Are you 100 per cent happy with your security? According to a recent Kaspersky survey most people are, usually because anyone that’s aware of a problem with their system gets it fixed or shored up. It’s the ignorant among us that need to be given a backhand and a quick lesson in digital security, so that’s what the anti-virus firm’s new year’s resolutions are all about.
Before breaking down the list of simple steps to secure your system regardless of platform or OS, Kaspersky released some statistics from its own investigations, which found that over half of Europe’s tablet users didn’t encrypt sensitive information, almost ten percent of mobile users stored their banking passwords on their smartphone and over 20 per cent of iPhone users store other security answers and passwords on their handset.
If Kaspersky needs a new mascot, I know a guy who’s just had his name freed up
However the over-confidence of Apple users is most felt on Mac devices, with over 40 per cent of users not utilising any form of security software of precautions whatsoever, despite a recent upswing in the amount of malware that can infect the OS.
However when it comes to trojans and viruses, it always pays to be aware of what’s going on. So let’s look at what Kaspersky recommends for keeping our systems safe in 2014:
- Use a password manager: While this is technically worse than using your memory, it does make it easier to remember multiple passwords and therefore makes you more inclined to use different ones for different services.
- Protect every device. Whether it’s Android, iOS, Mac OS, Windows or whatever, every machine needs its data protected.
- Be careful who and what you trust. Not everyone on the Internet is your friend. Whether on social networks like Facebook or Twitter or inside your inbox, there are people who want nothing more than your bank account details or your data. So don’t click on random links and only respond to messages from people you know to be genuine.
- Get encrypting. There are many encryption services out there, which will wrap protection around your information, meaning that if your device is lost or stolen, outsiders won’t be able to see the data.
- Use Wi-Fi smartly. Three out of four smartphone users regularly use public Wi-Fi, yet 30 per cent do so without taking additional security measures. Using public Wi-Fi can expose you to various man-in-the-middle attacks, and allow your mobile data to be stolen. If you have to use it, don’t access any critical information, as it could be sniffed by malicious actors.
- Back up your stuff. The average British smartphone contains £237 worth of films, music and computer games – all of which could vanish if not backed up. Be smart and invest in backup products, ideally cloud-based ones that allow you to recover data on any device.
KitGuru Says: Not sure I agree that the average smartphone has that many movies and games on them, but I will say that mine has a lot more sentimental value than I’m comfortable with. I think I’ll take a couple of these points onboard.