The recent server error of worldwide social media giant Facebook that affected several apps (specifically, Instagram and WhatsApp) has sparked a debate among enthusiasts and regular people alike: How do we know that we’re secure while on the platform? After all, most of us – if not everyone – have divulged sensitive information to create our accounts. Add on to the fact that Messenger and WhatsApp conversations might contain sensitive information; you can imagine the pandemonium that ensued. Though the issue was eventually resolved (resulting in a $7 billion loss in profit), the fact that our cyber security has been compromised is still a scary prospect.
What is cyber security?
In the broadest sense, cyber security is the practice of protecting a system from unwanted attacks that will be made against it. Cyber security does not include your computer alone – it also includes the software installed in your computer and the networks you connect to as well. Though most computer systems come with their built-in antivirus systems and most companies already have a VPN adequately set up for every employee, cyber security goes beyond that. Proper cyber security means going that extra mile and taking the additional steps that can fully secure everyone from imminent danger that lurks around the internet. Adding AdBlockers that prevent unwanted popups on internet browsers is one, along with adequately configuring antivirus systems. Though others might view them as extra, these measures are still short of everything you should do if you want to fully protect yourself and your valuable personal information on the internet.
5 Reasons why cyber security should matter to you
Cyber security has made its way to every device and orifice that connects itself to the internet. But why, exactly, should you know more about this – and how can it affect your daily life?
1. ) Safeguard you and your system from malicious files
Visiting some websites comes with the added danger of contracting malicious files that want to hold sensitive information. A proper cyber security protocol means that you can still visit sites that the system deems as “safe to visit” or those that don’t contain any harmful files. It will, however, block a website once it senses danger.
2. ) Prevent identity theft
You might argue, “why would anyone want to steal my identity? What do they have to gain from it?” It turns out, a lot.
Once cyber attackers get a hold of your legal name, birthday, e-mail address, and other important information, then you might be opening yourself up to a world of debt and charges, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. After all, hackers and internet hooligans can masquerade as you – and their victim can mistake their previous action as your own. Additionally, access to this information means they can open your accounts on other platforms and deceive the people you know.
3. ) Prevent leak of sensitive information
Compromising cyber security also means that cybercriminals can access sensitive information and share them for the world to see. It might be in the form of sharp images or private information – the fact remains that it’s still a lose-lose situation at best.
4. ) Prevent Ransomware attacks
Ransomware, or the type of virus that forcefully locks a user’s computer system unless they give the virus owner a specified amount of money (usually in untraceable Bitcoin format), has been on the rise. This rise is parallel to the rise of bitcoin over the past few months, too. Proper cyber security protocols can prevent a system from downloading and installing software that might contain this specific type of dangerous virus.
5. ) Protects other systems from virus
Much like how viruses work in real life, a computer virus spreads by infecting one system that will transfer it to another through file transfer and the like. Though the medium as to how they’re transferred has evolved, the method of transferring it remains the same – which can be alleviated with an effective cyber security system; remember, safety is always better than cure – in all manner of things.
Now that we use our computer systems and mobile devices more than ever, we need to secure every function to ensure efficiency. It doesn’t hurt to be a little extra when it comes to cyber protection, and it’s most certainly not an overreaction to the issue as well. After all, it’s better to be overly prepared rather than being caught off-guard when you need it the most.