How far are we in Security Awareness in Belize? Before asking that, perhaps the right question to ask here is, Do we know what Security Awareness is?
This is the meaning provided by the Wikipedia:
Security awareness is the knowledge and attitude members of an organization possess regarding the protection of the physical and, especially, information assets of that organization.Basically, security awareness is how much you know of the protection of the physical and virtual information or assets in your organization.
I can ensure you that that your security awareness is extremely low if you don't know what I am talking about. But if you have an idea, then you are on the right track to learn more about Security Awareness and why it is important in these times.
Cyber criminals are the primary ones that love to hear that you are not practicing security awareness because they see this as an excellent opportunity to attack or hack your systems.
I will not go any further and talk about Security Awareness because it could take me forever to do so. Instead I will give you some tips you can follow to avoid being a target for cyber criminals.
I am not crazy, we already have them here in Belize. You are not alone. Do you think John McAfee, famous anti-virus king, did all the hacking on his own? Well, even he said it on his blog -- he had assistance from others. You don't really need to be an expert to be a hacker.
Here is a list of the most common attacks and ways in which you can avoid them:
Username and Passwords
After the crazy hacking McAfee did in Belize, people are more aware that their computers are not safe anymore. This is actually a good thing but to avoid these kind of attacks you must ensure that the software being installed in your computer is a trusted software. Another way to avoid these kind of attacks is to ensure that you protect your computer with an updated anti-virus. If you are not comfortable with one anti-virus you can even install another just so as to make sure that you are protected. Constantly changing your usernames and passwords is a good practice too.
When you are hacked, emails are something hackers target first. It is here that we have our contact information, phone numbers, email addresses and much more. All your personal and work emails are also stored here. So in order to avoid these kind of cyber attacks we should consistently change our email passwords and ensure that we don't use the same passwords for the different email accounts. Changing your password every month is a good practice.
When you are hacked, cyber criminals can target and steal your on-line identity so as to commit fraud or sell your identity to others. The most targeted on-line accounts are those of Facebook, Twitter, IM accounts, or even your email accounts. Avoid these kind of attacks by also consistently changing your password and never leave your accounts open on other mobile devices. Mobile devices are making it even more easier for hackers to steal your information.
...and the list goes on an on. What I am trying to achieve here is for you to realize that being aware of these problems is the best way to avoid them in the future.
There are a million ways to protect yourself from cyber attacks, but the best way to start is to become aware of these kind of attacks and what your vulnerabilities are to certain attacks. That is what Security Awareness is all about.
If you have any queries and concerns, don't hesitate to comment or email me. I will be glad to provide you with accurate information and responses.