to install programs needed for work. When doing so, it’s imperative to read through the terms and conditions and not just head straight for the OK. Malware can be hiding somewhere in the fine print, and you don’t want to agree to install it. Make sure to choose the official vendor’s website for necessary downloads, minimizing the risk of malware.

How to reduce the possibility of getting malware

If you wish to protect your company from malware, there are a few things you can do that will improve your chances of enjoying a malware-free company.

  • Educate your employees.

Teach them what to look for in emails and be wary of clicking suspicious-looking links or visiting unsafe websites.

  • Update regularly.

Software, applications, systems, everything must get frequent updates. Consistent updates are vital for keeping up your system’s safety.

  • Invest in excellent antivirus software.

If you can afford it, choose anti-ransomware and anti-malware software, too. Having several security layers is hugely beneficial in guarding against cyberattacks.

  • Backup your data.

If all else fails, you won’t find yourself at the mercy of cybercrooks. Try to backup everything weekly and even daily if possible. It’s preferable not to trust cloud services for that, as hackers can still find a way to access them.

If your company does get malware, it can be quite a devastating experience that could result in severe financial losses. Suppose you get stuck with a PUP (potentially unwanted program), adware, or anything of the sort. In that case, you’d be wasting valuable working time trying to get rid of the infection. The time that you could have spent making calls, connecting to clients, promoting your services, et cetera. If you get stuck with ransomware, it’s even worse. You could end up losing files, documents, client contacts, and, not to mention, time, energy, and money in your attempts to deal with the cyber threat.

You’d do your best to ensure malware cannot invade your company systems. When it comes to cyber threats, prevention is preferred to the reaction.