Self-Isolation Cyber Security | Spring Cleaning

Bored? Take a few minutes to make your online surfing safer.

As most of the world explores self-isolation, people have embarked on spring cleaning projects. A noble idea, often punctuated by essential breaks to keep up with the latest: breaking news, checking in with social media, cat videos.

Here’s the bad news: the bad guys are as bored as you are.

Nobody can go anywhere, and so the world is exploring the internet in unprecedented ways. Trust me, Google is taking notes.

Think some tech-savvy hobbyist hacker in a basement was a threat before? How about now, with everyone living online? Or threats from organised groups?

Self-isolation is a perfect storm for data breaches: people are joining community groups willy-nilly on social media and signing up for newsletters using primary email addresses. Getting shiny new (and possibly unsecured) apps for hobbies I bet will get as dusty as a New Year’s resolution in June. (Juggling. Really?) Dodgy downloads of must-see TV shows and movies through ‘free’ sites? Hmmm.

Remote workers are low-hanging fruit

Emails from under-protected personal computers and non-biz accounts potentially open a vein. Without strong passwords and robust anti-virus protection, an entire network could be in jeopardy. Outdated software: the keys to the kingdom.

Also vulnerable: befuddled teachers trying to navigate remote-learning options on the fly, for which they’ve never been trained, using infrastructure that may not have undergone appropriate security measures. This places students, often minors, at risk.

Here are some ways to keep yourself safe:

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battleface editor Sasha Gayer
battleface magazine editor Sasha is a writer and amateur palaeontologist from New Orleans. When not writing or digging dinosaurs, she teaches English.