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internet security

Make sure your protected when you are on the internet

7 Most Important Cyber Security Topics

By IT No Comments

Is your network secure?

If you’re interested in a career in Cyber Security, it’s important to keep these 7 topics top of mind, as you will be working in them almost daily. In this blog post, we define the 7 most important cyber security topics, and give some high-level tips around each one.

Password Security

Passwords are how we are linked to everything on the Internet. A weak password has a higher chance of being attacked, whereas a strong password has the least likely to be attacked.
The first thing is never to choose a password that is listed as a common password. This includes the following:
●     qwerty.
●     password.
●     111111.
●     12345678.
●     abc123.
●     1234567.
●     password1.
●     12345.
Online security is top priority
These passwords will more than likely see your account hacked.
A strong password contains up to 16 characters, a symbol, uppercase characters, lowercase characters, and numbers.
Keeping your account password secure is the first step in securing your digital life, but it’s not the only way an attacker can get into your account.

Malware

Malware is known as bad software or malicious software that comes from the Internet. The trick about malware is that you can just be checking your email and malware automatically comes on your system.
There isn’t much that can be done to stop malware, other than making sure that your system is secured with some sort of anti-malware agent to prevent attackers from stealing account credentials or personal information.
There are tools to help you delete malware from your system, those include the following:
●     Malwarebytes
●     Avast
●     Norton
●     McAfee
●     Windows Defender
There are others on the market as well including ClamAV, Panda Cloud, AVG and others. Each anti-malware agent can use a certain amount of resources and some are better at detecting malware than others.

Privacy

Privacy is becoming a bigger threat to cyber security and similar to malware, it controls or works on your system while you are doing something else like checking your email, or even typing up a document.
Websites and Apps thrive on data login credentials and history to see keep track or suggest new products or trends for you. This data is a goldmine for a cyber thief.
There are many ways to stop this from happening to you and your computers.
Privacy issues online
  1. Install an AdBlocker on your favorite browser. These AdBlockers contain code that stops ads from appearing on websites, which don’t install cookies to your system. A cookie is a hidden object that you download, while most are safe and don’t have any evil intentions, there are some out there that are bad. Some AdBlockers include:
    1. AdBlock Plus
    2. AdBlock
    3. NoScript
    4. Ghost
  2. Install and use a VPN, a VPN is a virtual private network, it is used as it says, to put you in a private system in a virtual environment. Popular VPN’s include:
    1. NordVPN
    2. IPVanish
    3. CyberGhost
  3. Deleting cookies and cache every week will also help with privacy concerns. There are tools that can be found that can do this for you
    1. CClenear
    2. BleachBit
    3. Onyx

Data Breaches

These over the last few years have become some of the most strong cyber attacks around, where companies who hold your data are hacked and attacked. Many companies now are dealing with data breaches from video game companies to credit card companies.
Due to all the data breaches on the network, it’s important to hide and keep yourself secured.
As a person you can not stop data breaches from happening, the main thing to understand is if you are a victim of a breach, contact the company that the attack happened to. Those companies have in place a contingency plan that will notify you on.

Safe Computing

It’s very easy to keep your habits and computer safe from attackers, as well as from other hackers. The best is to find good Internet security software, but understand it will not help you with everything.
As the user, you still need to control what others see you online as. This includes scanning your computer or viruses, or even malware.

Scams

While not as big as it used to be, there are online scammers out there. These scammers usually work right after some major events, including a natural disaster.
Typically, an attacker will call you representing the American Red Cross, and he or she asks for a donation for some event that happened. Usually, these phone calls are not legit. This person is looking for your credit card so they can purchase things, or even ruin your credit.
Scams come in many different ways including social media chats and phishing emails where it looks like they are coming from a legit company but they are not. It is very tough to catch these types of criminals as you don’t know if the person on the other end is legit or fake.
The best way to find out if it’s a scam is to ask questions.

Mobile Protection

Like scams, the same goes for protecting your mobile device, as well as protecting the data that is on the device.
While you can not protect the individual applications, you can protect what content and data you give to these companies.
On certain devices (Android) there are ways to protect to have anti-virus and anti-malware to help protect the actual mobile device. iPhones do not have this capability as they are secured by Apple’s network code.
In many ways, you have to treat your mobile device as an extension of your desktop computer.
If you are looking for a cybersecurity program in San Diego, or network security training in San Diego, ICOHS College offers those programs. The college is an academic partner of CISCO, Microsoft, VM Ware IT Academy, EC-Council and CompTIA offering courses including the Certified Ethical Hacker. Apply for the next session today!

 

 

 

 

 

wifi security, secure wifi

Can Your Wi-Fi Spy on You?

