Suyash Nepal

Published On: July 17, 2017 12:33 PM NPT By: Suyash Nepal

Internet and user security

Internet and user security

Internet has completely changed the way people interact, and optimized the way business is conducted. It has made life easier for everyone and now people are quite dependent on it. That ‘everyone’ includes criminals and conmen along with all benign internet users. Alas! Internet has not only eased people’s lives, but also put them within the reach of those with malicious intent. If you do not tread with caution, more likely than not, you are going to be a victim of cybercrimes.

While you may think that you’re not special enough to be “hacked”, most criminals do not specify a target. Though, targeted attacks do happen when there are financial or other benefits involved, most attackers set a trap and wait for random people to fall for it. But, these traps can be avoided if you’re aware.

The most common cyberattack that you might encounter is phising. A person or an entity impersonates another person or entity and asks for sensitive information or money. Often, phising takes place in form of an e-mail which claims that you have won some money or expensive goods and should provide them some information or clearing fee to receive that prize. An attacker may built site posing as other websites and asks for your account credentials.

The best way to avoid it is to not trust any e-mails from unknown sources. Avoid opening links from an untrusted site or e-mail. It’s better to pay heed to the URL of the website and verify if it is legitimate.

Another common technique that attackers use is to create a malicious program — Trojans — making it look like a genuine one. The users are tricked into downloading and installing these trojans, through which the hackers then get complete access to user devices. Trojans can perform a number of actions like stealing data, displaying ads, modifying or deleting user data.

Even the much-feared ransomwares use trojans to infect users. Users are tricked into downloading trojans by claiming that the user’s device has a problem and the solution is to install a program (that they have designed). These messages can be seen in a dialog box while the users are browsing through a malicious site or in sites that have been compromised.

To be safe from trojans, ignore such messages and install an antivirus. Adding ad-block extension and disabling pop-ups in web-browsers can make you a lot safer. Also, if you ever come across a suspicious file, you can verify whether it is a malicious or not by uploading it to

Vulnerable Software/Applications
Updating devices and software is a simple task but many people ignore it, opening the device to another point of attack for malicious actors. Periodically, many security weaknesses and loopholes in your operating systems and software are discovered by security researches. These weaknesses are reported to the manufacturer, who then fixes the weakness through updates. If users do not keep their devices up-to-date, attackers can compromise the device by exploiting that weakness. So, keep your device updated at all times to avoid cyber criminals to an extent.

Weak Password Management
If users have same password for all of their online accounts, it can put their accounts at risk. While using weak and easy to guess password is also common, more exploitation is done through password dumps. Sometimes, even a legitimate site can be hacked and the users’ account details get public. If a user has used the same password for other sites, then they too can be compromised. To be safe, always use different passwords in different sites, which are all unique and strong.

Suyash is a security analyst at Rigo Technology, Kamalpokhari.

internet, user, security,

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