Who is Spying On You Now? [Infographic]

According to statistics released by renowned Norton, an antivirus company, cybercrime costs us $100 billion worldwide each year. This is only set to rise as hackers become better equipped at navigating security systems, more viruses and hacking systems become more developed. So where are you most vulnerable when you’re online? And what can you do to keep your online presence, data and even your identity safe?

Who is Spying On You Now?

Your employer should be monitoring your company’s computer system for viruses at work, so the responsibility won’t fall entirely on you to protect your computer. However, you should be aware of updates on the antivirus system which your computer will require you to approve if you are the main user. Make sure you’re antivirus is always up to date on your machine.

It is also common practice for employers to monitor your use of work computers. Systems are in place so that even when using a private browser function, such as Google Chrome’s Incognito or Safari’s private setting, your employer can see what you’re doing. Private browsers are useful because they don’t save passwords, data or browsing history. But if you’re exchanging or inputting sensitive information especially on a public WiFi you should use these wherever you are.

When personal identity theft costs us $10-25 billion in the USA alone, we have to see it as a big concern. You should be cautious when using public Internet access like Wifi hotspots as these are prime targets for hackers and identity thieves. The lower security threshold necessary for multiple, unchecked users means that although it’s great for the average user, it is also perfect for smart hackers looking for new victims. In a recent survey, 88% of hotspots were found to be unsecured.

The majority of public Internet points will provide a warning before you connect. This advises you not to give personal information and ensures you understand the risk you’re taking by using the service. You can also keep yourself safer by using a long, complicated password. There are many advice articles available about how to structure a secure password. It is advisable to use a combination or upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. A really thing to do is to take a famous phrase, or a phrase that means something to you, such as

“To be or not to be, that is the question”

And use numbers and the first letters of each word so, as a password that would become:

2bon2btitq

Even ISPs (Internet Service Providers) track your activity. This is usually innocuous and is actually used to promote safety and security rather than prevent it. But it is important to be aware of this, as our activity is constantly being monitored for anything suspicious.

The most important thing is to be aware and a lot of the ways are being safe by using common sense. Make sure you use secure Internet connections, and even your own Virtual Private Network (VPN) when you’re sharing information such as your social security number or using a credit card to pay for something. Remember to install pop up and ad blockers. Most browsers have their own versions of these that you can install for free. This is a really simple way to protect yourself from hackers, malware and viruses. Remember to only click on links or attachments from trusted sources. 19 people have their identity stolen every minute. Don’t be one of those people.

 

 

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