By IT No Comments

Be aware of Wi-Fi security measures

As technology continues to dominate our lives, many people have begun to question some of the negatives that are associated with it. But, this isn’t modern anxiety at all. Even in the 1920s, Western culture was identifying these worries in different creative mediums. Films like Metropolis were concerned with the control that technology could pose in our everyday life, especially in the form of surveillance. And, there’s no arguing with the fact that in a hundred years we have taken many substantial technological leaps. But how concerned should we be?
Almost every home is now equipped with a Wi-Fi router, a necessary source for all of our internet habits. But many of us are unaware of how these types of machines truly work, and unfortunately, it’s common to hear a lot of misinformation. In this article, we hope to give you a clearer picture of the ways in which Wi-Fi can be much smarter than many of us thought and what the implications of these intelligent devices are in our daily life.

Detecting Language

Language is one of the most important tools we have to communicate with. We don’t only use it to convey the things we have done physically but also how we feel mentally and emotionally. The words spoken in our house have the potential to be extremely personal and intimate. How would you feel if a machine in your home had access to all these conversations? We promise this isn’t an episode of black mirror.
While a Wi-Fi device may not be able to hear audio, it’s possible that it can instead ‘see’ the movements of a human’s mouth. One study that attempted to show this was Guanhua Wang et al. in their essay “We Can Hear You with WiFi!” They found that Wi-Fi signals can be used to detect changes in the environment, and this includes mouth movements. In essence, the device can lip-read using Channel State Information (CSI), a ‘waveform-based human identification’. There’s even evidence to suggest that signal changes can be detected through walls, so this doesn’t only affect a single room but potentially the house.
 

Browser History 

Another way your Wi-Fi can access information about you is through your browser history. While you are connected to your Wi-Fi, your broadband provider is able to see every website you visit and how frequently you visit it. Not only this, but if you visit unencrypted websites, the network admin can even discover your personal data such as passwords, by using a packet sniffer. That’s why it is essential to use caution when connecting to public networks while you are inputting personal data.
Your browser history can provide a lot of details about your lifestyle, likes, dislikes, and personal data. Not many people find this level of intrusion acceptable. If you don’t feel comfortable with your provider being able to access this information, then you do have a few options. It’s not enough to delete your history, or even clear the cookies and cache, but you can choose to purchase a VPN.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, can protect your privacy on public networks by using both data encryption and IP address change. When you change your IP address, you are changing your virtual location, one which your network provider does that have access to. Therefore they won’t be able to obtain data information from your online activity. Another benefit is that by using a VPN, you may be able to access websites that your internet provider may have blocked or disallowed permission.
 

Physical Presence

How much time do you spend in the kitchen? What time of day do you get home? These may be only a few questions that your Wi-Fi could answer. Researchers tested the theory that a Wi-Fi device could accurately identify when someone walks into the room. Tong Xin et al., in their paper “FreeSense: Indoor Human Identification with WiFi Signals” found that when the system is trained to identify a particular body shape with FreeSense, that the system could identify this individual 95 percent of the time.
 
Similar systems have been introduced in other countries with even better results, believing in the future Wi-Fi should be able to detect one individual in a group of ten. The inspiration behind the project is safety; they think that it could potentially identify intruders and be a force for positive. But others are still skeptical about giving companies so much information about their daily schedule and habits.
Another system called WiKey has been built to identify what letter or symbols a person was pressing on a keyboard by using finger movement. The system worked almost flawlessly and had a 93.5% success rate at guessing the correct movement. Systems like this are surprisingly easy to create with an available router, meaning we could see even more built in the future.
 

Final Thoughts on How Your Wi-Fi Can Spy on You

How much of our intimate lives have been hijacked by the pervasive nature of technology? There is no doubt that surveillance has increased in our everyday life, but it’s still debatable if it will improve the efficiency of our daily routines. Perhaps it is entirely subjective.
At least for now, the information that our Wi-Fi’s collect shouldn’t be accessible to third-party companies. This opinion has been reiterated by Kamran Ali, one of the scientists behind WiKey. He wrote that “it is not a big privacy concern for now”. However, our dependence on technology will ultimately lead us to ask even more ethically questions about our privacy. Our Orwellian future still remains ambiguous.
If you are interested in achieving a tighter grasp on technology, a good option could be to study at a computer training school.
At ICOHS College, we offer a range of computer networking certifications, so if you need CompTIA training or what to learn how to get into cybersecurity, you can do so with us. With information technology courses such as IT Network Specialist and Computer Network Technician, you can gain the essential knowledge you need to launch into the IT job market. 85% of ICOHS students are getting certified and we offer both industry experience and job placement assistance.
If you want to learn more about the information technology courses we offer and how to apply, you can visit our website here.

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