We’re often told that we should make sure to have different passwords for each account, turn on two-factor security, and keep our computers updated. All of these things can be troublesome though. Having multiple passwords makes it harder to keep track of them, two-factor security is fiddly and cumbersome, and Windows always wants to install updates at the most inconvenient time, so it’s easier to keep clicking “Remind Me Later”.
But perhaps, if we understood the importance of computer security, we wouldn’t get so frustrated with the inconvenience. Here are some key reasons why you should take internet security seriously.
Traditionally, banks always kept our money secure by using physical vaults built deep underground with large heavy doors, strong locks and time delays. In the 21st century, things have changed a little as we’ve transitioned from visiting a branch every time we want to conduct a transaction, to using the internet.
Keeping this online location secure is important too though, as anyone who has access to your online banking can move money to accounts that they control. It’s not just your bank account either.
Shopping online requires you to use your credit or debit card which, if not properly secured, could be used to steal your cash. Even playing real money poker or free-to-play games with microtransactions will often have a card, payment wallet, or bank account connected.
Thankfully, all these accounts can be protected by using secure passwords, enabling two-factor security, not clicking links in emails, and keeping the security software on your computer up to date.
Data Theft And Compromise
Every business has important data, whether that’s the personal data of customers, financial data, or trade secrets that your competitors would love to get their hands on. Whatever it is, it could cost your company a lot of money if it got into the wrong hands.
Stolen customer information could lead to reputational damage, regulatory fines, and lost business. Financial data could damage your standing with suppliers, and trade secrets could be used by others to build a rival product.
Protecting these is vital, and in some cases, the law. Therefore, you should be sure to use strong passwords, enable two-factor security, and ensure that any sensitive data is encrypted. Never leave a laptop, memory stick, or any other storage device unattended, especially on trains, buses or other public transport.
Identity theft can result in the loss of your savings, your earnings, or even your business. Criminals can do a lot with just a few bits of basic information, including applying for bank accounts, credit cards and loans in your name and then borrowing money. Depending on the laws in your country, you could end up being liable for these debts or, at worst, expending a lot of time and energy to prove that it wasn’t you that borrowed it.
It’s therefore important that you don’t publish your address, date of birth, or other important information like your mother’s maiden name online. Also, be sure to shred documents before binning them, and never give out information to strangers if they call or email, even if they claim to be from your bank or the police.
These are all very important reasons to take internet security seriously, but many fail to understand the severity of the risk until it’s too late. Don’t be one of these people; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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