Today we cannot live without the internet, one of the most basic resources among the new generations. Do you remember looking up information in an encyclopedia or going to a travel agency to buy a plane ticket or book a hotel? It seems like it was a long time ago, but the truth is that the network of networks has changed the way we do many tasks and has opened the doors to new possibilities that allow us, for example, to work from anywhere or make a bank transfer. from our phone with just one click
Unfortunately, this relentless evolution is also present in the multiple threats posed by cybercriminals. We’ve come a long way from when viruses were distributed on floppy disks and Morris and when the first worm hit the Internet in 1988, to today and the emergence of Trojan horses, spyware and ransomware, the main players in cybercrime today. According to the 2023 Security Report from Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), the world’s leading provider of cybersecurity experts, cyberattacks increased 38% in 2022 compared to the previous year, with an average of 1168 attacks per week per organization. A situation that seems to continue to worsen in the coming years. In Greece, the number of weekly cyberattacks reaches 774, with an annual variation of -5%, which, although it shows a positive result, organizations must remain vigilant and take all necessary security measures to protect their information.
All this makes it clear that we must be prepared to face these threats and that is why Check Point Software takes advantage of World Internet Day as an opportunity to remind us of the “bad habits” that we continue to maintain and that affect our digital security. :
1. Bypass passwords: This is one of the most common mistakes, and yet one of the most impactful practices in maintaining proper cyber security. It’s easier for all of us to recycle passwords and use the same one for business and personal email, but we put important data at risk. It’s also very common to share them – Netflix or Spotify passwords, for example – and many times we write them down or send them in a text message or email to family or close friends. This reality means that millions of users see their accounts compromised every year for not taking care of their passwords. To avoid this, it is recommended to create strong passwords, with at least 12 characters and a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters. Similarly, it is always recommended to update them every few months and not reuse them across multiple different platforms or accounts.
2. Update, update, update: all systems and devices have regular updates designed not only to improve or fix usability, but also to patch potential vulnerabilities. The update message usually appears at inopportune times or when we don’t have a Wi-Fi connection and we usually end up postponing or even ignoring its installation, unknowingly leaving the door open to cyberattacks. By simply keeping our devices up to date, we can avoid many of the vulnerabilities that can arise.
3. Being a victim of misinformation: While most of today’s cyberattacks are focused on data theft, there has recently been an increase in hacktivism practices and other state-related threats. This type of practice often involves the distribution of disinformation with fake news or biased and incomplete messages that take advantage of the emotional side of users to create discord. For this reason, it is recommended to use different sources when informing us, as well as consult any news or chain of messages before falling into practices such as mass dissemination. One of the main pillars of Internet security is common sense.
4. Use of free wireless networks: To avoid using your own data, it is increasingly common to navigate between hotspots and free Wi-Fi networks in restaurants, airports, train or metro stations, hotels and even public or private transport. However, security researchers have shown in many cases that these types of wireless networks have little or no security. It is recommended not to access an unknown network, but if necessary, limit its use to basic browsing, avoid entering passwords or using sensitive applications such as payment platforms or banking access.
6. Browse and trust unsafe websites: One way to detect this type of fraudulent website is to look for minor errors such as typos, misspelled text, or the presence of poor-quality or misleading images. However, the most effective method is undoubtedly URL scanning, with security indicators such as SSL certificates (indicated by the presence of a padlock next to the web address). or alerts, such as the presence of irregular characters or subdomains.