Cyber Fact: the advancement, spread, and development of the mighty Internet as we have come to know it could very well be the greatest advent of the 21st century. Cyber Security Fact: there are people who wish to use the power of the internet to steal your most sensitive information and exploit it to whatever ends they see fit. This is not a statement meant to invoke irrational fear or send you hurling your computer into the nearest water source as a means to protect your personal information. Please, don’t do that.
What you can do though is be mindful of cyber security and educate yourself on the really simple methods that exist which allow you to protect your personal and sensitive data from those who might seek to gain access to it. Learn what kind of websites to avoid, what emails you should never open, and what kind of software you can employ to keep your computer safe.
It is a widely recognized fact that many websites that advertise adult content and dating services can be hotspots for viruses and hackers. Somewhat less obvious are websites and web pages that advertise some kind of news story or celebrity gossip that hackers know might grab your attention. People who seek to gain access to your computer know what might rouse your curiosity and will seek to grasp it with things that would otherwise seem to be rather harmless. The best rule of thumb is that if you see a dubious headline or a suspicious link, then there is a decent chance that you are right to be suspicious. If the web page is really interesting enough to follow up with, it is all too easy to employ a safe search engine which can give you more information about what you seek.
E-mail scams and “spam” have become a long running joke at this point in the age of the internet. Everything running the gambit from foreign princes looking to bring you wealth, to miracle pills of all sorts that grant your wishes without even so much as a prescription. Again, the typical signs of a virus laden e-mail may not always be present. As old as some of their tricks are, hackers have gotten smarter in how they might approach you. They are even capable of sending out e-mails with the appearance of real companies or websites you may already use in hopes of convincing you to use their links and “reconfirm your credit card information” or the like. Your best bet is to try and hold off on clicking on any link in an unexpected e-mail until you can confirm the contents legitimacy.
In terms of proactively fighting viruses and protecting your data, there are countless programs both free and paid which can provide you the all-important cyber security you seek. It will not take you long to find the exact amount of protection you need for your specific internet usage and specific budget (even if it’s not budget at all)!
Interweb safely, my friends.