A Fortnightly series on Computer Safety and Internet Security
Vijay Nyayapati –
IT security is an extremely important subject and every individual and company should have a robust security system in place for their desktop and laptop computers, iPods, mobile phones and all other devices that have cyber connectivity.
I am often asked by customers and non-customers a number of clarifications.
IT Security is a professional matter and I will be happy to discuss business terms on one-to-one basis but I renew my long association with Indian Newslink readers providing simple, easy-to-follow tips in each edition.
These tips should enable you- whether you are a businessperson or a home-user, they should help you to reduce drastically the chance of being a victim of cyber- crime.
I must however warn you that there is no such thing as 100% guarantee that all your systems will be safe all the time. A casual visit to a website or clicking on an advertisement or a pop-up message could invite a dangerous virus into your computer. It is therefore advisable that you engage with a professional and qualified IT consultant to support the devices in use.
But for a start, these fortnightly series and the strategies they contain could save your businesses.
I propose to focus on a single, simple thing that you can do to avoid data breach.
Cyber-criminals prey on your innocence and have become highly sophisticated to gain access; it is therefore important that you follow the strategies and advice.
Use strong Passwords
The first tip is to ensure that the passwords you have chosen for login on various sites are strong. There are powerful, brute force attack software readily available on line and hackers can carry millions of possible password combinations per second.
Hacking software can guess a five-character password in less than three hours. If you use only lowercase letters, your passwords can be tracked in 11.9 seconds.
You know that you need a better password than ‘password’ or ‘letmein,’ if you hope to keep hackers out of your computer.
But what does a ’strong’ password mean?
A good password should be at least eight characters long (or longer) and have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols that are hard to guess.
Avoid the obvious
Do not use dictionary words with proper capitalisation because they are easy to guess (like Password123#). Even though it meets the requirements that we have just explained, it is easily hacked.
Remember that hackers have sophisticated password-hacking software that will run round the clock, throughout the year.
If you want a quick tip for remembering your password, use a phrase and insert letters and numbers into it, like K33pC@lm&.
Vijay Nyayapati is an IT Security expert for medium-sized businesses and co-author of Amazon’s Bestseller ‘Under Attack: How to Protect Your Business & Bank Account from Fast-Growing, Ultra-Motivated and Highly Dangerous CyberCrime Rings.’ He provides IT support and other solutions to customers in New Zealand, Australia and other countries through his Computer Support Company based in Auckland.
Legal Disclaimer: The above article should be taken as general guidelines and not as specific advice. The work and other circumstances, use of computer equipment, the accessing tools and other methods vary and hence Vijay Nyayapati should be consulted as per his terms and fees by those in need of specific advice. He can be reached through his website www.csc.co.nz