24 February 2018

3 Types of Security Measures You Need Online

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There are three types of security measures you need online, program defense, system defense, and user participation and education. Each involves willing participants to a certain degree but are very important to the health of your network and PC.

Security measures you need online

1. Program Defense


We are discussing single programs or things that you can do on your PC to help you defend and remain vigilant against incoming attacks.
  • Update your programs – Program manufacturers release updates and patches to close known security leaks, not just to give you better features and graphics. Updating your programs ensures that you have the best defense against any attacks.
  • Put up a strong firewall – Firewalls control data coming in and out of your network. Some will even ask you when something unusual happens.
  • Install antivirus protection – In case something does get through to your computer, you should have a good antivirus and malware detection software to block it and warn you as a last line of defense.
  • Use strong passwords – Never write your passwords down, don’t use words or letters close together on the keyboard, or personal info like a birthdate. Passwords that are strong and hard to crack are 8 to 12 characters and a combination of lower and uppercase with symbols and numbers. Passwords should be changed after 90 days, and no one should be sharing a log in with anyone else.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) – a VPN can mask your identity on the internet. This is especially helpful when you want your location and personal information to remain private. For example, if you’re in Poland your computer has an address called a Polish IP which defines that you are located in Poland. Using a VPN in Poland or anywhere around the world, your data is encrypted, and your connection is secure from whatever is on the network. This is a must for public hotspots. Here are the best VPN that works in Poland or anywhere around the world and compatible with PCs and mobiles: Express VPN, IPVanish & Private VPN.

2. System Defense


Defending an entire network is important.
For home use, this means a few things like making sure that your router has more than the generic password it came with so that you are not a victim of hacking. It also means making sure you have encrypted the data on your laptop in case it gets lost or stolen.

Don’t forget to secure your mobile phone. These days we are walking around with mini-computers in our pockets that need protection as well. There is encryption software for phones and make sure you have it password protected with a lock-out feature. Enable remote wiping of the device, so if you and it are separated, you can delete personal or company data.
Most system defense lands at the office and corporate structures with things like:
  • Using a VPN – When communicating between data centers or buildings on an otherwise open network, a VPN can make the connection a secure, encrypted private network.
  • Using a Firewall – The firewall controls what services and ports are exposed to the network and blocks or restricts the others from traffic. Restricting your company to only a few pieces of software that need to be accessible to the public, puts them at less risk of attack or less overall risk if they are attacked.
  • Service Auditing – Things are often keyed to run at boot up, service auditing is reviewing the services on your infrastructure and evaluating whether they need to be up and running and what channels they are communicating from. It helps to set up firewalls properly allowing you to block legitimate threats while unblocking potentially safe things that are being blocked.
  • File System Audit – Much like service auditing, file system auditing makes a check of any file structures that have changed since the last check. This can be helpful because only the IT person an intruder, or a process would have changed the structure to the IT files.
There are other things that IT departments have at their disposals such as public key infrastructure, encrypted SSL connection, and SSH key authentication. These are very technical solutions and beyond the scope of this introductory security brief.

3. User Participation and Education


Installing the best VPN or antivirus software does no good if it is out of date or the end user isn’t launching it. User participation and education mean for a company, educating the staff how best to keep safe on their computers, which systems must be up and running, which programs must be updated when prompted, etc.

For a single person using a PC, it remains the same. If you are setting up your mom’s PC and put all the bells and whistles of protective programs and software on it, it does no good if she never updates or simply closes them upon launch because of an error.

End users need education on how to safely surf the internet, use IM, and what to do with incoming links and attachments. Without these vital pieces of information, your company can have a wide-open data door due to a na├»ve computer person. Education is key to ensuring that employees and computer users, in general, aren’t leaving themselves susceptible to viruses, malware and setting up the network for a breach.

Conclusion


The best thing you can do to help keep yourself safe online is to install the updates to your programs and get a good firewall and antivirus. Don’t forget to secure your mobile devices and laptops. Because of the mobile nature of these devices, you are bound to be separated from them at some point, and its best to take a proactive approach to their security.

Learn what you need to know to keep your computer at work safe. Make sure you are not putting your job at risk by participating in risky behavior that could compromise the network.
The sooner you implement any security measures, the better they will work.

About the Author

Bram Jansen is an online privacy expert. He's been helping businesses secure their information online. He offers tips and advice to protect companies from common problems and to guarantee they are protecting their online and social media privacy. He's part of the team vpnAlert, a trusted advisor on VPNs and Internet Privacy. You may go to his their Twitter profile.

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