As powerful as the Internet is right now, it’s impossible to even imagine where it will go over the next years and beyond. But, as fast as security protection continues to improve, hackers seem to improve even more quickly.
Everything from new devices to apps pose risks that you might not anticipate. Some risks, such as aging infrastructure, pose hacking opportunities that you can’t control. If you keep security in your mind, however, you can contribute to your own safety by anticipating unexpected risks. Here are six examples.
#1. The Energy in Your Home
This first risk isn’t so much a personal issue as a national one, but if the power grid gets hacked, there is no telling how long your home might be without electricity. Particularly if you own or rent a home, you can purchase items that protect your power
Many people who want to avoid storm-related power loss use generators. While you can purchase a generator and fill it with gas, professionally-installed whole-house generators, which run off of your home’s natural gas connection, can power your entire home, assuming that gas lines are not somehow hacked. Before buying, find out about permit requirements from your municipality, along with maintenance and other needs, since they are similar to basic auto maintenance.
Solar panels are another option, assuming that your house gets a reasonable amount of sun. They tend to be expensive, but, since they reduce the cost of power purchased from public utilities, they generate significant savings over time, and tax reductions and other savings are often available
Of course, even in an apartment, battery power can help in a pinch. By all means, keep flashlights and lanterns readily available, along with plenty of fresh batteries.
#2. The Cloud
The Cloud can be very secure, but not all Cloud providers are equal in their ability to protect your information. One way to keep your data safe is to use a well-known provider. Microsoft, for example, is known for their security best practices, so it’s relatively easy to trust their Cloud-based software, but other providers can keep you safe if you do research before buying.
When choosing software that sends or receives information, look for providers that encrypt data. Also, you need to learn about sharing practices since many free providers actually sell data to other companies. Granted, they do not share vital information like account or social security numbers, but resulting targeted advertising can become a bit creepy.
WhatsApp might be the most well-known messaging app, but it has more than its share of security concerns. The phone version of this software has had numerous issues, and its newer Web version seems to have invited hackers to create fake versions for the specific purpose of obtaining highly sensitive information.
Of course, this one app is hardly the only one to pose significant safety risks. Even users who admire Apple for its reputation for great security need to think twice before downloading gaming and other apps. Tap just once in the wrong place, and it’s easy to install malware that can attack at any time. Before installing any new apps, take a few minutes to research their safety.
#4. Smart Devices
People love the convenience of the other smart devices that talk to each other when you talk to them. But, between hackers and providers that may be listening in, all of this talking is not necessarily private. Make sure that your network is properly secured, and stick to reputable brands when choosing devices. Additionally, if you decide to sell a device, you should wipe it clean of your data. If you can’t do this, then smash it to bits.
#5. Sending and Receiving Faxes
It may seem counterintuitive to use an online fax option over a fax machine, but physical pages that are awaiting pickup can be seen by anybody. Do you want just anyone to see your financial data, health information or even social security number? A reputable online fax service stays on top of ever-changing security needs.
#6. Connected Cars
Today’s cars are also often connected to the Internet, which means that they pose a security risk. While auto manufacturers need to set security standards before issues arise, consumers can protect themselves, as well. Even a simple act like deleting the cell phone that you paired to a rental car can help.
Vigilance Can Really Pay Off
At one time, only computer users needed to make efforts to protect themselves from hacking threats. However, today’s improving technology has put computers into just about every imaginable household item.
Our smart devices can be real time-savers, and they enrich our lives in countless ways.. It makes sense to use some of that saved time to be vigilant for security issues.