Getting familiar with the cyber security and the information technology world can be intimidating. Questions like “What is a VPN and why would it help me?” (we’ll get to it) might be something on your mind and this is understandable. Cybersecurity is an ever changing world with terminology that isn’t typically discussed outside of the industry. All of these terms being discussed today are ones that come up frequently in our world and we thought it would be a good idea to share them with you.
Malware is designed to make your life hard. It is software that you download that is targeting your information such as banking information, social security numbers, and other important files. It is typically disguised as other software that you may need such as a software update or a browser extension. Avoid this at all costs! Recognizing the websites you are on and making sure it is reputable is something to look for when avoiding malware.
This is similar to actual fishing. Malicious emails will be sent out and if you bite the hook, you’re caught. These attempts will typically be sent through email and text messages posing to be your bank or some entity that may have your information. Most phishing attempts are after your information. Some things to spot a phishing email are grammatical errors, asking for very personal information, low quality logos (if on email), and an incorrect email address made to look like a real one.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
This one can get a little abstract, but it is the computer learning that is meant to mimic the mind of a human. Through experiences and examples the computer will be able to make intelligent decisions. This learning can be focused on one specific task or broad learning to make decisions over time.
Internet of things (IOT)
IOT is something that you have most likely used and it is pretty simple. One common example of IOT is your television connecting to a speaker and your phone at the same time. It is a world of interconnected devices. Another very common form of IOT is Amazon’s home devices including Alexa.
This is under the umbrella of malware, but it is slightly different because the people that get access to your information will hold it ransom until you give them some sort of payment. They typically want bitcoin or some sort of currency that cannot be traced. This is a data breach and under no circumstances should the ransomware be paid. Contact the police or an I.T. professional on what to do if your data is stolen.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
These are great at hiding your location and provide an extra layer of security to your network. The way it works is that when you go to a website the VPN sends you to a server in another location and from there you will be let into the website. This will make you more difficult to track and this extra layer of security can make it harder for things like a data breach from happening.
All of these terms may appear at some point and instead of simply not knowing, you now have an introduction into the cyber security and information technology world. For more I.T. advice check out our other blogs and view our services to find out how we can help.