Despite constant reminders from the Managed IT Services Australia to be mindful of our online behavior that could open doors to cyberattacks, the warning falls on deaf ears—in similar manners with chain smokers waving the threats of lung cancer with a casual dismissal. Blame it to our risk perception. We’re fully aware of the possible harmful consequences but we tend to perceive that the damage happens to other people, and not us. Likewise, in driving, drivers are told countless of times to be rid of the phone while driving and, yet they continue to do it thinking accidents will never happen to them. We could be really poor at assessing risks at times.
Cyberattack is a prevailing problem because while some are cautious enough, the greater majority tend to downplay the risks of these bad habits. What this implies is that a lot in cyber community tend to downplay the risks unguarded computers thinking why would someone be interested in their computers when others bear something in their files far more interesting than mine. Right? Wrong.
Hackers are always on the look out for their next victim and exceptions are rarely made. An IT professional could be susceptible to cyberattack as much as the housewife woman sitting next to him in the cafe. And so, it is imperative that we break the habit of:
Using the default password
We could be complacent enough to not change the default passwords to our own composition. The same goes true with log in information. This has been a prevailing root problem because the many attacks surface from hackers taking advantage of users not changing their default usernames and passwords.
Composing weak passwords
In the event that we are finally convinced to change the password, we came up with those that easy to remember—naturally. But the thing with easy-to-remember passwords is that they are also easy to be cracked, obviously, because they comprise of easy and simple characters. High complex password is a combination of letters, numerals, and special characters that’s key sensitive. In this case, the hacker will have much difficulty obtaining the password considering the complexity and uniqueness of how the characters were strung together. In other words, come up with something that’s hard to guess.
Repeatedly using the same password
Perhaps the underlying reason we often make use and reuse simple passwords is because we have so many login and passwords already thanks to digital media. Human as we are, it is quite tempting to take the easy route and simply make use of the same password again and again. Break from that habit. Despite the fair amount of warnings to make use of unique passwords for each application, account, or website, hackers are banking on the thought that many users have such habit they can count on. It’s hitting two birds with one stone. If a hacker cracked one password, he/she can make use of the same to access the rest of your personal accounts.
Leaving devices with sensitive data susceptible to physical theft
Devices that hold sensitive information or data such as laptops, desktops, tablets, hard drives, smartphones, and DVDs/CDs, could fall from the hands of a hacker. But what are the possibilities? Minimal to zero, yes, but there’s nothing to “lose” if you break away from this habit of negligence and recklessness. Be mindful of where you leave your devices. Double check if they are placed in a secured area, inside your bag, or within eyesight. Can you imagine losing all those data? Lucky you if the finder does the effort of returning it back to you. Losing access to all important data is one thing. Giving access to someone with ill-intentions is another.
Allowing yourself susceptible to identity theft
Identity theft occurs when someone procured someone’s personal information such as name, identifying number, credit card number, and use it to commit fraud or other forms of crime. When someone managed to successfully acquire such information, they could commit a cyberattack in disguise. Worse is, they could make it appear you did such act. Probe into the website further and check if it’s secure before you put in your personal information. Look for the little padlock symbol in front of the web address in the URL bar. You can also check if the web address starts with https://. This is assurance that the website is secure. If possible, try not to send personal data via email as it can be intercepted by hackers. Lastly, avoid logging into your personal accounts on computers at a cafe, library, or shop, then do so. Do it only in cases of emergency but make sure that completely clear the browser’s history when you log out.