If you adventure in the cyberworld you must know that many dangers await you. From rogue USB sticks to Chrome extensions gone wild and mobile phone exploits.
Except for the eye-catching titles that everyone is talking about like: massive data breach, or the malware that hijacks your computer for a ransom, it’s also important to know that many lesser-known cyberattacks are out there too. They can still do some serious damage as far as your data and privacy go. Here’s what to look out for, and how to make sure you aren’t caught out.
Rogue USB Sticks
You should be very, very wary of connecting a USB drive to your computer if you’re not sure where it’s from.
Even if the USB stick isn’t configured to release some kind of payload as soon as it’s attached, it can carry disguised viruses as easily as email attachments.
Keep your computer operating system right up to date, make sure powerful cybersecurity solutions are installed, and keep them updated as well. Always run a virus scan on every USB stick you don’t know before doing anything.
Remember! Every account you leave behind gathering dust is another one that could potentially be hacked into.
It’s important to take the time to shut down any unused accounts rather than just uninstalling the associated app from our phones and then forgetting about them. If any of them should then suffer a data breach, for example, your data won’t be included if you’ve deleted the account.
It’s worth checking all the third-party apps and services linked to your main accounts for once in a while. Like dating apps you might have hooked up to Facebook, or email apps connected to your Google account. These give hackers more targets to aim at, which is why you should regularly disconnect and delete the ones you aren’t actively using.
Untrusted Browser Extensions
The right browser extensions are able to add useful functionality and features to your daily window on the web. Just remember that all add-ons need to be vetted like any other piece of software.
If you pick the wrong extension and you will find it selling your browsing data, showing you pop-up advertising, or installing extra software.
Keep the number of browser extensions you have installed down to a minimum, and sticking only with the extensions you know and trust.
Bogus Online Quizzes
You, your friends or family take quizzes on Facebook to find out which Hogwarts house they’d get into, or which celebrity they’re most like, and so on.
It may be fun to buy these quizzes can and have been used to build up more detailed profiles of people and their friends, collecting not just the answers to the quizzes themselves but also other information stored in the linked Facebook accounts.
Be wary of anything that requests personal information or personal photos from you, or that requires a connection to one of your social media accounts.
Leaky Photo Uploads
Before you upload a picture online think twice about the information that other people can glean from any pictures you make public, particularly the places where you might live and work.
While a lot of apps, like Instagram and Facebook, automatically strip out the location data saved with photos, some, like Google Photos, can keep this data embedded in the file after it’s been shared.
Remember! Information such as knowing where you work or which road you live on can help someone run an identity theft scam, or get past security questions on your online accounts, or visit you in person when you’d rather not see them.
The less your public photos say about you, the better.
Smart Home Snooping
Our homes are getting smarter; If they are not secured properly the end result? Doors that don’t stay locked or home security camera footage that’s viewed by more people than you’d like.
If your smart home devices and accounts do need passwords, make sure you don’t stick with the default.
Malicious Charging Cables
The standard charging cables that come with your gadgets are designed to power them up, and perhaps sync some music when needed—but specially engineered cables that look very similar can do much more than that.
Only use the cables that come with your devices, or from reputable sources.