Are You Safe from Hacking and Cyber Attacks?
The rapid progress of technology has significantly influenced the telecommunications industry. In the past two decades, there were a lot of companies working in this field that have become very popular.
One of these companies is TalkTalk Telecom Group plc or simply – TalkTalk. They provide pay television, internet access, telecommunications and mobile services to consumers and businesses in the UK. Millions of users from the UK are using TalkTalk and their net income in 2015 was around 72 million pounds.
A few days ago, TalkTalk users witnessed a significant cyber attack conducted by a group of hackers. During this incident, the personal and banking information of more than 4 million users have been compromised. At first, the security team of TalkTalk thought that this was some kind of technical problem, but they later receive a ransom demand from an unknown organization. There were users that said that the criminals have attacked them before. It is still unclear whether the problem is solved and TalkTalk claims that the number of accounts that have been compromised is probably lower.
At the same time they urge their users to check their bank accounts on a regular basis and to report any suspicious calls related to their TalkTalk subscription. The incident with TalkTalk users has confirmed that cyber attacks and hacking are possible, even in 2015 despite the security measures taken by telecommunication companies. That’s why it is the best idea for the users to learn how to actively protect themselves from this type of attacks.
The following is a list of Top 5 Tips to Avoid Being a Victim of Hacking and Cyber Attack.
1. Take care of your passwords
Almost every membership website or program we use requires a password. This means that an average person that uses the Internet on a regular basis has to type (or use) the password on at least 5 websites/apps a day. Many people choose the same password for all these places and this is certainly not a good practice. Experts suggest the use of different password for every app/website and they also advise changing the password every couple of months. In addition, the password should be longer and contain more than just letters. It might be a good idea to keep your passwords written down in a notebook.
2. Anti-virus software
Most computers and mobile devices today come with anti-virus software. However, in case your device doesn’t have anti-virus software or you believe that there is a better anti=virus solution out there, you must perform a thorough research and purchase the right one for you. A computer that contains a virus or some other malicious software/file is prone to cyber attacks. Make sure that the anti-virus definitions are updated regularly. It is good to know that there is another form of malicious apps that can ease the work of hackers. Spyware and adware are not really viruses, but they can often lead to them. There are some good anti-adware and spyware tools you can integrate in your browser and these tools will make your surfing experience much safer.
VPN or Virtual Private Network is another excellent tool for those who want to avoid being a victim of hacking and cyber attack. A good VPN will completely mask your IP address making it untraceable for hackers that want to log on your device. This solution uses a special tunnel that connects your device to a server located in another country. In this way you will get maximum protection, bypass geo-restrictions and stay anonymous.
4. Be careful with the emails you receive
The scams with “Nigerian princes” and other similar scams are not working today, but hackers have become more sophisticated. They can easily mask their email addresses (by changing only one letter in the email) and they can manipulate with internet users. Some of them are sending viruses through these emails. When you receive a suspicious mail from an unknown source it is better to delete it.
5. Back up your data
There are many ways in which you can back up your data. It doesn’t really matter which option you will choose – what matters is that your data will remain protected even if you experience a hacking or cyber attack.