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General public need to protect themselves online

3/09/2015 by


Cybersecurity has become a way of life for many businesses, with companies investing in developing firewalls and safeguards to stop hackers breaching their digital walls; however, it seems that the general public do not prioritise their online safety as much, with many people open to potential attacks that could result in personal data being taken.

Several experts in the cybersecurity industry believe there are still major issues with online safety that have not been corrected despite the iCloud photo leak. This is down to technological vulnerabilities and human error, both of which need to be addressed if security is to be bolstered.

Lieberman Software security expert Jonathan Sander explained: “The consumer’s view of good security is much like their view of good health – they know they ought to get lots of exercise and use unique passwords on every website but they’re not really doing either. They’re both hard to do regularly.” He added that recent breaches had been widely reported in the media and have, to an extent, educated people on the importance of online safety; however, even though people know they should use complex and different passwords and be careful about the links they click and emails they open, they do not always follow this advice.

Mr Sander was quick to add that it is not all about human error, however, with technology often failing people. “People having been given conflicting advice,” he said, explaining that when people are told to protect accounts such as Google with complex passwords, they are worried about using the ‘Login with Google’ button that is generally available on many websites.

It is important that people take the time to understand online security, with Tripwire’s senior security analyst Ken Westin explaining that the number of risks is still on the rise. There is more data than ever being stored in the cloud via mobile devices, which cyberthieves know only too well. This means attackers are continually looking for ways to compromise online storage solutions and it is only a matter of time before breaches are made.

In the same way that companies around the world are bolstering their online safety, it is important for consumers to do so. This means using different and complex passwords for devices, managing online files correctly and backing up important information, such as photos. In this way if the worst occurs, people have copies of their personal belongings. With cybercrime set to increase, it is vital that companies and consumers work together to safeguard themselves.

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