Top 5 Security Mistakes
January 1, 2010Much of our life now exists in the digital arena but it is so easy to become detached from the reality of security because of the ease with which we can be unintentionally complacent.
In the physical world we always:
- lock our doors
- secure our cash
- protect our kids
- intuitively distrust strangers
But in the virtual world we seem to forget all of this and the top 5 mistakes commonly made are:
- Passwords – a password is probably the most basic form of security but for simplicity, and all to often, we use the same password for all out accounts. Having a good password policy is essential as it prevents unauthorized access to all your sensitive data. Passwords are more secure when they contain both letters and numbers in a combination of upper-case and lower-case characters, and they should be changed periodically.
- Trust – on the internet it is very difficult to exercise trust because it is so easy to pretend to be someone else. And due to the lack of other social indicators, such as body language, it is impossible to really identify even your friends. Many lapses in security are a direct result of some spoofing someone you know and with the rise of social networking (facebook, my space, twitter, etc) is easy to get caught.
- Education – Educating yourself and those around you in how to use you software safely, especially with regard to e-mail, attachments, and downloads. You need to know exactly what kinds of threats are out there. With out a good knowledge of secure computing users you can easily fall victim to viruses, spyware, and phishing attacks, all of which are designed to corrupt systems or leak personal information to a third party without you consent or knowledge.
- Updates – quite often people believe the by having anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed however, outdated virus patterns and security bugs on the computer are the main reason people get infected with malicious software. So make sure that not only is your virus and spyware scanner up-to-date but also you operating system and browser?
- Backups – creating backups of your sensitive and personal data are crucial and a lot of people think they are on top of it only to find out things were not running as expected when they need to restore something. Creating a good backup process can help secure and protect your data.