COVID-19 has forced many of us worldwide to work from home all of a sudden.
Clients whom I have been working for have been compelled by stricter governmental measures both in Singapore and abroad to shift to ‘all-remote’ working arrangements.
In our scramble to find viable (and hopefully free) tools to conduct our business meetings and transactions online, we might have overlooked the fact that online web hackers and their prevalence might make or break the personal and professional privacy that we desire.
This is especially so in an uncertain era such as the one we are living in right now.
Many of these online hackers can gain unwanted access to our cameras on electronic devices such as laptops, home security system as well as smartphones.
With these channels, hackers can clandestinely gain information about you o elicit more personal data or simply to spy on you.
With huge numbers of people working from home as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak both in Singapore and beyond, hackers have an open field to target unsuspecting individuals who are not tech savvy enough to guard against such Internet threats . Even iPhones and Macs are not immune to the dangers lurking on the Internet.
Here are five main ways to protect yourself, your personal and professional information as well as your loved ones from hackers and spies.
#1 Install Security Software Before Using Webcams
Security software can be useful in safeguarding your computer, personal information and even personal safety from hackers. While free security software is a good first step, paid software versions might well provide the enhancements you might need to keep up with these advances in malware and other Internet threats.
Experts on the Web suggest having anti-spyware features, a firewall, an anti-virus software at least to protect yourself from malicious hackers. Be sure to stay updated on your security settings to remain safe.
#2 Use Strong And Complex Passwords For Your Accounts
There are tons of software programs out to guess passwords to break into personal email accounts and other private networks. Lines of code that operate on backend channels can decode often-used number and letter combinations to decipher possible passwords. To avoid being the next victim of cyber threat and bullying, be sure to use complex and even unique passwords to guard your accounts from spies or intruders.
#3 Only Connect To Reliable, Familiar And Secure Networks
I cannot stress this enough.
Protect your information by only connecting to secure and encrypted networks — and avoid sending sensitive personal and company information when using public Wi-Fi, hotspots and other unsecured networks.
A useful tip to determine if a website is encrypted is to search for look for “https” at the beginning of any web address. Although you might be misled into thinking that since some websites use encryption only on their sign-in pages, they should be safe, the reality is that when any part of your session is not encrypted, your entire account could be at risk of being exposed or hacked.
The safest bet is to meticulously be on the lookout for “https” on each single web page you visit.
#4 Avoid All Questionable Links
To defend your computer, your personal and professional data from any cyber criminal, avoid feeding your curiosity by clicking on hyperlinks or email attachments that you might receive, lest you fall victim to phishing.
What you should be absolutely on guard against is to beware of anyone or any site asking you to fill up sensitive data (such as your credit card number) in order to ‘make a transaction’. You do not want to the next victim of spear phishing and live your life out pandering to the threats of cyber criminals.
#5 Cover Your Webcam When Not In Use
While this tip might seem obvious, many of us might overlook this step when we attempt to safeguard ourselves from cyber spies. If your computer does not have a built-in camera, remove the installed camera after each use. If you have a built-in camera, cover it with a lens cover.
Cyber Hacking Could Be The Next Epidemic — UNLESS You Nip The Threats In Their Buds
As we retreat to our homes in our bid to fight the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, let us take extra precautions when we brace ourselves to work on the Internet — because there are many lurkers and hackers lying in wait to prey on us.
Let us not have cyber hacking become our next epidemic.
Secure networks and not to open and unsecured networks
- Cover Your Webcam When Not Using
Use End-To-End Encryption Software And Not Just
-Activate Your Firewall At All Times
-Regularly Update Your Software
-Avoid Suspect Links
Malicious pieces of code, also known as Malware, are programmed to:
- Embed themselves in your device under the radar without your knowledge
- Operate silently in the background
- Exploit a lot of information about your device’s software
Malware is routinely spread via popular downloads. Wallpapers, pictures of celebrities, .exe files for basic functions, and browser plugins from questionable sources may all contain malware that is innocently downloaded onto your system and gives hackers access to your webcam.
downloading unnecessary programmes that might be malware
Conclusion: Let not webcam hacking be the next epidemic.