Digital

7th February 2017

Teviot 10: Staying Internet Safe

by Gordon Greenan, Web Developer

Image: Vasin Lee / Shutterstock.com

In today’s tech world you could say we’re all pretty internet obsessed. We can check our social accounts, watch TV, send emails, laugh at memes, order food, buy a one way plane ticket, sign up for cooking classes, book a skydiving course, the list goes on and on. However, at what point do we take a step back from our daily internet activities and ask how secure we really are? Or do we just expect that the corporations who run the vast majority of internet platforms are doing it for us?

Let’s not kid ourselves here, our whole existence is online in some form or another. Access to our money, our address, date of birth, what you had for dinner on April 21st 2014. With that information, a hacker can form a profile of us and use it for many nefarious things. Some prime examples being:

– A complete takeover of your personal computer with which a hacker can watch everything you do on screen and through a webcam.

– They could install a keylogger and record every password you type into every website you visited.

– They could go through your emails and lift out copies of your passport or driving license that you sent to your solicitor or workplace.

The list is almost never ending…

The fact is there is no certain, watertight defence against hackers or scammers. If they are determined enough they will find a way. But with most things in life they will favour the easier route, ergo, make it as difficult as you can and reduce the chance of being a target.

Whether you are a casual social media user, the owner of a fortune 500 company with thousands of employees or a government body, it’s important to exercise basic common sense online. Don’t share personal information, don’t click anything you don’t trust and buy and sell only with reputable, secure businesses online.

Below is a list of, in my opinion, the best and most essential articles, sites and tools from around the web that will help you understand what the potential pitfalls of security, or lack thereof, are and how best to combat those big bad hackers.

1. Social Networks

A handy list to being safe on social media platforms and why you should be – from a reputable online safety site which we highly recommend.

www.staysafeonline.org/social-networks

 

2. Sucuri Site Check

A really neat tool for anyone with a website.

Sucuri SiteCheck scanner will check a website for known malware, blacklisting status, website errors, and out-of-date software. Giving you a quick way to identify any top level holes in your sites security.

www.sitecheck.sucuri.net

 

3. What Is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and What Are SSL Certificates?

Encryption on websites that hold personal information and details is, and should be, a paramount requirement. If you have a website or look after one that doesn’t have SSL here is what it is and why you may need it.

www.digicert.com/ssl

 

4. Phishing Attack Prevention: How to Identify & Avoid Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers using email. This article calls on a number of experts to give their take on phishing and how to combat it.

www.digitalguardian.com/phishing-attack-prevention

 

5. How Hackers Took Over My Computer

A fantastic article by Telegraph journalist Sophie Curtis who allowed “ethical hackers” to hack her online presence over a period of months and report back to her what they did and how they did it.

www.telegraph.co.uk/How-hackers-took-over-my-computer

 

6. Have I Been Pwdned?

Pwdned – ‘means “to own” or to be dominated by an opponent or situation’. This one isn’t an article, but a specific tool that allows you to search across multiple data breaches to see if your email addresses has been compromised. It’s good to have a little check-up now and then.

www.haveibeenpwned.com

 

7. Tips to Improve Your Website Security

Focussing on business website security and why it’s vital to “not leave it until it’s too late” – with a list of to-dos thrown in for good measure.

www.versantus.co.uk/7-tips-to-improve-your-website-security

 

8. Nine Things Businesses Need to Know About Web Security

Although the title suggests it is, this isn’t a list as such but a glimpse into business hacking and how hackers do what they do and a bit about why. It opens the eyes as to how easy it is for hackers to do their thing in this day and age.

www.mashable.com/web-security-tips-small-businesses

 

9. Tips for Kids and Parents About Internet Safety

This addresses children and how vulnerable they are while online, the article gives some harrowing facts and stats and follows that up with tips on how to educate your kids and keep them safe online. Anyone who is a parent (myself included) will find this article very informative.

www.educationworld.com

 

10. Wiki: How to be Safe on the Internet

An in depth guide for everyday internet users. Giving them a detailed list of what to do and what not to do when using the net.

www.wikihow.com/Be-Safe-on-the-Internet

 

So, whether you’re a small business, a large multinational or just little old Betty round the corner make sure you’re internet safe!

Our digital team are experts in everything online, from the initial development of a website, a blog, an app and e-commerce to ongoing maintenance. They know the ins and outs and tricks of the trade to make sure that they not only look good and work efficiently but how to make sure they offer the best level of security so you can get on with what you need to do.

Drop us a line if you think we can help.

 

Gordon Greenan, Web Developer

Teviot 10: Staying Internet Safe

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