1. Poor patching
The sad reality is that a lot of data breaches can be reduced by keeping your software up to date. Vulnerablities are constantly being discovered in Software. Once these vulnerabilities are discovered, they can be used compromise your System. Make sure you keep your computer up to date with the latest patches and updates.
2. Too trustworthy
People are still too trusting in the digital world. We may have got better at ignoring unsolicited calls and text messages as well as salesmen at our front door, but we are still opening emails and links from people we don’t know.
3. Reusing passwords
The biggest mistake computer users continue to make is using weak and/or reused passwords, which can be cracked by attackers with brute force attacks.
The rise of password managers and biometrics has alleviated some of these problems, but password security is likely to continue to be a problem for some users.
Amazingly a 2014 survey revealed that “123456” was still the most popular password!
Use long passwords with letters, numbers and characters and change them frequently.
4. Oversharing on social media
These younger generations are sharing almost every intricate detail of their lives online, leading to the possibility that this information is intercepted, stolen or simply sold onto nefarious actors.
Additionally, this information can be sold to third-party marketers, while cyber-criminals will likely use the same publicly-available information for social engineering attacks like phishing emails and links.
5. No security solutions
Anti-virus has changed and evolved in recent years, and its goal is to proactively detect and remove viruses, Trojans, worms and other types of malware in order to keep you safe.
Yet some people still don’t have a security solution, even though is one of the first line of defence together with ‘good practices’ and keeping systems up-to-date.
6. ‘It won’t happen to me’
One of the biggest problems people have with information security is not something they ignore, like patching or downloading a security solution, but rather the perception they are not the intended target .Individuals and businesses continue to take the approach of ‘it won’t happen to me’, ignore essential security practises and thus express surprise when they lose data, money or information as a result of a hack.
7. Leaving devices unattended
A simple mistake many of us continue to make is leaving desktop computers or laptops unattended and unlocked. The same also applies to personal devices like smartphones and tablets. The biggest risk of course is the theft of the device, but unlocked devices could also leave users exposed to data theft or ‘shoulder surfing’ spying.
8. Browsing on unsecured connections
We all demand free Wi-Fi anywhere we go, whether that’s so we can surf the web, check-in on Twitter or Facebook, buy products online, monitor our online banking or make a VoIP call. But sometimes we connect to insecure and open Wi-Fi hotspots, like at coffee shops for example. This Wi-Fi is open, not password protected, and visits to unencrypted HTTP (those not HTTPS) websites can potentially allow for an attacker to conduct a Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) attack to sniff all web traffic and steal information, like passwords for online banking. If you’re going to be dealing with sensitive materials online, it’s always best to always use your secure home WiFi connection.
9. Ignoring SSL certificate warnings
Ever visited a website only to be greeted by a security warning that it was an unsafe connection? You probably have at some point, and might well have continued onto that unsafe website.
This means that the SSL certificate is either invalid or has expired, making the connection unsafe and more likely to be compromised by a third-party.
Google recently redesigned its security warnings after finding that Chrome users ignore 70% of warnings.
10. Downloading apps from third-parties
It’s less common now, but some smartphone and tablet owners do still download applications from third-party websites and application stores, and this represents a massive risk. Some of these stores contain applications that are malicious or which appear legitimate, but which have in fact been repackaged with malicious code.
When dealing with IT, always take the “best practice” approach and rather be safe than sorry.
Primeworks can assist you with any IT problems you may have. We have 20 years of experience behind us.
With acknowledgement to “Welivesecurity & ESET.