Antivirus, phishing, rootkits and more, have waned over the past few years. Every now and then, a big data leak happens and most normally due to a vulnerability in the cloud server itself; most often caused by oversight in architectural design. A typical home machine, for example your everyday laptop, mobile device functions just like a server these days in terms of architecture. While some say, antivirus solutions are useless on certain operating systems such as linux or macs; it is often handy to have one to avoid being the carrier of viruses.
Phishing, as it sounds just like fishing; relies mainly on distribution of email that imitates legitimate emails send from places you might have accounts with, such as banks. It often directs you to a fake site and prompts you to enter user details. The details, as you might have guessed, are now used by the offender to login and get information or other criminal activities.
Phone phishing which is yet another method, where the offender calls you on your mobile and stating that they are from suppliers or banks. In the process, they will get information from you that will allow them to get access to your accounts.
Viruses/Malware often enough contains scripts (or pieces of codes) that executes on your system either to (1) get information about you or your data (2) deploy keyloggers so as to get information about how you access your online accounts, mostly banks (3) disruptively locks your system by encrypting your files and asking for payment to unlock your files (4) copies itself onto other media and spreads to other machines (5) runs software such as bitcoin miners and send results to the attacker; this slows down your machine and effectively uses your machine as a mule to achieve what they need.
DDOS denial of access attacks which are targeted at servers/services. It is achieved by methods such as sending millions of requests in a short time, causing the servers/services to cease. The attacks are often proxied, meaning hidden and using another host machine such as an infected machine via viruses to send requests to certain services. This multiplies very quickly and often the attacker is hard to trace.
Bruteforce/CrossSite are cases where scripts are used to guess your passwords, using common dictionary words and numbers. You will be amazed how quickly this can be done where good machines these days are able to compute millions of calculations per second. When the passwords are obtained, it is often used to various other sites as you know, normally people are lazy to create unique passwords for each site, and often use the same passwords.
While it all sounds dark and hopeless, there are a few things you can habitually do to keep yourself safer.
- use an antivirus
- use adblockers and script blockers on your browsers
- use password vaults such as keepass
- use two factor authentication when possible; where a uniquely generated code is sent to your second device
- do frequent scans of antivirus/malware on your machine and frequently usb drives
- update your machine frequently as newer updates often patches vulnerabilities
- keep a habit of remote backups such as time-machine (if you use mac), NAS (network access storage) linksys network hdds, cloud storage (dropbox/google cloud) or external drives which are relatively affordable these days
Surprisingly, there are a number of relatively good anti-viruses cheap and or free out there. The few below can help to get you started. A good rule of thumb, is that most antivirus solutions are relatively good, so a good choice will be that the antivirus solution is lightweight, does not carry a million ads and monitors your browser
Ad-blockers help to prevent popup which may contact scripts/code that collects information about you. On the other end of the harm scale, the scripts may take advantage of browser vunerabilities to execute programs on your machine.
- Adblock Plus – https://adblockplus.org/
- Ghostery – https://www.ghostery.com/
AVs – Macs / Windows / Linux
- Avast – https://www.avast.com/en-gb/free-antivirus-download (recommended)
- Avira – https://www.avira.com/en/free-antivirus-windows
- AVG – https://www.avg.com/en-gb/free-antivirus-download
- Comodo – https://antivirus.comodo.com/free-mac-antivirus.php
- Panda – https://www.pandasecurity.com/uk/homeusers/solutions/free-antivirus/
- kaspersky – https://www.kaspersky.co.uk/downloads/thank-you/free-antivirus-download
- Sophos – https://home.sophos.com/
- Norton – https://us.norton.com/free-antivirus
- Windows Defender – https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/comprehensive-security
- ClamAV Immunet – http://www.immunet.com/index
AVs – Android / Iphone
- Avast – https://www.avast.com/en-gb/free-mobile-security
- Line Antivirus – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.naver.lineantivirus.android&hl=en
AVs – Servers
- ClamAV (Cisco) – https://www.clamav.net/
- Tunnelbear – https://www.tunnelbear.com/pricing
- Private Internet Access – https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/
- Torguard – https://torguard.net/anonymousbittorrentproxy.php)