New year resolutions for 2013
Just as your usual New Year’s resolutions inspire you to become a better person in the coming year, our resolutions and tips will help you become a better, more security-conscious netizen.
Take care of your mobile devices
2012 saw the exponential boom in Android malware and high-risk apps. This means that users must watch out for more of the same kind of threats to plague their mobiles come the New Year. High-risk apps are something the user should definitely watch out for. These are legitimate apps that are considered malicious because of features that were abused. Treat your mobile device as if it was your laptop or desktop PC—look toward securing and protecting it from threats. After all, mobile devices offer the same kind of service and usage which also makes them vulnerable to infection.
Download apps with care; if possible, go to the developer’s website rather than relying on search results. Avoid apps that ask for too much information or permissions. Do not use ad- supported apps, wherever possible.
Be more conscious of Threats
Keep tabs on the latest malware-related news and events by subscribing to news websites and feeds related to security. Be wary of the files you download and the sites you browse. Adopt a healthy skepticism of anything you see online. Always verify before jumping into anything that involves money.
Clean up your Digital Clutter
Today’s cybercriminals are focusing on getting into users online accounts. Depending on how many devices you own and use, your online accounts might even seem like twice as much! More often online accounts are also tied to multiple devices, which may lead to compromised accounts. So it’s in your best interest to make sure that they’re all managed properly and secured. Close accounts that you no longer use, and remove their links from the ones you still use. In 2013, be more organized with your fragmented digital accounts and keep your online and offline world clutter-free.
Carefully use the Digital Technology
The “digital lifestyle” increasingly links consumers’ lives to the Internet. New technologies are an attractive target and provide new venues for exploitation.
The high-definition TV running an existing OS like iOS, Android, or Windows may be at risk of attack because of OS vulnerabilities. TV manufacturer may not be as capable as a computer, tablet, or smartphone vendor to fix security holes as they are discovered.
Internet-enabled devices use proprietary Operating systems and protocols designed without security as a top priority. When such devices are brought online, they can be easily compromised by enterprising attackers. Consumers should be cautious while buying such devices and ask for the security options available.
Manage your passwords in a secure manner.
Use completely random but memorable phrases as passwords instead of short, simple, and easy-to-guess ones. Avoid using the same password for all your login needs. For instance, do not use the same password for your bank and social network accounts. Change your password every few months. Users may even consider using password managers.
Watch out your social media activities
Social networks contain a wealth of personal information. Some of that information would not be valuable by itself but having a clear picture of everything about a person can give attackers ideas and information required to perform other attacks such as credit card fraud or identity theft. Users should leverage advantage of more security controls added to social networking sites frequently and refine their existing controls. You should only publish information that you are perfectly comfortable with, depending on what you want to accomplish. Add only people you trust to your contact list. Avoid clicking unexpected links coming from people you do not know.
Be more security pro
A security solution installed on your devices helps threat-proof yourself, your livelihood and your online reputation. Should you accidentally click a malicious link or download a malware-ridden file, your security solution will be your safety net and protect what’s important.
Look into operating systems or platforms that offer increased security than the norm. Windows 8, for example, has been cited to sport several key improvements in security that may help protect users. These improvements, working in tandem with an installed security suite, would help in the long run.