How safe am I online? Is my
information actually safe? Is my
computer really at risk? These are questions
I thought I would never have to ask. It’s now 2018, the internet is getting
scarier, hackers are getting smarter, and cyber security is becoming more
important. According to Homeland Security, in 2017 alone, there were over
160,000 reported cyber-attacks. The
actual figure for the year however, is nearly 350,000. Fifteen percent of the
attacks were simply due to a lack of security safety. These numbers are nearly doubled
the numbers of 2016, and they will just continue to get higher if us as a society
don’t take the proper measures to protect ourselves and our information.
am one to assume that an average person (including myself) never actually reads
those “terms and conditions” that pop up on your screen whenever you download a
file, purchase a movie, etc. We all just hit accept and move on. But what exactly
are we agreeing too? For instance, iTunes has a lengthy term of service consisting
of 56 pages. Nobody has time to read all of that. So, we all just hit accept
and go with our business and buy our music. One major thing you are agreeing to
though is something called geotracking. Once
you hit that agree button, that means Apple is able see exactly where you are
at any giving moment. It then saves the exact latitude and longitude to a
hidden file and sends it over to Apple. Kind of creepy if you ask me. Why would a
music app need to know your location anyways? So next time you see those terms
and conditions pop on your screen (on any site), don’t just hit accept.
However, you don’t have to go and read all 56 pages of them either. There are plenty
of websites out there that will summarize various company’s contracts for you.
Read up before you get set up.
are a few easy ways to easily protect ourselves from things like this and cyber-attacks
Keep your anti-virus up to date and run a virus
scan regularly – A virus is the most common malware type that attacks
computers. There are numerous types of viruses, all that have different functions
and can impact computers in a different way. You will also be protected from
spyware; which is the main source of identity theft online.
Download a Virtual Private Network (VPN) – A VPN
is used to help secure your internet connection and to make sure everything you’re
sending and receiving is encrypted and secured. This keeps everything to your
eyes only, not the hackers.
Use a tracking blocker – Browse faster, safer,
and more privately. Using tracking blockers keeps thousands of companies such
as Apple from seeing your location. Some even allow you to search anonymously as
well. This also helps speeds up browsing and reduces your bandwidth!
These are just a few simple
solutions to make sure you, and your family are safe from hackers and cyber-attacks.
Internet security is important for everyone. You don’t want your information to
fall into the wrong hands. I will go even farther to say that internet security
is probable just as important as protecting your own home. Be careful where you
browse online, and be aware of what you’re agreeing