With every introduction of a new year, so too comes a fresh onslaught of cyber-security threats. As we strive to become ever more technologically connected, the exploits and vulnerabilities that we face in our daily lives only tend to increase. So what is it that you need to look out for in 2020 to keep your data and technological devices safe? Well, since devices surround us in our lives, many different aspects need to be explored for nearly complete cyber-security. By reading through the sections of this article, you will learn about some of the most significant security holes that threaten our cyber safety in 2020. To complement this, you will also be provided a better understanding of how to better protect yourself from them.
One of the most substantial threats that we face today is to our data. The convenience of carrying around some or all of our personal data on our devices allows hackers the opportunity to target an individual’s data rather quickly. This is especially true if the data is unsecured. By encrypting our data and creating complex passwords, the first line of defense is enabled. Even these simple steps are enough to ward off the vast majority of hackers who may be interested in illegally obtaining your information.
Personal Data Access
Moving beyond just the unsecured data that we may be carrying around is
the threat of unfettered access that many corporations have to your information.
We all often agree to compliance policies without a second glance because of
the access it grants us to our favorite platforms or applications. The problem
with this agreement is that these policies often allow corporations to use your
data in any way that they may please. It’s startling how much information is
collected and used. According to an article by securitymagazine.com,
this situation plays out more often than is realized. They provide the following
example of how egregious these policies can be:
“According to TÜV Rheinland,
in 2017, Frenchwoman Judith Duportail asked a dating app company to send her
any personal information they had about her. In response, she received an
800-page document containing her Facebook likes and dislikes, the age of the
men she had expressed interest in, and every single online conversation she had
had with all 870 matching contacts since 2013, says the company. “The fact
that Judith Duportail received so much personal data after several years of
using a single app underscores the fact that data protection is now very
Smart Device Security
The proliferation of smart devices
has contributed significantly to the convenience that we experience in our daily
lives and our homes. Unfortunately, with the ever-growing popularity of these
devices comes the risk of being hacked. Much of the smart technology available today
is not fully secured, thus opening your home to unwanted threats. Brett Putman
quotes Nicholas White regarding your home network in his smart home article, saying:
“Your network — your home
network and your local network — is kind of like your nervous system in your
body; it’s what connects everything together,” said Nicholas White,
founder of UnityTech Technology Integrators. “Obviously, your protection
needs to be on that.”
These security threats are a scary
prospect for many, especially those who are inexperienced in the ways of cyber-security.
Thankfully, some steps can be taken to protect yourself against the threats
that come with a smart home. One of the crucial steps to having a secured smart
home is having a network that is configured correctly. This means logging into
your router through the instructions provided with your network device. The first
step in router security for your smart home is to configure your firewall. Having
the firewall configured correctly will keep out any unwanted intrusions into your
home technology. Simple steps on how to set up a firewall can be found in
Christopher Skarda’s article on securitymetrics.com.
If changing the settings on your
router is too complicated, there are also hardware firewall options that can be
connected between your router and smart devices, such as the Bitdefender Box or the Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway.
Regardless of whether you choose a software or hardware configuration for your
firewall, you will be ensuring that your network is far more secure from the
looming threat of hackers.
Cyber-security can often be intimidating. There are constant changes to implementations and the threats that face us. That does not mean that we can not fight against those who would like to pry into our technological lives. With a little research and time invested, our devices can be nearly wholly secured from outside threats. Taking the time to work for this security is well worth the effort due to the amount of harm that hackers can inflict with our personal data. Security can provide the peace of mind that many of us are seeking when using the plethora of devices that surround us in our daily lives.