The digital security landscape today is not what it used to be.
There was a time when desktop computers and other PCs would only ship with antivirus software. These days, we are seeing units hit the market with password managers, VPNs, and other security programs pre-installed. If anything, this shows that a lot of things have changed between then and now.
That begs the question of whether or not an antivirus software is enough to keep you protected against the cyber ills that you possibly come across every day.
Why Antivirus Alone Won’t Cut It
One of the common hacking attempts is infecting a unit with malware and gaining access to it from there. This is the protocol that the likes of ransomware work on. Some DDoS attacks leverage this form of operation too.
However, gone are the days when these are the only kinds of threats you can protect against.
Brute force attacks, hybrid hacks, and dictionary hacking attempts have all proven to be good at what they do – turning up users’ passwords. Rainbow table attacks will even make it almost impossible to encrypt your password since it reverses such encryption.
Over the years, hackers have almost perfected the phishing attempts which have since taken the world for billions of dollars. That is very closely related to the Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams that are ravaging even the top companies globally.
Both on the consumer level and corporate stage, it is very sure that antivirus is limited. This is not to say that they are not effective at what they do. Instead, we are saying that they cannot go the whole nine miles alone.
Ensuring Effective Protection
Just because antimalware programs are not enough to beef up your cybersecurity profile does not mean you are helpless against other threats. You just need the right combination of tools, and you will be on your way to a complete security profile. Here are some of the ways to get going on that train:
1 Secure your Passwords
Direct password hacks are commonplace these days. Sadly, users are making things easier for hackers with their poor password habits.
Insights from a security leak show that a majority of users still rely on picks like ‘12345,’ ‘password,’ or modification of those. Others will just flat out use their names with or without important dates (like DOB), making it even easier for these hackers.
Alternatively, generate strong passwords via an online password generation tool. Every password should be unique to one account too. Since a truly secure password will be challenging to remember, get a password manager to help out here.
2 Secure your Network
Your internet network is only as secure as the weakest unit connected to it. A casino that got its database stolen through a hack perpetrated through a thermostat (for the aquarium) can confirm this.
Hackers are now resourceful enough to take control of an unsecured unit on your network and use that to breach the rest of the network. That would not have happened with proper encryption.
A low-cost, effective approach to this is using a VPN to encrypt traffic on that network. Even your ISP will not be able to snoop on you.
3 Understand Phishing
Knowing what you are up against is a good tactic to defend against it – and that works wonders for phishing attempts too.
Hackers prey on trust that they can generate between themselves and the potential victim. If they can get you to download malicious software or access a phishing link, their work is almost done.
It is, thus, little wonder that we frown upon clicking links in emails and downloading unsolicited attachments. If you get a message with a link in it, and it looks legit, enter the link in your browser address bar manually. That way, you can be sure that the link hasn’t been cloned to fool you.