Today technology is everywhere and means everything for our daily use. As a young professional, it means a world full of opportunities helping me to extend my skills and talents. Be it education, business or for personal use, it gives us the potential to be creative and productive. Speaking about technology here, here we refer about the various uses of our digital and electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers, which have given us an access to the world. So how much do you think we are secure with our devices and the various apps we use?
Is any app or computer truly secure?
Apart from the age old mode of texting, there are many apps developed for a fast and easy way to communicate globally. The most popular being – WhatsApp, an app for smart phones that uses the internet to send and download message, images, audio and videos. Recently the app was in the news, where the developers confirmed that due to a security flaw, the hackers were able to install software to spy on people’s smart phones. Even as WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption methods that offer protection in most cases, it has still led to its 1.5 billion users thinking if the app is really secure with their personal data.
Facebook also caused uproar, due to one of the most serious security breach of all times. India Today had reported that the accounts of over 50 million people were compromised, including the CEO of the company -Mark Zuckerberg. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, and although they have quick software fixes in such situations, it still raises the question of security.
When the program Windows was created, it was specific for an individual computer and not to be used for global connections. Due to this, the operating system (OS) had security flaws – many of which have crept in today as well. To tackle this concern, all devices with the OS have installed various anti-virus software, firewalls and secure web gateways for protecting sensitive data. Global cyber security market valued approximately US$ 136 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to grow with a healthy growth rate of more than 10% over the forecast period 2018-2025 with the increasing use of mobile applications.
Threats and Technology
Another factor that makes our system less secure is our experience to deal with virus or some form of malware. Apart from our computers, some of us may have faced the same issue with our phones, as we do not worry much about security threats the same way as with our desktops. But as smart phones were built to be more secure, it does not necessarily mean they are. Smart phones have a built-in security model unlike the ones used for Windows OS having less security, but in reality any device or service can be hacked.
Unlike computers or laptops, mobile phones typically move around in our pockets and purses. As these devices have built-in cameras, microphones and GPS signals, it is easy for hackers to gain access to our location and stored data through our devices. Considering the human factor, it is not possible for anything to be 100% secure.
It is true that the security of our systems and devices is something we are always concerned about. Hackers are now becoming more advanced with every new technology launched. The threats are real and it is only our vigilance that will keep our devices protected in the long run. There are five common security defects we should be aware of:
1) Open wireless networks- Hackers are always on the lookout for these wireless networks as these are easy targets. They start capturing data that goes in and out of the network, and even attack the devices attached. Hence one needs to be careful and frequently keep changing passwords that are difficult to guess.
2) Anti-virus apps that aren’t updated- It is necessary that an anti-virus, malware and spyware apps are installed on all machines and devices. To ensure security is maintained in the long run, these apps need to be updated regularly.
3) Lack of firewalls- It is vital that a networking security tool be installed that controls what traffic is allowed to pass through from one network to another.
No matter how much one is trained and experienced, we do tend to make mistakes. From not updating the latest software for the apps and our devices, to clicking on suspicious links or losing devices, human error can leave even the most secure system at risk. The best way we can ensure that our systems and devices are secured is to ensure that we have proper security measures in place and the apps are updated accurately. By doing so, we get the Tech peace of mind.