Cybercrime as an industry is costing Internet users and businesses over $10.5 trillion every year. Today, no one is safe from phishing scams, ransomware attacks, and vulnerability exploitation conducted by sophisticated hackers. Safer Internet Day gives us an opportunity to hear from tech leaders on the ways internet users can keep hackers and scammers at bay while making the most of today’s digital technologies and platforms.
Here are some tips shared by some of the top tech industry leaders on how to stay safe and ensure the integrity of personal information and business data when leveraging online platforms and services for your needs:
â€œToday we are more dependent on the internet than ever and are using it in new and creative ways to conduct everyday activities. With this increased use, reinforcing internet safety procedures is critical.
Cybercriminals are continually looking for ways to impact internet experiences negatively, and the vast size of the internet means that keeping it safe is a societal task. Businesses can contribute to the effort by ensuring company-wide cybersecurity tools are in place, promoting internet safety best practices for employee use, and working alongside organizations whose mission is to keep the internet safe.
Internally, employers should be implementing robust cybersecurity tools to ensure that their team’s internet usage is secure. A managed cybersecurity solution from a hosting provider can provide a company with enhanced physical and cybersecurity measures includingOpens a new window intake investigations, vulnerability detection, and 24/7 security monitoring.
It is also essential for best safety practices to be promoted in any work environment, especially a remote work environment. The first thing to ensure is that employees utilize robust internet security software that includesOpens a new window firewalls, pop-up blockers, vulnerability scanning, and email spam filters.
Other safety practices include:
- Regularly updating passwords.
- Connecting to a VPN when accessing company data.
- Not clicking on links in emails unless they are confirmed to be 100% safe.
- Backing up data regularly.
Importantly, companies can be a part of the communal solution by supporting non-profits that monitor, identify and combat cybercrime worldwide. Leaseweb works closely with many organizations, including CyberDefconOpens a new window , Shadow ServerOpens a new window , and Stop Forum SpamOpens a new window . Tech companies, in particular, can provide toolsOpens a new window to these non-profits such as servers and network bandwidth.
Keeping the internet safe requires a combination of tactics. But deploying company-wide tools, promoting employee best practices, and working as a global network can go a long way in combating those that seek to make the internet dangerous.â€
Safer Internet Day serves as a reminder that tech scams are on the rise around the globe. It’s essential for individuals and organizations to consider how existing online habits could lend themselves to an invasion of privacy or loss of data.
Within a remote work setup, company-owned and personal devices are used to access the internet and many without pre-installed endpoint protection. When it comes to protecting devices and networks, just having anti-virus software is not enough. Securing a device also requires various solutions such as EDR, DNS security, enforcement of appropriate security policies, and user education.
To avoid cyber incidents, users need to be aware of the applications they’re installing, websites they’re browsing, and links they’re clicking. Ensuring online safety means that we need to take a second look at how and when we use our devices.
The biggest threats today are business email compromise and ransomware. All it takes is one person not paying attention, and user credentials can be compromised or malware given permission to install. Businesses need to provide security education, training, and guidance on policies for their employees and clients. By doing so, team members learn how to protect sensitive information, understand their responsibilities, and recognize signs of a malicious threat.
â€œIn recent months, we witnessed one of the most impactful cyberattacks in our history, affecting government organizations, enterprises, and even cybersecurity leaders. Sadly, the incident indicates that we are still failing to learn the best practices necessary for safeguarding our digital identities as a society and an industry. This failure impacts both individuals and enterprises. In the far corners of the internet, credentials remain the most valuable asset for malicious actors.
To achieve a safer, more secure internet, we must teach users proper credential protection through security awareness training, such as enabling multi-factor authentication for all online accounts. We can employ security solutions that protect email servers, but individuals should also be able to accurately spot phishing emails in their personal and professional email accounts. Organizations can use proactive threat intelligence to identify campaigns targeted at them and behavioral analytics technology to reliably distinguish attackers’ abnormal activity from normal user behavior to identify and remove intruders from the network.
As we do each year, Exabeam joins the cybersecurity community to raise awareness of Safer Internet Day. We share these suggestions to educate and ensure the internet serves the greater good while fulfilling the mission of creating a better online experience for everyone and helping security teams outsmart the odds.â€
â€œWith after-school activities on pause and virtual learning in full swing as 1.2 billionOpens a new window children are out of the classroom due to COVID-19 restrictions, the internet has become critical for children to learn and connect with friends, family, and classmates amid the pandemic.Â
However, this puts minors at an increased risk of falling victim to online predators, cyberbullying, and inappropriate online content. There are very few age verification requirements to prevent children from engaging in online chat or viewing inappropriate content on social media platforms. Without identity verification, it is impossible to confirm a user is who they claim to be online. This opens the door to malicious actors looking to harm minors or steal their personal information.Â
Besides, websites selling age-restricted products such as fireworks, tobacco, and alcohol often authenticate users with a simple â€œare you of age?â€ pop-up button, which offers no real proof of age. Researchers at LeroOpens a new window , the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software, have discovered that it’s relatively easy for children to lie about their age or easily sidestep age-verification protocols to access popular social media sites. This allows underage users to view restricted websites and place orders for products that could cause them physical harm.
On Safer Internet Day, it is critical to recognize the need to protect minors online and hold online companies responsible for keeping minors safe while using their sites. The U.S. is likely to follow in the footsteps of Ofcom, the UK’s first internet watchdog, by implementing new legislation aimed to mitigate social harm, enforce age verification and remove legal protections for tech companies that fail to police illegal content.Â
And it’s time online organizations start preparing for those laws. With learning, communications, and social interactions continuing remotely into 2021, online businesses must implement more robust age and identity verification methods to regulate age-restricted content and purchases. Organizations should also start policing age on social platforms, protect minors, and ultimately take a stand against social harm to create a safer internet.â€