As our society and the world moves further and further into the digital age, we find ourselves immersing every facet of ourselves online. This means that all of our information, from our age and our location, to even our personal data is all stored in cloud servers managed by companies for the services that we use online. Cybersecurity has become the foremost issue for those in the digital space, as this integration between ourselves and the internet deepens further.
But what does cyber security even do, and how does it play a role in ensuring that you and your loved ones stay safe while using the internet? In this article, we’ll be going through the concept of cybersecurity and the roles that it plays in our daily lives, as well as the threats that it faces and what we can do to ensure the safety of our personal data.
Cybersecurity as a concept
Some of you may understand from its name that cybersecurity focuses on the protection of things online, but it is so much more than that! Cybersecurity involves the protection and encryption of access points of storage to sensitive data, such as networks and devices, from unauthorized access and loss. Cybersecurity focuses on the protection of these access points in order to safeguard data, much like how security guards protect a building.
Though cybersecurity is used pretty generally, there are various different types of cybersecurity that focus on different aspects of threats, concepts, and actions that data can be vulnerable to. All these different disciplines have the central goal of protecting your data, either from internal or external threats.
For example, network security focuses on protecting networks, the part of the digital chain that lets you access the internet, from exploitation and hijacking, ensuring that no one can use your network to gain access to other devices on the network. Cloud security, on the other hand, focuses on protecting data that has been stored offsite in remote data centers rather than their local network. Application security is the one that many other people are familiar with, too, as it aims to protect information and data that applications and websites store. There are many different other types of cybersecurity disciplines, but these are the more common ones that exist. With the combination of all these different facets of data security measures, they make up the companies’ or organizations’ cybersecurity efforts, all with the goal of keeping data safe and secure.
How vital is cybersecurity to our society?
Cybersecurity is of absolute importance to all members of society, from the individual to corporations and organizations, and even to governments. A lot of your digital assets and data are important, as it could cause serious issues to everyone if they were to leak. For example, banking details that you use for online banking could get leaked, and that could be used by hackers or other malicious actors to impersonate you and steal your money.
Cases like the one above are not uncommon, either, as as much as a third of businesses experience cybersecurity threats and attacks in some capacity, and those are just numbers from those who realize they have a breach. No matter where you are on the chain, cyberattacks are a real threat and could expose people to fraud, identity theft, and extortion. Businesses, in particular, are especially vulnerable to cyber attacks, as a data leak could plummet their reputation and cause them to lose the trust of their consumers, ultimately causing them to lose a lot of money.
The growth of cybercrime
Cybercrime is a growing threat and a costly one at that. Most experts estimate that it will cost 15 percent more a year to combat cybercrime in the next six years. As such, it is all the more important that businesses and individuals alike practice good cybersecurity tactics. By implementing these practices, one would be less likely to fall victim to cybercrime.
Cybersecurity practices you should know
Here we will be listing a few practices that you can implement to protect you or your business from cybercrime.
Installing anti-malware programs
The market is saturated with lots of programs and packages for anti-malware software that can protect your computer from cybersecurity threats. Most of them come at a cost, but not to worry as they come at varied price points to fit almost any budget. These programs are easy to use as they automatically update and detect malware on your device. Most of the time, threats to cybersecurity begin as malware, so these anti-malware programs help to nip the problem in the bud.
Use different passwords and change them regularly
Many of us are guilty of reusing the same password for different accounts for ease of use, however, it can be very problematic. As long as a hacker has access to one password, your other accounts are compromised as well. Other than using different passwords for your different accounts, it is also crucial that you change them on a regular basis. This can help minimize the risk of your account getting hacked.
Use strong passwords
Many ask, what exactly is a weak password? Well, for one ensure that your password is long, around 12 characters. For context, a 12-character password will take 60 trillion times longer to crack compared to a password with six characters. To strengthen the password, use both upper and lower case letters in your password, it is best to use different symbols and numbers in your password too.
Ensuring that your data is safe and secure is important to ensure that you are protected when using online services and tools. By checking the different permissions for the applications you use and ensuring that you are only sharing the information they require and nothing more, you keep the information you put out there to a minimum. By changing your passwords regularly and using ‘strong’ passwords and different passwords for different services, you’ll keep yourself safe from data leaks from services that you use and isolated from each other. Always keep up to date on what organization or service has experienced a recent data leak, and be pre-emptive in changing your login details on any compromised services and platforms.