3 Habits of Cyber-Smart Families

It comes like a thief in the night.

Such is the case of cybersecurity breaches. It can happen at any time, anywhere, and to anyone.

Are you and your loved ones safe?

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Be a Cyber Hero in Your Own Home

Put your cyber shields up as there is no telling when cyber bullies and cyber sharks may attack. From attending cybersecurity events to practicing strict cyber protocols at home, you can be a hero who protects your family from these cyber monsters.

Modern technology has undoubtedly brought forth a lot of conveniences that are now enjoyed the world over. Computers, the Internet, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are just some of the ingenious creations that the world’s best minds have come up with. The wonders of technology can be seen, heard, and felt across industries and have entered homes of almost all citizens of the planet Earth.

As with most things, along with the positives come the negatives. With the upside comes the downside of technology. Predators lurk behind bytes and backdoors, waiting to pounce at an opportune moment to attack you where you least expect it. As such, cybersecurity measures were born to protect and secure the very things that help you enjoy ease and convenience in life.

It is said that there are now officially more gadgets in the world compared to people. Additionally, real-time global data from GSMA Intelligence reveal that there are over 9.5 billion mobile connections (and licensed cellular IoT) and counting. More than 5.1 billion people have unique mobile subscriptions. 

These numbers are proof that people are becoming more and more reliant on technology in their daily lives. From brand-new devices to refurbished tablets, smartphones, and other smart devices, there is a slew of smart gizmos that are being used at almost every corner of the world. But what happens if the very devices that you use to make life easier can make your life a nightmare? What if your source of information or entertainment becomes a gateway for cyber bandits to break into your own home? How will you protect yourself and your family from cyber break-ins?

Here are some of the basic steps to become cyber-smart and ensure the safety and security of your family from cyber attacks:

1. Back Up Your Data

Aside from giving you peace of mind, backing up your data will protect you from accidental or intentional loss of data. It will also save you from any possible cyber attacks.

You need to practice vigilance and back up your data especially if you have sensitive information on your computer or devices. Cyber pirates can launch direct-access attacks or denial-of-service attacks. They can copy data from you, or worse, implant bugs and listening devices for eavesdropping, or install software worms and keyloggers into your system.

2. Enable Two-step Authentication

While you may think that a super-strong password is enough, it may not be such a deterrent to hackers and cybercrime perpetrators. That is why you should not disregard two-step authentication processes. This will ensure that you have an extra layer of protection should there be any attempt at tampering, spoofing, or other cybercrimes.

A double layer of authentication will require someone to access your account with a PIN that you know and a code that will be sent to your phone. If it’s just a PIN or password that protects you from malicious outsiders, then it can be easily acquired by guessing or stealing these numbers or words.

Meanwhile, an extra layer of protection will alert you if someone is trying to access your account. This will enable you to make the necessary action to protect yourself from these cyber intruders.

3. Install Anti-malware and Update Devices

With today’s busy lifestyles, you may forget to pay attention to the security measures you need to observe to keep your electronic devices secure. Do not fall into this trap and make sure to heed reminders and notifications to update apps and devices.

Aside from ensuring that your system is up to date, it may also help you get rid of kinks and loopholes in the previous algorithm or configuration of your system or device. This will provide additional protection should there be someone who wants to take advantage of your system’s vulnerability.

Furthermore, you should also see to it that you install anti-malware programs. Just as you take vitamins to protect yourself from pathogens and other illnesses, anti-malware will safeguard your computer from infections. With this in place, you can be assured that malware, worms, and viruses cannot damage your files or computer.

Also, anti-malware programs help ensure that your software is up to date, your files are secured, your computer is junk-free, your privacy is protected, and you are shielded from hackers.

Free from Cyber Injury

You have to be prepared when the unexpected happens. There are a lot of opportunists and freebooters who can do considerable cyber damage. It is even more alarming if these cybercriminals can sully your home space and endanger your loved ones.

If you want to protect yourself and your family, it is best to be smart and heed the simple steps mentioned above. It only takes a little time on your end, but it will bring about huge advantages. 


Dhillon Andrew Kannabhiran (@l33tdawg on Twitter) is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hack in The Box (http://www.hitb.org), organiser of the HITBSecConf series of network security conferences which has been held annually for over a decade in various countries including Malaysia, The Netherlands and the UAE.

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