Common sense often best bet against cyber threats

Nov 6, 2018

 

Credit Wikicommons

Criminal types have always been on the lookout for easy ways to extort money or steal someone’s personal information. In the information age, the opportunities for anonymous wrongdoing are nearly limitless, keeping professionals from any field on their toes.

In the legal world, especially, keeping data secure is important. Local attorney Joe Kashi has been studying cybersecurity almost as long there’s been a need for it, and given dozens of presentations on best practices for keeping information safe. He says no matter the setting, the keys to keeping your information on lockdown are regular updates to operating systems and programs, using a reliable security suite, and basic personal awareness. Phony Emails and unsafe click-bait websites still offer cyber crooks a way in with malicious software, or malware.

 

“Roughly 90 percent of serious computer penetrations anymore are the result of people either being enticed or frightened into clicking onto some malicious software program.”

That could be done by opening an email attachment from an unknown source or clicking an innocent looking link in a website. From there, the software can track and record all sorts of things and that’s when a good defense is important. Kashi encourages creating multiple layers of security, a defense-in-depth. On home computers, that means adding a complete real-time security suite to theinadequate free anti-virus software that usually comes pre-installed.

 

“I would consider using a security appliance between you and the Wild West Internet. There are some inexpensive ones out there. And I would suggest a security appliance made by a different company than the one that provides your security suite.”

So, if you’re running MacAfee security software for instance, look to another provider for that physical firewall device.

 

On the go, too, hackers are always looking for holes. Again, Kashi says good judgement can often be the best defense. Starbucks isn’t a good place to check your bank account on your phone. In general, wifi networks, despite their convenience, can be big targets for savvy criminals. Kashi says he avoids them. And even if you’ve got a great password, it shouldn’t be shared among all your different apps.

“You can prevent most data breaches by being careful. You can’t prevent all of them, because it’s a high threat world out there and even the data security experts admit to being somewhat frightened by the whole thing. So we need to be cautious and we should constrain our communications, the data we have available over the net, to what’s necessary to conduct our business and our private lives.”

 

Kashi will be making an accreditted cybersecurity presentation to the Kenai Peninsula Bar Association November 16th in Kenai.